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"Sometimes, the way he plays with the sound of a single note has enough emotional sustenance in it to launch a half-dozen distinct feelings in quick succession." --The Philadelphia Inquirer

"The cellist’s variable tone ... sometimes seems almost vocal in its ability to morph into different timbres."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"transcendentally gorgeous"
--Manhattan User's Guide

"Grabois' tone is rich, then pungent and penetrating." --Audiophilia

"Their lines are as transparent as glass, yet are fused with a tender warmth."
--The Glens Falls Post-Star

"...utterly pellucid, and unerringly shaped."
--Bay Area Reporter

     
   

Reviews

Reviews > The Philadelphia Inquirer

 

March 30, 2003

More musicians than ever are doing it for themselves. Rather than waiting for some big label (or even a small one) to record him, New York cellist Adam Grabois is producing on his own.

“This level of artistic responsibility is unusual in the production of recorded music; musicians normally relinquish their control once they leave the recording studio,” annotator T. Kaori Kitao writes in a program note. “Instead … Grabois [has] as nearly complete control as possible of the music he brings to the listeners.”

In this first release, in which Grabois performs on his 1998 Brooklyn-made instrument, the explosive Rachmaninoff Sonata is a striking vehicle for the cellist’s variable tone. It sometimes seems almost vocal in its ability to morph into different timbres. Grabois hushes his sound at the end of the third movement just to the point of decay, and expands it to a triumphant cheer in the last movement. Sometimes, the way he plays with the sound of a single note has enough emotional sustenance in it to launch a half-dozen distinct feelings in quick succession.

Grabois, a 1984 Swarthmore College graduate, does similarly vocal things with Beethoven’s variations on a theme from The Magic Flute. Nauman is a partner of equals.

Along with the other works, the gauzy Debussy reminds us, once again, that big-label devotees aren’t experiencing every artist who deserves to be heard.

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