Möbius Loop

“From the perspective of sheer sonic imagination, Mathew Rosenblum’s “Möbius Loop” made the strongest impression as it packed the octave not with 12 tones but with 21, creating an ear-buzzing flood of sound, rich in unusual overtones. It was easiest to appreciate Rosenblum’s inventive style in the sections where the orchestra thinned out and the four soloists (here, the persuasive Raschèr Saxophone Quartet) came to the fore. In slower moments, the sound drifted from the stage like a force-field.”

“Validating its place at the top of its musical niche, the Rascher Saxophone Quartet performed works by Glass, Penderecki and Moe with remarkable precision. But the highlight of the evening came with the premiere of Mathew Rosenblum’s work for saxophone quartet and chamber orchestra,”Mobius Loop.” With richly layered themes and an intelligent use of color, it shimmered with vibrancy. Though conductor Roger Zahab masterfully meshed the disparate forces together, the musicians clearly felt a preternatural kinship with the work — of the sort that comes from only well-constructed and deeply felt music. Given it remains so difficult to find good new music, this was a special evening.”

“Twisted like a Mobius strip, “Mobius Loop” is a fascinating work for saxophone quartet and small orchestra. It’s a rich, layered work that would overwhelm one with its multi cyclic complexity were it not for the adept use of pedal points, rhythms and harmony. Rosenblum scored it so well that it filled the hall with vibrant strains, pulling the ear forward with every measure. All the potentially disparate voices fit snugly together, and his use of the Rascher quartet supported the texture, rather than pushing it aside for spotlighted solos. Halfway through, there’s a major outburst of imitative music, an almost satirical layering of minimalism, Spanish rhapsody and jazz.”

Complete review

“(Rosenblum’s Möbius Loop) is not a composition that makes the hearer furrow his brow – it immediately gets into your bones. A bit of free jazz, a bit borrowing from folk music from Persia, Japan, and Cuba, all poured into an attractive three-part concerto form. And nobody was surprised that the “Well-Tempered Clavier” on occasion collided with Rosenblum’s own 21-tone scale system. One could see that the musicians had fun playing this fresh composition, and that was a pleasure.”

“Mathew Rosenblum’s “Mobius Loop” provided a triumphant conclusion to the concert. The title is a reference to a visual illusion, but the notion of a loop is part of contemporary composition, referring to a passage that is repeated. Loops grew out of minimalism, but Rosenblum’s piece shows they can be used to create tremendous variety of texture by using loops of different lengths.”Mobius Loop” is a vibrant and powerful piece, with precise and imaginative orchestration.”