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E Z R A    S I M S

 

PRESS EXTRACTS

 

 

Ezra Sims ... has already contributed an outstanding body of works,

many of which have explored with singular imagination, conviction

-- and  success ­ the beautiful but elusive world of microtonal music.

 

American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award Citation, 1985

 

 

CRI 643  [Quintet, Night Piece, solo, flight, Concert Piece]

 

Ezra Sims is one of the masters of present-day microtonal music, and this disc contains some of his very best music ... every work on this disc is riveting and hypnotic ... no one is doing quite what Sims is doing and collectors of advanced music should have this important disc.

                                                                                                        American Record Quide 1/2 1994

                                                                                                        Cook

 

This interesting disc ... despite the perception of microtonal as “difficult” music, the works presented here are quite lyrical ... Recommended

                                                                                                        Classical Pulse!

                                                                                                        Lee Ranaldo

 

String Quartet #2 (1962)  (1974)

 

            ...  has simple things to say and says them with great beauty and structural clarity .. of very great beauty.

                                                                                                                    Boston Globe 13/10/77

                                                                                                                    Richard Dyer

 

            ... this man (unlike a lot of composers) is a musician and hears.

                                                                                                                    Audio  Aug 78

                                                                                                                    Edward Tantall Canby

 

Quartet (1982)

 

         ...amusing and disquieting, and obviously the work of an original musical intelligence.

                                                                                                                    Boston Globe 2/2/83

                                                                                                                    Richard Dyer

 

            ...bridging the past and the future in unique clarity, brightness and a whirr of sound.

                                                                                                                    Westport News 9/11/83

                                                                                                                    Winifred Keane

 

Flight

 

         I get to hear a lot of electro-acoustical music.  The sultrily rapturous Flight ... strikes me as a choice genre gem.

                                                                                                                    Fanfare  Jan/Feb 94

                                                                                                                    Mike Silverton

 

Quintet

 

         ... lyrical and quite beautiful lines.  The effect is as strange as Planet X and familiar as Debussy.

                                                                                                                    Fanfare  Jan/Feb 94

                                                                                                                    Mike Silverton

 

Elegie ­ nach Rilke

 

         The “Elegie” is such a strong piece that it cast the other pieces into the shade... a perfect fitting of words to technique... it was warmly received.

                                                                                                                    Boston Globe 18/9/76

                                                                                                                    Richard Buell

 

         ... definitely a piece I want to hear again.                

                                                                                                                    Boston Herald American

                                                                                                                    Ellen Pfeiffer

 

         ... the most impressive piece of the night.             

                                                                                                                    New York Times 28/5/77

                                                                                                                    John Rockwell

 

Sextet

 

         ... the piece is superbly crafted ... despite my ideological misgivings, I found myself captivated and compelled to listen throughout.

                                                                                                                    Gunther Schuller

                                                                                                                    Personal communication

 

         I enjoy listening to this record very much, and in fact have spontaneously jumped up ... several times to play it.

                                                                                                                    Fanfare Jan/Feb 86

                                                                                                                    Kyle Gann

 

Come Away

 

         ... moves compositionally from apparently simple musical resources to a contrapuntal instrumental coda that weaves together strands of the previous songs like memory might review a life ... skillful combination of words and music.

                                                                                                                    Fanfare  July/Aug 91

                                                                                                                    William Wians

 

         ... a truly pleasurable experience.                               

                                                                                                                    Birmingham News 1/3/92

                                                                                                                    Oliver Roosevelt

 

Night Piece

 

         ...  a masterwork of chiaroscuro ....                            

                                                                                                                    Fanfare Jan/Feb 94

                                                                                                                    Mike Silverton

 

String Quartet

         ... strong and imaginative ... showed a clear and fresh formal usage.

                                                                                                                    Musical America Jan 61

                                                                                                                    Stephen Addis

 

If I Told Him

 

         ... employs musical means that are simple ... which, however, without inessential decoration, become theater.

                                                                                                                    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung  19/2/97

                                                                                                                    Hanno Ehrler

 

            ... based on recited texts by ... Gertrude Stein.  The microtonal profile of her voice is translated into the notation of the vocal and instrumental parts ­ with a result of high expressivity and beauty of sound.

                                                                                                                    Darmstadter Echo  Feb 1997

                                                                                                                    Michael Neun

 

Chamber Cantata on Chinese Poems

         ... fluent, graceful, and atmospheric.                          

                                                                                                                    High Fidelity

                                                                                                                    A.R.

 

Third Quartet

 

         ... a splendid, highly individual and tightly made string quartet.

                                                                                                                    New York Times 19/3/65

                                                                                                                    Theodore Strongin

 

            ... hypnotic beauty ... enters the imagination and stretches one’s ears.

                                                                                                                    The Musical Quarterly

                                                                                                                    Donald Henahan

 

         An object lesson in the balance between generous melodic invention and its harmonic setting, excellently shown in the dialogue-like structures.

                                                                                                                    Salzburger Nachrichten  May 93

 

            ... a fascinating and original work ... a piece with survival value.

                                                                                                                    San Francisco Chronicle 6/69

                                                                                                                    Hewell Tircuit

 

         ... one of the most fascinatingly unfashionable modern works to come my way in years ... A really individual piece, and one not to be missed.

                                                                                                                    High Fidelity, 1965

                                                                                                                    AF

 

Solo in Four Movements

 

         ... elegant and meditative                                                

                                                                                                                    Classical Pulse!  Dec. 93

                                                                                                                    Lee Ranaldo

 

            ... a convincingly Bachian warmth and power       

                                                                                                                    N.Y.Times 24/5/88

                                                                                                                    Allan Kozinn

 

Concert Piece

 

         ... densities that play as a joy:  a relatively large instrumental force put to as singular a usage as this weaves a novel  sonic tapestry.               

                                                                                                                    Fanfare  Jan/Feb 94

                                                                                                                    Mike Silverton

 

         Subversive music indeed!  It kept going in one’s mind well into Brahms’ Serenade (op. 16) and commenting as to how arbitrarily and conventionally it was tuned

                                                                                                                    The Boston Globe 1/3/92

                                                                                                                    Richard Buell

 

Celebration of Dead Ladies

 

         ... caused the scales to fall from this reviewer’s eyes ... charming in its dense, swarming way ... sheets of sound swirling about .. radiated conviction and originality you couldn’t miss.

                                                                                                                    The Boston Globe

                                                                                                                    Richard Buell

 

 

 

Ezra Sims, an honest-to-God New England original ...

 

Village Voice  7 March 1989