Music of Arlene Sierra, Vol. 1
The music of Arlene Sierra (b. 1970) has begun to make waves on both sides of the Atlantic. With recent commissions by the New York Philharmonic, the Royal Opera and the New York City Opera, the British-based young American composer has found devoted advocates among many leading performers of our time. The American Academy of Arts and Letters cited Sierra recently: "Arlene Sierra's music is, by turns, urgent, poetic, evocative, and witty. She has a keen appreciation of instrumental sonorities and the inherent drama of successive musical atmospheres. Intriguing, passionate, mysterious, her recent work, Cicada Shell, confidently announces the arrival of a significant composer." This recording marks the first CD devoted to Sierra's music. Rave reviews for Arlene Sierra, Vol. 1 from the Guardian, NPR, New Music Box, Fanfare, and Musical Pointers: "...her work has its own character, in which historical and contemporary influences are fused into a highly flexible and distinctive style... packed with crisp, vivid detail that's not at all hand-me-down. Sierra likes bold, highly coloured gestures." "...an intriguing new album of pieces by the American-born, UK-based composer Arlene Sierra, for whom Bridge Records has just begun a multi-volume series. ... [It] possesses a remarkable brilliance of color, rhythmic dexterity and playfulness." "Regardless of which listening approach you decide to take with these works?the view of the forest or of the trees... the music reveals complexity and insight that will make you want to press play again and open your ears even wider for the next listen." "There can be no doubt that Sierra has an uncanny ability to realize and build her musical ideas toward shattering conclusions, oftentimes literally so. But be forewarned: this is definitely not music for the fainthearted. "[She] is fascinated with the martial arts and writes music that is as intense as it is complex. Sierra's setting of Neruda's allegorical poetry is truly masterly." "...This is all music of distinct originality and personality, played and recorded to highest standards. The ensemble music is complex but always clear, and one feels that every note is placed with intention. A strong recommendation, a disc which I will return to enjoy again."
Cicada Shell (2006)
International Contemporary Ensemble, Jayce Ogren, conductor
Birds and Insects, Book 1 (2007)
Vassily Primakov, piano
International Contemporary Ensemble
Jayce Ogren, conductor