‘Beautiful, subtle, mesmerizing…’

July 11, 2010

Initial verdicts on Michael Ellison’s newly released Invocation (Innova Recordings 766, Distributed by Naxos) are in:

Glen Hall, from Exclaim! Canada’s Music Authority, describes Elif (2003) as “an amazing synthesis of a master hafiz (a reciter of the Quran) and new music. The result is otherworldly, a mystical atmosphere of devotion and its transformation of consciousness. Invocation illustrates the depth of Ellison’s commitment to absorbing Turkish spiritual music and the Sufi quest for transcendence and union with the beloved.”

François Couture, of Monsieur Délire, calls Ellison’s solo flute work Invocation-Meditation-Allegro “Puis un très beau triptyque pour flûte solo –Helen Bledsoe, tout à fait convaincante (A beautiful triptych for solo flute–Helen Bledsoe, totally convincing).”

Hall further says Ellison’s String Quartet #2 (2002) “has the melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and emotional depth of late Beethoven or Bartok”

Baby Sue gives it five stars, calling Ellison’s work “Beautiful, subtle, and mesmerizing stuff….if you’re looking for classical music that is predictable and easy to swallow you won’t find it here.”

The superlative performances of Borromeo String Quartet, Kani Karaca and Helen Bledsoe are lauded: “Full of dynamic subtleties, finely shaded changes in timbre and passionately engaged ensemble playing, the piece resonates with the eloquent emotion the composer wove into the fabric of this gorgeous composition”-Hall

For full texts, see ‘Press

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