Grego Applegate Edwards’s blog Classical-Modern Music Review features “Modern classical and avant garde concert music of the 20th and 21st centuries.” Last Friday, Mr. Applegate Edwards featured a review of Mark Abel’s new Delos release The Dream Gallery: Seven California Portraits:
“Mark Abel’s The Dream Gallery…is a musical story of the recession, and one of the only concert pieces I can think of that takes on this period of our history. That it does so from the standpoint of seven sometimes rather confused average-Joe types is, I suppose, what makes it so engagingly immediate.
“The music has a kind of “high-toned” symphonic quality, in some ways a transformation of the Broadway musical to concert music. It’s contemporary in a mostly diatonic, post-minimalist way, with some rather excellent tone-painting settings of texts — something that Benjamin Britten did so well — along with a hint of Steve Reich’s minimalism, a Zappa-like flourish now and again, not to mention Michael Nyman’s and John Adams’s operatic treatments as predecessors.
“The music…involves some very accessible, serious symphonic song crafting, a contemporary opera without costumes and props…The stories can be quite moving at times, with their well-conceived musical settings.
“Abel has crafted an…excellently written work that is a joy to hear. The soloists and orchestra do a terrific job with the score, and no doubt it could be considered a triumph.” — Grego Applegate Edwards, Classical-Modern Music Review
Read the full review on www.classicalmodernmusic.blogspot.com