While music—especially music without words—speaks an essentially abstract, nonrepresentational language, my own music often seems to involve some physical, tangible catalyst. Three of the four compositions on this album were directly inspired by a personal experience at some particular place: New Hampshire (Northern Lights Electric), Venice (Sempre Diritto!), and Catalonia (Montserrat). In a way, the fourth work, Clarinet Concerto, also owes something to “a sense of place,” as I composed it during my recent artist residency at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, one of my childhood hometowns, full of happy memories and current associations.
1) Northern Lights Electric
2) I. Lively
3) II. Expressive, melancholice
4) III. Slow; Quick
5) Sempre Diritto!
6) Montserrat: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra
“Northern Lights Electric, the title track on the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s 24th(!) self-released recording in five years, demonstrates just how finely matched the Project is to the album’s star composer, Paul Moravec. The polished sort of pleaser that could effortlessly raise the curtain on a subscription concert, this is a symphonic poem for people who love symphonic poems."
"Two more-commonly heard quartets, by Leos Janacek and Antonin Dvorak, received professional but unremarkable renditions, while a relatively new work by American composer Paul Moravec stood out."
“The effect of this music is that rare thing in this day: music that is deeply engaged with the tradition, mining familiar forms and gestures, and yet somehow giving them integrity, authenticity, and personality. I never feel this is a rehash. Moravec strikes me as one who has found a way to look into the resources of the past without becoming reactionary. I continue to eagerly anticipate his future discoveries.”
"On Northern Lights Electric, Mr. Moravec gets a strong showing with two major pieces for orchestra (the eponymous work and “Sempre diritto!“) and two concerti, one for clarinet (masterfully performed by David Krakauer) and the other for cello (sensitively realized by Matt Haimovitz)."
“Northern Lights Electric is another terrific album from BMOP Sound, the five-year-old indie record label of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and its conductor Gil Rose. Together they make a strong case for Moravec’s ability to represent a broad range of musical real estate.”