The New York Times: Classical Playlist: John Adams, Handel, Lewis Spratlan and More

June 6, 2014

LEWIS SPRATLAN: ‘Apollo and Daphne Variations’; other works
Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Gil Rose, conductor
Eliot Gattegno, on soprano and alto saxophones
(BMOP/Sound)
The American composer Lewis Spratlan, born in 1940, gained wide attention in 2000 when a concert version of Act II of his opera “Life Is a Dream,” which was completed in 1978 but had never been staged, won the Pulitzer Prize for Music. This welcome new recording from the impressive Boston Modern Orchestra Project offers three ingeniously written and distinctive Spratlan works. “A Summer’s Day” (2008) uses a simple, dreamy Celtic tune at the start as a jumping-off place for an elusive, complex suite that ruminates on the tensions below the surface of an inviting day. In his Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra (2006), Mr. Spratlan finds a gripping, fresh approach to what might seem an awkward classical music genre; the music evolves from mystical musings to raw, jazzy vehemence. “Apollo and Daphne Variations” is like a Spratlan version of a Schumann suite, with alternating episodes of whimsy, frenzy and innocence. (Anthony Tommasini)

Read at: The New York Times

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