Nico Muhly: Seeing Is Believing

June 21, 2011 | Format: MP3

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: June 21, 2011
  • Release Date: June 21, 2011
  • Label: Decca
  • Copyright: (C) 2011 Decca Music Group Limited
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:11:44
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B00558P6VU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,378 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Porter Anderson on June 21, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"'Seeing Is Believing' immerses the listener in a night transfigured by Nico Muhly's sweeping vision. He calls up a starscape of clear-nocturnal wonder, sweetly juicing his lead for Thomas Gould's six-string electric violin. Listen at 11:20, when a flourish right out of Byzantium announces the composer's inspiration, what he calls "the ancient practice of observing and mapping the sky." Shortly after that, at 12:48, Muhly lays a proud cadence on the table, the violin's insistent search racing around it. Barely do you hear a muted trumpet's wry question when, at 14:00 Muhly throws down the gauntlet again. And from there, the piece unfolds into a high, bright night-field of Nicholas Collon's richly colored fluency with the Aurora Orchestra. Big brass and those "rapturous pulses" Muhly loves spiral up around Gould's assured solos, at times as edgy as a fiddler in "L'histoire du soldat." This 25-minute concerto, crawling with what Muhly terms "random, insect-like formulations," is an arresting new statement of his developing voice, so generously articulated by Gould, Collon, and the Aurora.

There are also three shorter but substantive key works from Muhly on the CD: the Webern-Weelkes wonder "By All Means" (get a load of John Reid's piano at 4:30); the plucky Gibbons-based "Motion"; and "Step Team," my favorite. Its conversational exchanges between strings and woodwinds are shoved around by hussy-brass into piano-paced arguments. For those of us who have loved Muhly's "Detailed Instructions," echoes of continuity (11:25) travel awfully well here, in the work of this guy who talks so fast but smiles at us in his music with unhurried, and sometimes brilliantly sad grace. Listen to this "Step Team" end. And then end. And then finally end. Lovely.
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