WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Arlene Sierra, Vol. 2: Game of Attrition

Bbc National Orchestra Of Wales / Stee
Release Date: 01/14/2014 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9414   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Arlene Sierra
Performer:  Huw Watkins
Conductor:  Jac Van Steen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  
On sale! $19.98
CD:  $16.99
In Stock



Notes and Editorial Reviews

This recording presents first performances of four recent scores by Arlene Sierra, the American composer, now living in London. Arlene Sierra’s music packs volcanic rhythmic power into compositions that are at once atmospheric, yet possessed of inexorable forward drive. The subject matter of Sierra’s compositions is far flung, and includes East Asian studies, evolutionary biology, entomology, game theory, siege engines, and architecture, to name but a few. In recent years Sierra has been commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and the Seattle Symphony, and both of these compositions are heard here. Sierra teaches composition at Cardiff University, Wales and the The BBC National Orchestra of Wales, led by their Principal Guest Conductor, Read more Jac Van Steen, have played Sierra’s orchestral music more frequently than any other orchestra. Their superb performances capture the visceral quality and detail of Sierra’s virtuosic scores. - Bridge Records Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Moler by Arlene Sierra
Conductor:  Jac Van Steen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Period: 21st Century 
Written: England 
2.
Piano Concerto: Art of War by Arlene Sierra
Performer:  Huw Watkins (Piano)
Conductor:  Jac Van Steen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Period: 21st Century 
Written: England 
3.
Game of Attrition by Arlene Sierra
Conductor:  Jac Van Steen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
4.
Aquilo by Arlene Sierra
Conductor:  Jac Van Steen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 High-energy compositions April 28, 2014 By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA) See All My Reviews "This release features four orchestral works by Arlene Sierra. Listening to the entire album, one gets an overall sense of Sierra's style. A small, simple musical idea -- a repeated note motif, a grouping of instruments -- is set in conflict against a similar version of itself. And that back and forth conflict forms the building blocks from which larger and more elaborate structures form. PDQ Bach wrote a concerto for piano vs. orchestra - and that seems to be the relationship of forces in Sierra's piano concerto, "The Art of War." As the work's subtitle suggests her point of inspiration is Sun Tzu's classic military treatis. In the first movement, the piano attacks the orchestra and become overwhelmed by its superior numbers. The repeated note motifs Sierra uses suggest a stabbing motion. One can almost hear the conflict move back and forth through the orchestra. The second movement casts the piano as an insurgent, darting in and out of view, making quick jabs before retreating. It's an exciting work that requires great virtuosity from both soloist and ensemble.Pianist Huw Watkins and the BBC national Orchestra of Wales directed by Jac van Steen are more than equal to the task. According to Sierra, the extra-musical genesis of her work "The Game of Attrition" is different species competing for limited natural resources -- in this case represented by different instrumental groups playing in the same registers. As with the piano concerto, there's a sense of conflict in the work, but it makes for compelling listening, even without knowing the background. There are no hackneyed orchestrations here. Every moment the listener is presented with fresh instrumental combinations. "Game of Attrition" is an album of urgent, high-energy music. But for me it was a rewarding listen -- and a refreshing one." Report Abuse
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In