Nü kuan tzu

“The best new piece of the evening was by composer Mathew Rosenblum. The writing is expressive, with wonderful effects achieved by means of the juxtaposition of both singing and speaking over the playing of the instruments…radically different languages made contributions to the music itself and expanded its expressive range.”

“The piece “Nü Kuan Tzu” (22 minutes) is one iota shy of being a masterpiece. It combines ancient chinese poems and poems by French writers Arthur Rimbaud nd Guillaume Apollinaire in nine movements of changing musical styles. A stunning cultural shock that could have been almost indecent in contrasts, but on the contrary it conveys the beauty of the texts and of the music. A revelation. Very strongly recommended.”

“Like Harry Partch with a funky, oriental edge. Like birds gone to heaven. Like small spaceships in the cranium. Like a drunken Terry Riley. Electronic Respighi. A demented Chinese voice and instrument lesson. An alternative universe Arab band. A secular ritual third-stream blues Messiaen. A spastic rock party. Sassy text-sound diatribes. With even a little straight-ahead ‘new-music ensemble’ thrown in…”

“Nü kuan tzu (1996) by Mathew Rosenblum…giddily fuses equal-temperament and microtonal tunings, evocations of pop and French Impressionism, and texts ranging from ancient Chinese potry to Rimbaud. Mr. Rosenblum has technique and a vivid imagination.”