Notes and Editorial Reviews
A New York Times 25 Best Classical Track Selection for 2019
Migrations provides a generous view of Derek Bermel’s superb craftsmanship and eclectic style, in which classical forms, world music, jazz, blues and American folk music create a mix that reaches directly into the body and the heart. Commisioned by Wynton Marsalis, Migration Series has its roots in African American music, its impeccable counterpoint and biting rhythms expressed through orchestration that sounds like a city coming to life. Mar de Setembro was inspired by Luciana Souza’s bell-toned voice and the intense feelings of Portuguese saudade, while A Shout, A Whisper, and A Trace honors Bartok’s last years in New York, referring to the Concerto for Orchestra as well as to jazz and Balkan music.
“Migrations,” an album of his work, includes “A Shout, a Whisper, and a Trace,” a vibrant homage to Bartok. This, the first movement, is a dizzying melting pot of folklike rhythms, droning tunes and pungent modernist harmonies, spiked with bursts of wailing jazz.
– New York Times (Anthony Tommasini)