In Monday’s (7/20) Dallas Morning News , Scott Cantrell reviews a new CD release. “Issued by the Fort Worth Symphony, The Composer’s Voice includes two pieces each by two of the orchestra’s composers-in-residence. The pieces are all engaging and attractive, and the performances, led by music director Miguel Harth-Bedoya and edited from live concerts, are accomplished and well recorded. Kevin Puts, formerly a composition professor at the University of Texas, now at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, immediately appeals with his 2007 Violin Concerto. Commissioned by the FWSO for concertmaster Michael Shih, the 21-minute, two-movement work sounds like something Samuel Barber could have composed if he’d lived another 20 years and gotten a little more ‘moderned-up.’ … Puts’ 2003 Symphony No. 3, Vespertine, is a triptych inspired by the eponymous album by the Icelandic pop singer Björk. … California native Gabriela Lena Frank comes from a Peruvian, Chinese and Lithuanian-Jewish heritage. Her 2001 Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout is a ‘Bartók goes to Peru’ affair. … In the Elegia Andina (2000) flute and clarinet suggest bird songs over clip-clopping temple blocks.” Cantrell’s only complaint concerns the liner notes: “there’s not a word on the music, none of it familiar—nothing to tell us about the Björk influence on the symphony or the programmatic titles and meanings of the Frank suite.”

Posted July 21, 2009