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Hyla: Lives of the Saints, At Suma Beach / Nessinger, Rose, Boston Modern Orchestra Project

Album Summary

>Hyla, Lee : At Suma Beach
>Hyla, Lee : Lives of the Saints
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Lee Hyla's epic Lives of the Saints is a set of psychological character studies filled with fierce musical and spiritual imagination, inspired by a diverse group of 13th and 14th-century writings by or about saints. Through his masterful composition of colors, textures, and rhythmic impulses, Hyla evokes a landscape of torment, delirium, and ecstasy. The lyrical At Suma Beach (based on a Noh play) provides a satisfying contrast to Lives' turbulence. Both pieces feature the magnificent Mary Nessinger, whose theatrical impulses, coupled with the keen sensibility of Gil Rose and his ensemble, illuminate the expressive possibilities of Hyla's music.

"I've made a general comment elsewhere about these BMOP/sound productions (in my review of Michael Gandolfi), but special praise needs to go out to Mary Nessinger, who is a singer to die for. Not only does she have the technique to handle the often-ferocious demands of this music, but also her dramatic skills are superlative. She can switch from one persona to another on a dime, so much so that it seems a little scary, like multiple-personality disorder. No danger of that literally, though, as Nessinger is obviously in control, and able to take great expressive risks in the service of Hyla's vision. He's blessed to have her as a collaborator." - Robert Carl (Fanfare)

"The production as a whole is one of the more overwhelming I've encountered lately. You will need to be in the right state of mind to deal with this well-produced release from Gil Rose's ambitious label. Notes by the composer and a thoughtful essay by Martin Brody." - Allen Gimbel (American Record Guide)
After years in Boston, Hyla decamped in 2007 for Chicago; this is a timely reminder of his importance, no matter where his home base is. It also whets the appetite for future releases from BMOP's innovative label." - David Weininger (The Boston Globe)
Best of 2008 - The Boston Globe



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Works Details

>Hyla, Lee : At Suma Beach
  • Performer: Mary Nessinger (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Gil Rose
  • Ensemble: Boston Modern Orchestra Project
  • Running Time: 25 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2003

>Hyla, Lee : Lives of the Saints
  • Performer: Mary Nessinger (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Conductor: Gil Rose
  • Ensemble: Boston Modern Orchestra Project
  • Notes: Sonic Temple, Roslindale, MA (01/23/2006-01/24/2006)
  • Running Time: 41 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2000