...“Three Flavors” is a charmingly varied piano concerto... It’s based on a piece that Kernis (b. 1960) wrote for the toy-piano virtuoso Margaret Leng Tan, and that lineage is most obvious in the first movement, which jangles and whirs like a wonderful mechanical plaything. Then there’s a slow movement of practically unbearable beauty, steeped in the harmonies of the French Impressionists, and a jazzy finale to cap things off. Jazz runs through the rest of the disc as well...
Chicago's Cedille Records, which draws on the talent and scenes of the City of Neighborhoods, may offer an ideal blueprint for classical music's revival. Releases like this document music-making that has succeeded with audiences in a specific time and place, and the label has highlighted performers who have a knack for finding contemporary music that resonates with audiences. The Grant Park Orchestra heard on this disc is the top-notch ensemble heard in the massive free concerts heard ………..James Manheim @ AllMusic.com
Goblin Market, a melodrama – a spoken narration with musical accompaniment – is a superb example of Aaron Jay Kernis' gift for almost recklessly profligate inventiveness. Christina Rossetti's mysterious, very long 1859 poem "Goblin Market" (it's over 550 lines) is notable for its vividly pictorial, sensual (and sometimes unambiguously sexual) imagery. The story of two little Victorian girls, sisters, and their nearly fatal misadventures with a band of goblins, comes across as …….Stephen Eddins @ AllMusic.com
As one of America's most honored young composers, Aaron Jay Kernis received the coveted Grawemeyer Award in Music Composition (2002) for this cello and orchestra version of Colored Field as well as the Grammy Award nominations for both Air and Second Symphony. The main work on this album, Colored Field …..
'... a score truly inspired by a tragic event (9/11) and one that is likely to transcend it.' (Peter G. Davis, New York Magazine) Thus did a leading critic sum up the remarkable Concerto for Clarinet (chamber orchestra version) by Ellen Taafe Zwilich, one of America's cutting-edge contemporary composers. And this is but one of this release's four vibrant modern chamber works for clarinet and various chamber ensembles by major composers: music that greatly enriches the modern chamber repertoire. Filling out the fascinating program are Aaron Copland's brisk and brainy Sextet for Clarinet, Piano and String Quartet, Stephen Hartke's delightfully wacky The Horse with the Lavender Eye, and Aaron Jay Kernis' richly evocative Trio in Red.
With each new work and new recording, Kernis (b. 1960) solidifies his position as the most important traditional-minded composer of his generation. Others may be exploring musical frontiers more restlessly, but no one else is writing music quite this vivid or powerfully direct. ...He won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in Music Composition in 2002 for his work Colored Field, making him the youngest composer to win that prize.