Posted by David Pearson »
With the plethora of new music ensembles out there and the various instrumentations they employ, it’s nice to stumble upon one where the geometry works, the ensemble functions well as a collective unit, and the compositions performed are a good fit rather than an endless list of premieres. All the better when such an ensemble is young and presents themselves without a hint of pretention. Cadillac Moon Ensemble’s debut full CD, Atlas, presents these rare qualities in the combination of flute, violin, cello, and percussion.
Cadillac Moon Ensemble
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CDs are not live music. CDs have to compete for our attention in ways that concerts never do. They not only have to draw us away from the myriad attention-demanding devices that proliferate our lives but also have to hold that attention, even if peripherally, for an hour. What may work brilliantly in a performance setting may be challenging as a recording, and I fear that is the case with this CD. Here we have an award-winning, highly-lauded ensemble performing wonderful music at an extremely high level on a debut CD that unfortunately falls flat. I have the strong sense that if I were to hear this music live I would be riveted, but at the end of the day Group Theory fails to hold my attention.
The group counter)induction was formed in 1998 and has seen its profile steadily increase over its lifespan. Three composers are listed in its ranks, alongside piano, violin, viola, cello, and clarinet, and that seems no small point. Performers often benefit greatly in working closely with composers, and the adeptness with which c)i tackles the music of both the resident and outside composers seems to be a result of this relationship. Moreover, composers often know what other composers are doing much better than performers, and this seems to have influenced their programming decisions over the years.
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