“There is no doubt that the music is technically challenging and the writing is often complex. However, it seems to me that Schoenberg’s achievement in these three scores is that he has written music that, no matter how technically demanding it may be, never leaves the listener behind. There’s absolutely no condescension to the listener yet these pieces are written in fluent, accessible language, the scoring is unfailingly colourful and imaginative and the composer consistently communicates with the listener while at the same time stimulating him or her. … Adam Schoenberg is one of the 10 living composers whose music is most performed by US orchestras. On the evidence of this disc I can understand why. It’s colourful, inventive, highly skilled music that connects strongly to listeners – or, at least, it connected strongly with me. I’m sure that, as he indicates in his notes, it presents many challenges to the performers but it would seem that Michael Stern and his excellent orchestra meet these challenges head-on and with relish. Though the music was new to me and I haven’t seen scores these performances seem highly accomplished and confident. Lucky the contemporary composer who receives such advocacy.
These are the sort of scores that cry out for excellent recorded sound and happily that’s exactly what they receive here from Keith O. Johnson. I’ve experienced his work with this orchestra and this hall before and I’ve been impressed. This is another top-drawer recording. I listened to this hybrid disc as an SACD and got excellent results. The sound is present and has plenty of impact without a hint of aggression. There’s an excellent dynamic range and lots of detail emerges very naturally, which is just what you want in scores like these.
The accompanying documentation is excellent; the composer writes comprehensively and clearly about his music.
Artistically and sonically this is an exciting disc. Adam Schoenberg’s music has been a welcome discovery for me and I hope to hear more of it.” —John Quinn, MusicWeb International