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16 October 2012 - Los Angeles Philharmonic
Reviews from US West Coast premiere performance of Nico Muhly's Seeing is Believing with LA Phil New Music Group conducted by John Adams.

Los Angeles Times
All is Yar
Feast of Music
Bachtrack

High Score New Music Centre


"But 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."
Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed

"Seeing 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."
All is Yar, CK Dexter Haven

"In 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, wind-driven climax."
Feast of Music, Peter Matthews

"An 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

"The 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 Centre

 

 

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