REVIEWS

"The credo of U.S. composer David Alpher centres on communication with his audience. There's a frank engagement with emotion in his music..."

Music Web International, September 2010

"Alpher's music is all his own, and it is remarkably good. One can view Alpher's work as an extension of Bernstein's melodic style; as such, it is remarkably rare. . . Perhaps the most impressive measure of the work was that it succeeded in holding its own, and sticking in the memory, up against a superb performance of that monument of stupefying perfection -- Mozart's Clarinet Quintet in A."

Newark Star-Ledger, January 21, 1991

ADDDITIONAL COMMENTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, LISTED ALPHABETICALLY BY COMPOSITION

Atlantic Legend (version for viola, cello and harpsichord)
Atlantic Legend (version for flute, viola and harpsichord)
Elegy for a Friend (solo piano)
Hinting of Other Places (version for high voice and piano)
Land of the Farther Suns (Version for Narrator, Four Flutes and Piano)
Las Meninas: Variations (version for solo piano)
Las Meninas: Variations (version for oboe, cello, guitar and piano)
Memories of Der Rosenkavalier (violin and piano)
Pathways (clarinet, violin and piano)
Returnings (harp and piano)
Ritornello (flute and piano)
Song Without Words (piano quartet)
Songs of Transcendence (baritone and piano)
Songs on the Passage of Time (soprano, horn, violin, cello, and piano)
String Quartet
Theme with Variations (SATB vocal quartet and piano)
The Walrus and the Carpenter (narrator, flute, viola and piano)
Tribute to Kerouac (version for clarinet, tenor saxophone, piano and string bass)
On the compositions in general
Other responses and commentary
David Alpher as pianist

ATLANTIC LEGEND (version for viola, cello and harpsichord)

" ... the lovely Atlantic Legend . . . is a marvelous piece of American neo-Romanticism. For all its Baroque-oriented instrumentation, Alpher creates something new and decidedly Romantic somewhat in the vein of Barber."

Fanfare, July/August 1999

ATLANTIC LEGEND (version for flute, viola and harpsichord)

"The music has an American pastoralist accent in the Introduction and Toccata and is also jazzily and excitingly syncopated with scorching writing for the two string instruments... The [Serenade and Variations] Appalachian-sentimental melody is very touching."

Music Web International, September 2010

"The most pleasant discovery on the program ... The piece is both lyrical and robust ...The second movement is a set of variations on a theme that might have come from the pen of Ralph Vaughan Williams or Aaron Copland in his Appalachian Spring mood."

Dallas Morning News, July 7, 1992

ELEGY FOR A FRIEND

"... rises to great poignant heights... This is powerful music..."

Music Web International, September 2010

"... I doubt any family pet ever had a more heartfelt musical tribute ..."

Fanfare, July/August 1999

HINTING OF OTHER PLACES (version for voice and piano)
"The Lindbergh-Alpher songs are bright, witty and communicative ..."

Washington Post, September 24, 1984

LAND OF THE FARTHER SUNS (Version for Narrator, Four Flutes and Piano)
"...intriguingly supportive of the poet's imagery. ... [Land of the Farther Suns] could easily have been the CD's title."

Music and Vision, July 16, 2003

LAS MENINAS: VARIATIONS (version for solo piano)
". . .euphonious music which has harmonic and rhythmic elements made of original surprises, which approximate the esthetic of Picasso."

Xavier Montsalvatge, La Vanguardia, Barcelona, May 28, 1988

". . . moving, inspirational, and thought-provoking."

Michael Bogdanow, Chairperson, Arts/Lexington [Massachusetts], October 10, 1991

"I thought it was an excellent piece of work. I was most impressed by the musical invention and technical expertise ... It makes for an effective demonstration along with the paintings, but it should certainly stand on its own too ... a first-rate composition..."

Lewis Rowell, Professor of Music (Theory), Indiana University School of Music, September 19, 1985

"...one of the highlights of the whole meeting."

Eero Tarasti, Professor of Musicology, University of Helsinki, September 17, 1985, on the International Philosopy of Music conference in Helsinki

LAS MENINAS: VARIATIONS (version for ensemble)
"I found the piece attractive and approachable. Alpher's harmonic language is euphonious without being complex and the music was appropriate to the different paintings...The capacity audience responded with enthusiasm."

The Strad (London), September 1986

". . . a serious and original work. It succeeds in at least two ways: it forces the audience to think about how each section is a variation on what precedes it, and about the relationship between [visual] art and music."

