Boston Modern Orchestra Project / David Kravitz / Gil Rose

Andrew Vores: Goback Goback

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On this release by the energetic Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the song cycle Goback Goback by Welsh-American composer Andy Vores is framed by a pair of short instrumental works called Fabrications. The composition of these, the listener will be delighted to hear, "necessitated an array of colored charts and grids and diagrams just to keep the various moving parts in order." Don't forget to pick up some graph paper before you listen. Goback Goback, whose title, charmingly, refers to the song of the grouse, is set to poems by Scottish writer W.S. Graham, who combined basically Romantic introspective themes with a dense, concise language that always seems to be going off in unexpected directions, and Vores devises a language to match. Most of the songs are built on little scales or motives that run through the piece like individual lines or images in Graham's poems, and the songs proceed in little bursts of music that correspond to the staccato quality of the poetry. The lyricism that has been ascribed to Vores' music is hard to hear, but baritone David Kravitz both makes the lyrics intelligible and seems interested in them. The album as a whole is of most interest to those conversant with atonal academic musical languages.

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