Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"[O]ne of the more consistently inventive and surprising composers now working in New York." -- The New York Times "Brooklyn's post-millenial Mozart." -- Time Out New York "[Song from the Uproar] is ingenious... both powerful and new." -- The Wall Street Journal Song from the Uproar: The Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt is a multimedia chamber opera by Missy Mazzoli and fimmaker Stephen Taylor. Conceived in collaboration with director Gia Forakis and librettist Royce Vavrek, Song from the Uproar features musical performance by five-piece chamber group NOW Ensemble, mezzo-soprano Abigail Fischer, and a 5-piece chorus (Mellissa Hughes, Amelia Watkins, Kathryn Maroney, Matthew Hensrud, and Adam Alexander). Song from the Uproar premiered to rave reviews at New York City venue The Kitchen on February 24th, 2012, and was produced by Beth Morrison Projects.
American Record Guide, March / April 2013
Pieces like 'Capsized Heart' and the first instrumental interlude are welcome for the balance they supply and for the sonic variety, including sounds of the ocean and gulls. Sometimes traces of popular or rock music are evident, and the influence of composers like David Lang is clear, especially in '100 Names for God'. Royce Vavrek's libretto is fascinating, inspired by the writings of Eberhardt herself, recovered after she was killed by a flash flood at age 27. Mazzoli continues to produce some of the more potent music of the young New York crowd.
Audio Mixer: Lawson White.
Recording information: Avatar Studios and Merkin Concert Hall (03/2012).
The songs themselves are lyrical and accessible often having a Sondheimish eloquence and asymmetry. In general there is a music theatre/broadway influence
but it fades in to distance balanced by the weighty transitions . Reich and post-minimalists also are there but the music is so heartfelt it really is not a criticism.
The last part of the piece takes on a kind of Wagneresque gravitas, which is pretty trilling as it doesn’t sound like Wagner at all. Long chorale-like sustains in the vocals give in a grave, religious quality while the orchestration around it is transcendent.
The Now Ensemble was great, nary a clam. I’m less enthused about the singing (strident vibrato-but that’s just me)—also I felt the singers were sometimes were a little under in the mix.
All in all, great piece showing the hand of a very skilled, confident composer.
Submitted on 01/30/13 by Mike Maguire
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