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Moe: Kick & Ride / Rose, Schulz, Boston Modern Orchestra Project

Moe / Schulz / Bmop / Rose
Release Date: 11/08/2011 
Label:  Bmop/Sound   Catalog #: 1021   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Eric Moe
Performer:  Robert Schulz
Conductor:  Gil Rose
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Modern Orchestra Project
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MOE Superhero. 8 Point Turn. Kick & Ride 1 Gil Rose, cond; Boston Modern O Project; 1 Robert Schultz (dr) BMOP 1021 (55:29)


If you were listening to Eric Moe’s work Superhero and did not happen to know the title, or the subtitles of the five sections (including “Rescuing a Planet in Distress” and “Showdown with Evil Twin”), you would probably experience it as a Read more tautly written, jazzy and dramatic work of complex textures but accessible expression. But once you know the name of the work it is impossible not to hear it as a soundtrack to a comic book, especially as rendered by the bright colors of the flute and clarinet, with splashy, often propulsive rhythms supplied by a drum kit and piano. Violin and cello add shading to the action. But it is still an excellent work, overtly entertaining, but presented on the composer’s own terms, and not in any way pandering, despite the pop-culture references. Moe wrote Eight Point Turn for the pioneering new-music ensemble Relâche, and for someone like myself, being intimately familiar with the history of this group, the music epitomizes the vision of those musicians, which rejected serialism and the imprimatur of academia, despite the obvious irony that many of them came from that background. Moe himself is university-trained, and now teaches at that level. But back in the day, making music like this was something of a statement, a war cry, even. OK, perhaps this is something only history buffs need to consider (guilty as charged), because Eight Point Turn stands on its own as a rich and thoughtful work, with the regular, repetitive patterns of Minimalism, but with warmly colorful textures and no little lyricism. It is a calm oasis on this CD, as the energy kicks back up, appropriately, for Kick and Ride , a two-section work that features the drum kit even more prominently than in Superhero , including a massive old-school drum solo that, in this context, comes across as a classical cadenza.


Other composers do the pop-culture thing to various degrees of success, including Aaron Jay Kernis and Michael Daugherty, and Moe’s music, at least as represented by this album, is as good an example of this new genre as any. Of course, the concept isn’t really new at all; I hear, for example, traces of Darius Milhaud’s 1923 jazz-infused masterpiece La Création du monde in Superhero . We can also refer to the folk music found in Grieg, Bartók, and even Beethoven. So let’s just call this the latest installment. It’s a good one. Excellent work, as usual, by Gil Rose and BMOP, with special kudos for drummer Robert Schulz.


FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
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Works on This Recording

1.
Kick & Ride by Eric Moe
Performer:  Robert Schulz (Drum Set)
Conductor:  Gil Rose
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Modern Orchestra Project
2.
Superhero by Eric Moe
Performer:  Robert Schulz (Drum Set)
Conductor:  Gil Rose
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Modern Orchestra Project
3.
Eight Point Turn by Eric Moe
Performer:  Robert Schulz (Drum Set)
Conductor:  Gil Rose
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Modern Orchestra Project

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