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John Harbison: Ulysses / Gil Rose, Boston Modern Orchestra Project

Notes & Reviews:

'Ulysses' was composed in 1983 as a full-length ballet consisting of two acts: 'Ulysses Raft' and 'Ulysses Bow. Though 'Ulysses' had partial performances, the first complete performance did not take place until 2003 when Gil Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project premiered the newly-revised work. Scored for full symphony orchestra, 'Ulysses' may be the most potent in its recorded form. Gil Rose and his BMOP forces gave it their everything - a detailed, rich ravishing performance. "[This CD] will be the one to have," wrote The Boston Globe.

"One of the composer's great gifts is his ability to take the listener inside the events of the "Ulysses" epic minus the need for a specific scenario. The sequences unfold with splended variety of material and color, sustaining an emotional and dramatic arc from Act 1 ("Ulysses's Raft") through Act 2. As in many of his large works, Harbison draws brilliantly upon the vast resources of the orchestra to conjure the whirlwind nature of the protagonist's adventures. Rose and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project are expert champions of this neglected score. The playing is detailed and sweeping, providing Harbison's ballet with the intimacy and sonic splendor it needs to be revealed as a compelling achievement." - Donald Rosenberg (Gramophone).

"This scrupulously prepared yet heartfelt performance perfectly captures the glittering surface as well as the close-knit texture of this 80-minute work." - BBC Music (Performance: 5 stars


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