October 2012 - Los Angeles Philharmonic
from US West Coast premiere performance of Nico Muhly's Seeing is Believing
with LA Phil New Music Group conducted by John Adams.
Score New Music Centre
Muhly's "Seeing Is Believing" made its own obvious connective points with Icelandic
moodiness. The concerto begins with overlapping solo phrases that the electric
violin can accomplish through feedback. A stunning effect, that is the first glimpse
into the void of space. The concerto is on the long side for its material (25
minutes), and it can get a little fussy with its busy instrumental details. But
the electric violin wails sweetly, rhapsodically, winningly."
Angeles Times, Mark Swed
is Believing by Mr. Muhly, in its West Coast premiere, is the first work for electric
violin that I’ve ever liked, and even though it went on a little too long, the
smooth harmonies and effective use of live looping offered much to appreciate.
More importantly, electronic effects and distortion were not overdone and were
well integrated with all the acoustic instruments throughout the piece. Thomas
Gould played the solo part with eloquent virtuosity."
is Yar, CK Dexter Haven
between Nico's arrangements of Byrd motets and a traditional Icelandic folksong,
electric violinist Thomas Gould played the West Coast premiere of his chamber
concerto, Seeing Is Believing. Employing looping and other effects, the concerto
floated like a still lake for most of its length before building to a dramatic,
Feast of Music, Peter Matthews
arabesque-like figure on the electric violin (played by soloist Thomas Gould)
which is then electronically looped initiates the composition. The placid mood
of the start is rustled by chirping woodwinds (the composer refers to these figures
as “insect music”), after which the concerto alternates between sections of meditation
and scurrying propulsion. At its close it returns to the music of its opening
bars, then fades out."
Bachtrack, Ted Ayala
concert opened with arrangements of two motets by William Byrd by Muhly and his
concerto-like Seeing is Believing. Scored for six-string electric violin and orchestra,
the timbral pallet is reminiscent of an earlier work for electric violin by the
evening’s conductor John Adams, Dharma at Big Sur. The soloist for Seeing is Believing
was Thomas Gould, who can be heard on the 2011 recording of the work. Initial
reviews deemed it a successful work, in the vein of Muhly’s general minimalistic,
yet uniquely complicated compositional style. In the past several years he has
maintained a burgeoning musical career, with his recent major headline activity
being the premiere of his opera Two Boys in 2011 with the English National Opera.
Next season there are plans to bring the opera to the Met in New York, who was
a co-commissioner of the piece."
High Score New Music