A True Masterpiece
ClassicalGrl | New York | 02/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ellen Taaffe Zwilich is a wonderful composer whose music completely enthralls the listener into a poetic world that completely opens one's senses.. Her Symphony no.1 is electrifying!"
Nice for what's there
S. Jones | Schenectady | 02/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a valuable view of a fine composer. (I can't say "overview" because the works are all of the same short period.) The pieces are interesting and entertaining and very solid musically. They are probably more than that (great music rather than good), but I'll need to get more familiar with them before I'm ready to say. And I expect I'll be listening to them pretty often ...
Whenever I have a few minutes. That's all it will take -- at around 37 minutes this CD must be the skimpiest in my large collection. This is the reason for the 4 (rather than 5) stars. The performances are good, and sound quite effective on my equipment.
All in all, if you like non-serialist modern music (think Corigliano, though Zwilich has her own voice), and if you don't mind paying for a CD and getting only half of one, I'd recommend this disk highly. Really, I'm glad I bought it."
The Most Interesting Composer of Her Generation
Christopher Forbes | Brooklyn,, NY | 02/16/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ellen Taffe Zwillich's star has risen rather fast in the last 20 years. She has graduated from the ranks of "woman composer" to someone who has grudgingly gained the respect of the compositional old boys network. She has done this by her high craft, marvelous sense of form and a romantic language that never panders to neo-romantic trends, remaining tough and uncompromising. This disc was my introduction to the work of this fine composer and one of the best you can get. The Symphony is the first work on the disc, a large-scale one-movement symphony which shows her off in the best style. Zwillich's work is tough, but clear. She has a marvelous sense of form and a language which takes much from the mid-century Viennese school but is uniquely her own. If she resembles anyone closely, it would be Ruth Crawford Seeger, with home she shares a love of dissonance without a slavishness to 12 tone technique or even atonality. And her orchestral pallette is brilliant. The best work on the disc is the Prologue and Variations. Written for string orchestra, Zwillich constructs a wonderful arching theme which is subject to a brilliant and very moving set of variations. More than just formal work, this piece is deeply felt and quite touching. Celebration is also an attractive work, though it is little more than an occasional piece. On the whole, this is a terrific CD to introduce you to one of the most important American composers to emerge from the last 30 years."