Gloucester Daily Times [Massachusetts], June 24, 1986

"... the Alpher piece has charm ... it contributed to this enlightening, exciting multimodal evening."

Boston Globe, October 27, 1986

MEMORIES OF DER ROSENKAVALIER
"Charming it certainly was, but also sharp as a tack."

Boston Globe, April 8, 1997

PATHWAYS
" ... hauntingly beautiful ... He is one of those uncommon composers who is not afraid to write melodic music-- indeed, Pathways brims with romanticism and lyricism but retains a strong sense of clarity as well... Both melody and harmony, though never crossing over into atonality, are venturesome enough to force you to listen for the outcome."

American Record Guide, November/December 2000

RETURNINGS

"The two instruments muse in contented, yet guarded, communion. The music is like the rest of Alpher: melodic and determinedly tonal."

Music Web International, September 2010

"There was wit and charm to this music, but a jazzy bite as well, with simple ideas spun out in elaborations so energetic they sometimes threatened to send piano wire and harp strings flying. [Cynthia] Price-Glynn was spellbinding in the dreamy cadenza."

North Shore Magazine [Massachusetts], June 14, 1990

RITORNELLO
"The piece is well written for the flute and capitalizes on the instrument's expressive and mysterious qualities."

The Daily Gazette [Albany, N.Y.], May 27, 2005

SONG WITHOUT WORDS
"Elegiac, lyrical, and unapologetically tonal, the work was touching and effectively delivered by Ikarus with the composer at the keyboard."

The Boston Musical Intelligencer, June 11, 2011

SONGS OF TRANSCENDENCE
" The...song cycle is even more lyrical in its inspiration, the beautiful text setting soaring above the rich accompaniment."

Fanfare, July/August 1999

SONGS ON THE PASSAGE OF TIME
"... the highlight of the evening... beautifully paced, moving easily from simple contemplation to feisty philosophy."

Boston Herald, June 9, 2001

STRING QUARTET
" ... Alpher creates a rich chordal collection for his strings, one that is always listenable. Those who have heard Alpher's compositions at the [Rockport Chamber Music] Festival over the past couple of years have come to expect works that are both challenging and, at the same time, to paraphrase the computer world, 'listener friendly'."

Gloucester Daily Times [Massachusetts], June 30, 1987

THEME WITH VARIATIONS
"... a very seductive and most ably written score.."

Le Dauphiné, Grenoble, December 14, 1981

THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER
"Quartetto Sereno was thrilled to perform this piece ... overwhelming performance ... thundering applause ..."

Koelner Stadtanzeiger, May 24, 2000

"Of the three [Lewis]Carroll adaptations, Alpher's played the best ..."

The Daily Gazette [Schenectady, N.Y.], October 26, 1992

TRIBUTE TO KEROUAC (version for ensemble)

"... jazz-sleazy and hip-slack... uber-cool..."

Music Web International, September 2010

"... jazzy ... very effective . . ."

Fanfare, July/August 1999

ON THE COMPOSITIONS IN GENERAL
"David Alpher's music is all written within a tonal, essentially romantic idiom, and the composer possesses a strong melodic gift."

Fanfare, July/August 1999

" ... refreshingly direct and uncompromising ... a sensitive word-setter ... a gifted composer."

Gardner Read, composer

"Alpher's chamber music is unusual and provocative."

Boston Herald, June 9, 2001

OTHER COMMENTS
"[Best] New Jersey premieres [1990-91]: In addition to [Leonard Bernstein's] Arias and Barcarolles, [Michael] Redmond was impressed by David Alpher's Kerouac, played by the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, and by the orchestral version of Karel Husa's Music for Prague 1968."

The Sunday Star-Ledger [Newark, N.J.], July 28, 1991

"David Alpher has consistently used the Rockport Chamber Music Festival as a forum for exploring the relationship of music to other art forms, whether painting, poetry or prose."

North Shore Magazine [Massachusetts], June 28, 1990

DAVID ALPHER AS PIANIST
"... [Lila Deis] had the great good fortune to be supported by Mr. Alpher's sensitive pianism."

New York Times, September 22, 1983

"The composer is a fine pianist ..."

Fanfare, July/August 1999

"... Alpher ... performed brilliantly and idiomatically at the keyboard ..."

Newark Star-Ledger, January 21, 1991

"Alpher has always been an excellent pianist..."

Boston Herald, June 9, 2001

"Alpher ... throughout the recital proved a most sympathetic collaborator."

Boston Globe, May 2, 1995

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