from 21ST CENTURY MUSIC, January 2002 Volume 9, Number 1

by David Cleary
Prologue and Scherzo by David Amram is one of this eclectic composer’s best pieces. With a sound world rooted in jazzy figures, tonally oriented quartal constructs, and jagged, yet clearly perceivable rhythms, one sometimes picks up the influence of composers like Bernstein and Copland here. But the work’s subtle, yet effective formal sense and imaginative clouding of its Americana-derived harmonic idiom impart both grounded depth to the listening experience and personal fingerprints. And whether delineating plaintive or forceful moods, Amram’s manner of speech compels.

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