“With fierce intelligence confirmed, Bjarnason now seems primed for a romp through the rest of the 21st century.”
“The program opened with Mr. Bjarnason’s “Bow to String,” a 2009 work originally written for solo cello with multilayered electronic elements. The version played here, by members of the Philharmonic with a few guest artists, is for solo cello and nine instrumentalists. The first movement is pulsing, thick and frenetic, with aggressive, Bartok-like chords, given extra punch by a thumping piano. The second movement is like a fractured, jittery dance, at once cosmic and sensual. In the slow, subdued final movement, the elegiac solo cello is comforted by hazy, plush, pungent chords.”
“[H]is colorful, restless score drew me in, with its passages of overlapping cyclic riffs, slowly heaving instrumental expanses and episodes of darting fragments, like some mystical dance.”
“…coming eerily close to defining classical music’s undefinable brave new world.”
…expect to hear much more of Bjarnason’s music over the years ahead.