Sunday, August 08, 2010

Review of the CONVERSATIONS album from Italy

From an Italian music review site called Kathodik ( by DG from the orginal Italian:

As the title says, this new Navona CD is a kind of conversation at a distance between two contemporary American composers, David Gaines and John Bilotta, by whom there are presented short works for organic chamber groups limited to a few instruments. The metaphor of a conversation is actually appropriate, not only because the two composers' pieces are wisely divided up, but also because they share a common ground that renders the dialogue possible and practical. This terrain is the rhythm that underpins all the pieces on the CD, which nicely flow one after the other. The brevity of the tracks and the lack of particularly accentuated and incisive melodic contours supports a second interpretation that, staying with the metaphor of conversation, what counts for them is not so much what you discuss, but how it's discussed; which might seem that the musical discourse is generally insubstantial. But before this question is translated into certainty comes the final composition of the CD to prevent such an eventuality. This is a piece for baritone saxophone and orchestra divided into three movements, written by Gaines, who - thanks finally to an expressive use of melody, a more structured and less aphoristic construction of movements, and to a masterly blend of orchestral colors - gives content to the conversation, which finally acquires a sense of accomplishment.