Used Bin Troll Tweets OO (Awards Edition)

Ethelbert Nevin

[February 2020.]

James ROMIG: Still (2016). Ashlee Mack (pno). New World Records 80802 (1 CD) (

A 54-minute process piece inspired by Clifford Still’s canvasses. A probable culmination of techniques and genres, but musically tedious. NO.

2019 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Music.

Ellen REID: p r i s m (2018). Cast includes: Anna Schubert, Rebecca Jo Loeb (sop), Choir of Trinity Wall Street, NOVUS NY, Julian Wachner (cond.). Decca 4818661 (download) (

Historically, operas have sidelined women who are hurt or raped. This opera examines sexual abuse. Unfortunately, the music is leaden. MAYBE.

2019 Pulitzer Prize Winner in Music.

Andrew NORMAN: Sustain (2018). Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel (cond.). DG 0289 483 7608 7 (download) (

Something like a majestic whirling windmill, modernized Sibelius, or a complex series of equations slowly unfolding. Sounds swell. SURE, YES.

2019 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Music.
2020 GRAMMY AWARD for Best Orchestral Performance.

Orange.” Caroline SHAW: Entr’acte (2011); Valencia (2012); Plan & Elevation (2015); Punctum (2009; rev. 2013); Ritornello 2.sq.2.j.a (2012); Limestone & Felt (2012). Attacca Quartet: Amy Schroeder, Keiko Tokunaga (vln), Nathan Schram (vla), Andrew Yee (vlc). New Amsterdam / Nonesuch Records 7559-79260-9 (1 CD) (,

Post-modernism doesn’t do cute. Are these incomplete sketches? It’s hard to distinguish one quartet from another. Nicely played, but why? NO.

2020 GRAMMY AWARD for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance.

American Rapture.” Jennifer HIGDON: Harp Concerto (2018). Samuel BARBER: Symphony No. 1, Op. 9 (1936). Patrick HARLIN: Rapture (2011). Yolanda Kondonassis (hrp), Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Ward Stare (cond.). Azica Records AXA-71327 (1 CD) (

Three outdated illiterate embarrassments: A bland and unremarkable harp concerto, a tedious symphony, and stale post-minimalist chatter. NO.

2020 GRAMMY AWARD for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

Wynton MARSALIS: Violin Concerto in D (2015); Fiddle Dance Suite for Solo Violin (2018). Nicola Benedetti (vln), The Philadelphia Orchestra, Christian Măcelaru (cond.). Decca B0030521-02 (1 CD) (

An engaging, animated four-movement concerto. Yes, it has jazz and blues aspects, but also Scottish touches. Likely to become a classic. YES.

2020 GRAMMY AWARD for Best Classical Instrumental Solo.

The Poetry of Places.” Andrew NORMAN: Frank’s House (2015)1. Harold MELTZER: In Full Sail (2016)2. Jack VAN ZANDT: Sí an Bhrú (2016)3. Hannah LASH: Give Me Your Songs (2016)4. Amy Beth KIRSTEN: h.o.p.e. (2016)5. James MATHESON: Alone, in waters shimmering and dark (2016)6. Lewis SPRATLAN: Bangladesh (2015)7. Nina C. YOUNG: Kolokol (2010)8. Nadia Shpachenko1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 (pno, toy piano, voice), Joanne Pearce Martin1,8 (pno), Nick Terry1, Cory Hills1 (perc). Reference Recordings FR-730 (1 CD) (

A mixed-use neighborhood, with occasional electronics, second piano or percussion. Strong effort, however, hard to imagine moving in. MAYBE.

2020 GRAMMY AWARD for Best Classical Compendium.


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