MARTIN BRESNICK Passions of Bloom – Whitman, Melville, Dickinson (2017) An Oratorio Commission: Commissioned by the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas. Premiere: June 20, 21 2017. Yale Choral Artists, Jeff Douma, conductor; Sprague Hall, New Haven, CT (20), Norfolk Shed, Norfolk, CT (21).
…more than almost any living composer I know of,
he is able to take the most basic, plain materials and spin them out into compelling dramatic structures…
Over the past few months, throngs of friends and admirers have gathered to help celebrate Martin Bresnick’s 70th birthday (November 13). Bang on a Can curated events on July 26th and September 11th in honor of their former teacher. Similarly, members of the Yale faculty paid tribute to their colleague’s milestone birthday on October 18th with a specially dedicated program. The celebrations continued on November 6th as a star-studded night of performances at the National Sawdust in New York City ushered in the beginning of Bresnick’s 70th year.
The stylistic range of Martin Bresnick’s music makes it difficult to pin down, but it is always “marked by an economy of materials and lyrical intensity” (Kyle Gann, American Music in the Twentieth Century). We encourage you to browse through the catalog highlights below and discover why so many champion his music.
During the last two weeks of July, the Bang on a Can Summer Festival offers dozens of special concerts for museum-goers and the general public in the galleries of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), with larger events in the North Adams community.
Both Prayers Remain Forever and Josephine (the Singer) have received high praise from critics:
“Prayers Remain Forever” is a powerful musical freight-train; both instruments have sections of unrelenting drive, where each refuses to acquiesce to any will than its own. Both dig deeply into their material, and the piece feels like an “emotional excavation”, building to a rock-solid conclusion as it brings back the opening material in a new light. –Robert Carl, Fanfare
…dark, brooding and emotionally substantial. –Jed Distler, Gramophone
… [“Josephine, the Singer”] is a significant contribution to the solo violin repertoire … an expressive piece in a single movement… —NewMusicBuff.com