Richard Festinger - Chamber Works
Richard Festinger studied composition at the University of California in Berkeley with Andrew Imbrie. Before turning to composing, he led his own groups as a jazz performer. Festinger has received international attention and acclaim for the elegance and expressive power of his many compositions. The music that appears on this disc was composed over a span of more than two decades, from the solo flute piece Triptych, written in 1979 to the 2001 piano-percussion duo Construction en metal et bois. The virtuosi of New Millennium have performed many of Festinger's works, including the three ensemble pieces recorded here. Their committed and passionately virtuosic performances make a great impact on this, the first complete recording devoted to Festinger's music.
Journal of the Society for American Music Bridge CD
"The result is magical, one of those special moments in contemporary composition where the sound itself supersedes syntax and the music transcends any semantic aspirations we may have for it. In sum, this CD presents an enjoyable program of intellectually and viscerally compelling music that spans much of the career of a living American composer who deserves to be better known."– Josh Levine
Karen Moorman, Classical Voice of North Carolina, 6/11/08
“Move over Haydn! Richard Festinger, composer and distinguished Professor of Music Composition at San Francisco State University, presents a recording of five chamber works… featuring the Naumburg award-winning New Millennium Ensemble … [Festinger] approaches composition with the intellectual curiosity of an academic, the heart of a romantic, and the depth of one totally immersed in the art… is neatly structured and rich in counterpoint and rhythmic intricacy… [Variations for Piano] culls the intricacy of Liszt's Les Préludes and the spaciousness of Webern's piano works… perfectly executed, well-crafted music…. Construction en metal et bois for piano and percussion pushes the boundaries of chamber music… Here Festinger gives us his best and the demanding challenges are met with equal passion. Margaret Kampmeier and John Ferrari, like two fighter pilots, perform at lightning speed and with the intensity of a tarantella…. Festinger's music, like a Mark Rothko painting, is beautiful, even on the surface. And discovering what's beneath makes it rewarding.”– Karen Moorman