Violin Works by Berio and Ruo
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Luciano Berio: Sequenza VIII & Corale - Huang Ruo: 4 Fragments & "Omnipresence"
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Though hailing from different eras, postwar Italian experimentalist Luciano Berio and contemporary composer Huang Ruo are united here in their exploration of identical pieces of violin music played solo and with ensemble accompaniment. Acclaimed violinist David Bowlin reveals how two seemingly identical paths can be marked by endless contrasts. Features the Oberlin Conservatory's award-winning Contemporary Music Ensemble under the direction of Timothy Weiss.
This disc is a handy reminder of the vital role that the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio has played in shaping today's classical-music scene, nurturing artists like the violinist Jennifer Koh, the pianist Jeremy Denk, and members of the groups Eighth Blackbird and the International Contemporary Ensemble. David Bowlin, a violinist in that last ensemble, is a superb soloist on this new CD from the conservatory, offering technical brilliance and supple lyricism in an unaccompanied work and an orchestral composition apiece by Berio and Huang Ruo (yet another "Obie"). --Steve Smith, New York Times, May 2014
"Although we are told that Huang's music takes equal inspiration from Chinese ancient and folk music, as well as Western avant-garde, rock and jazz, I find these particular pieces to be firmly grounded in the modernist Western Art Music tradition with only occasional melodic suggestions of his homeland in the solo lines. The result is extremely effective, with none of the downfalls often associated with "hybrid" art. Soloist David Bowlin is in fine form in all of the offerings and has obviously made this repertoire his own." --Wholenote, May 2014