Dark with Excessive Bright album cover

Critics celebrate new album “Dark with Excessive Bright”

Critics celebrate Missy Mazzoli’s new album Dark with Excessive Bright, released with Bis Records on March 3rd, 2023. Read reviewer quotes below:

“Ms. Mazzoli’s disinclination to embrace a specific school of thought about tonality or style, and her imaginative approach to orchestration, have allowed her to create idiosyncratic sound worlds. In “Dark With Excessive Bright”…the solo violin line moves between modal and chromatic passages, preening Romanticism and timbral effects, all shining through a dark, moody ensemble fabric.”          —Allan Kozinn, The Wall Street Journal, 3/13/2023

“Dark with Excessive Bright – beautiful sounds. The way the solo violin slides and slips into and between the percussive texture of the ensemble. The way the strings play memories of Baroque baselines welling up around the soloist – really entrancing.”        —Andrew McGregor, BBC Record Review, 3/4/2023

“Armed with an orchestra full of instruments, and a penchant for unusual harmonies, Mazzoli conjures peculiar sounds…[Dark with Excessive Bright] riffs on baroque formulas while recycling motifs in fresh disguises. Like a photographer, Mazzoli captures moments rich in texture and charged with expression…Mazzoli likes to think of herself as primarily an opera composer. But with instrumental music as expressive and rigorously built as this — not to mention the dynamic performances here by the Bergen and Arctic Philharmonic Orchestras — we kindly ask that she not forget the command she holds over a symphony orchestra.          —Tom Huizenga, NPR, 3/3/2023

“The ideas, images, and questions that are at the heart of Mazzoli’s works—the balancing acts between grief and joy, agony and release, sacred and profane, death and life, often layered in with their own literary references and intertextual frameworks—come into sharp focus. Also illuminated is how Mazzoli has refined those ideas over a period of 15 years, trimming fat in one area and adding depth to another….The familiar shimmers of Mazzoli’s geologically-layered orchestral textures are a fulcrum that swing the listener between polarities. Her music is at its best when it functions like an amusement park Viking ship, between bouts of tension and release, between darkness and light, one side of the balance always threatening to tip towards entropy.”          —Olivia Giovetti, Van Magazine, 3/16/2023