BBCSO - Total Immersion

BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion: Missy Mazzoli receiving rave reviews, 4 out of 5 stars

“[Missy Mazzoli] proved an ideal choice [for BBC’s Total Immersion], with large and small works to her credit, and a recognisably individual voice…The contrasting Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) and These Worlds in Us packed in imaginative orchestral effects. The Violin Concerto, Procession, played by Elina Vähälä, has a solo part of real substance (unusual in a new concerto) and goes on a wide-ranging journey. The most recent, Orpheus Undone, derived from a ballet score, puts rhythm first and creates an intense, far sparer atmosphere. The single work in the main evening concert was Song from the Uproar, receiving its first UK performance…Mazzoli is really a composer who never does the same thing twice. 4/5 stars”

–Financial Times, Richard Fairman

The BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Total Immersion day was a chance to get to know a broad cross section of [Mazzoli’s] work, culminating in a staging of her first opera, Song from the Uproar: The Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt…music and text combined to create a poetically emotional brew…It’s a dazzlingly original score, written for just five instruments…but enhanced by electronics and bolstered by a substantial chorus, the excellent BBC Singers. Given the opera’s themes of bereavement and suicide, the music’s upbeat syncopations, with woodwind licks, pealing piano and grungy guitar came as a pleasant surprise. At times pre-recorded sound emerged from a haze of static, like voices out of the past. 4/5 stars”

–The Guardian, Clive Paget

“The music of Missy Mazzoli feels so full of potential, so fresh and elastic, that you’d be forgiven for thinking the American composer was just starting out. In reality, her star has been in the ascendant for some 20 years, taking a sharp upturn in 2016 with the premiere of her operatic adaptation of the film Breaking the Waves…Halfway through this all-orchestral programme, launching a day of “total immersion” in her music at the Barbican, we hear her (highly accomplished) final graduate piece, These Worlds in Us, which encapsulates her interest in things that whirl or wheeze…These instruments were…put to best effect in the programme’s first piece, Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres)…they magically extended the already colourful palette of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, here under the reliable baton of Dalia Stasevska, managing somehow to extract even more silver out of the strings…the sound world — dark yet bright — is compelling. “I feel, in my life, like I’m writing one big piece,” Mazzoli has said, and long may it continue.”

–The Times, Daniel Lewis

“At the heart of the classical music world, a revolution is quietly unfolding, led by the indomitable Missy Mazzoli…Missy Mazzoli’s recent Grammy nomination for ‘Dark with Excessive Bright’ underscores her versatility and the broad appeal of her music…Mazzoli’s work, characterized by its haunting beauty and complexity, challenges the listener to explore the depths of their emotions, making her one of the most exciting voices in contemporary classical music…As anticipation builds for the premiere of Mazzoli’s new opera at the ENO next year, the music world watches eagerly. This upcoming work is not just a testament to Mazzoli’s genius but also a beacon of progress for female composers everywhere. In a world often dominated by traditional narratives, Missy Mazzoli stands as a beacon of innovation and resilience.”

–BNN, Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed