This recording contains seven chamber works by American composer Robert Paterson, performed by the New York City based American Modern Ensemble. This world premiere recording is the first recording dedicated entirely to Paterson s music. It was recorded at the Academy of Arts and Letters in New York City and produced by multi-Grammy winning producer Adam Abeshouse. All works feature combinations of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion, with the exception of Embracing the Wind (flute/alto flute, viola and harp) and Elegy (two bassoons and piano). A few works call for the performers to use police whistles or play exotic percussion instruments. These works are inspired by subjects as diverse as a criminal on the run, space travel, an Olympic athlete, the four classical elements, rock and roll, and the music of J.S. Bach. Based in New York City, the American Modern Ensemble has quickly become a major force in the New Music scene, having programmed the widest possible repertoire by American composers, and especially living composers. Since its inception, AME has presented over thirty concerts, featuring performances of works by over eighty composers, using a world-class ensemble that includes some of the finest instrumentalists and vocalists in North America. Further information: americanmodernensemble.org.
Paterson writes in a style I call, for want of a better term, neo-virtuosic. His music is complex, colorful, imaginative, adept, and yes, virtuosic. Figurations are tossed around adroitly between instruments, evoking constantly shifting colors, textures, rhythms, and melodic fragments. However, this is not done haphazardly, but in a way that compellingly carries the listener along with Paterson to the end of the work. I suspect his music must be as much fun to play as it is to listen to... Performances by members of the American Modern Ensemble and recorded sound are everything any composer could hope for. Robert Paterson is clearly a very important composer working on the scene today in America, and it comes as no surprise that his music is being performed by major orchestras and ensembles. Accessible and original, his music has been recognized with numerous awards. If you like well-crafted and imaginative contemporary music, you will certainly not be disappointed in this disc, which receives my highest recommendation.
- David DeBoor Canfield --Fanfare (3/2011)
...eclectic and offbeat... Immediately engaging on first hearing, all seven pieces offer a depth and complexity that rewards repeat listening. They are beautifully crafted, played with total conviction, and recorded with remarkable clarity and presence by famed producer Adam Abeshouse. I cannot imagine anyone interested in contemporary music wanting to pass this one by.
- Ronald E. Grames --Fanfare (5/2011)