Reviews: Solo

Aura:

“Just as every verbal utterance has its own tone of voice, its affective extension, so does every sound. It is this ineffable extra that “Aura” celebrates.” – All Music Guide, Full Article


 

Chai Variations on Eliahu HaNavi:

“…Judith Shatin’s music has been well received in the pages of this magazine, including by myself. I have commented on her strong ability to create a narrative pulse in her work, calling her a natural story teller. That quality is much in evidence in this large and compelling composition. Chai Variations takes its main theme from Jewish liturgical music (and its name from the Hebrew word for life). The brooding theme is followed by 18 variations, with such titles as “Yearning” and “Pensive,” reflecting differing aspects of the human condition, before settling back to the original theme.” – Fanfare

Read More

“…The most substantial work featured on the disc is Chai Variations, a 20-movement, 21-minute tour de force for solo piano by Judith Shatin that was inspired by the Jewish folksong “Eliahu HaNavi.” Chai, the 18th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, is often used to represent the number 18 as well as life, hence Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians and this set of 18 brief variations with a theme at the beginning and a recapitulation of the theme at the very end. Ernst shows a particular affinity for this music, having previously recorded a whole disc of Shatin’s music with violinist Hasse Borup which included the formidable solo piano piece Widdershins….” –  New Music Box

“….a shapely, convincing set.” – CD Reviews

“…Pieces by Brooklyn native Jennifer Higdon, flutist Katherine Hoover, and China’s Jing Jing Luo serve as appetizers to the disc’s centerpiece — University of Virginia professor Judith Shatin’s 20-movement tour-de-force Chai Variations….” – The Palm Beach Post

“…incredibly imaginative creations….” – Terapija (terapija.net) (translated from the Croatian)

“From Fanny Mendelssohn to Judith Shatin (b. 1949) was a chronological leap forward although her Chai Variations on “Eliahu Ha Navi” or 18 variations on the folk song with reference to Elijah alludes directly in the past to the Sabbath. In the program notes Shatin refers to the 18 variations being set in random order by the performer with the proviso that the “Eliahu” folk melody opens and closes the work. Despite its “jagged” modernism, the work oddly enough seemed as much an homage to Beethoven’s 33 Diabelli Variations where rapid intensity and slow self-contemplation interplay to awesome effect. López gave a fine interpretation using the simple and traditional melody as bookends while respecting the interplay of quirky rhythms and sudden lifts, fortissimo chords, double trills (lovely bell-like resonance), adept pedaling, and crescendo phrase endings.” – Coral Gables Gazette

Hide


Coursing Through The Still Green:

Coursing Through the Still Green,” continued the mood set forth in Hoover’s work. Once again playing unaccompanied, Maurer captured the seamless lyricism of Shatin’s piece with unerring perceptiveness and clarity.” – Deseret News


 

Gabriel’s Wing:

Gabriel’s Wing,” for flute and piano, was written by Judith Shatin. Jensen and Maurer gave a stunning performance of this virtuosic piece that captured the richness of the music with its imaginative use of overtones. . . .” – Deseret News

“…Judith Shatin’s Gabriel’s Wing, for flute and piano (1989), likewise conveys in its nine minutes a well-crafted sense of ecstatic climax. Fasting Heart, for solo flute (1987), its title taken from a Taoist discipline, follows a similarly programmatic path in attempting to express “listen[ing] with the breath.” And meditatively this charmer does play, embellished along the way by simultaneous vocalizing.” – Pan (The Journal of the British Flute Society)

“[Gabriel’s Wing] is an intense, dramatic piece primarily for solo flute” – American Record Guide,  Full Article


L’etude du Coeur:

“Two works by Judith Shatin, her LíÈtude du Coeur for Solo Viola (1984) and her Doxa for Viola and Piano (a world premiere; both are dedicated to Glyde) proved musically riveting and brilliantly devised for the instrument.” – The Strad


Fasting Heart:

“Fasting Heart (1987) for solo flute. This piece begins with a haunting use of singing into the flute reminiscent of Crumb’s Voice of the Whale. The contemplative music which follows is interrupted by much more active, even violent, music. Shatin sees a connection between these in creating music. ‘A process in which there is a linking of inward journey and outward manifestation.” – Pan (The Journal of the British Flute Society)


Fantasy on St. Cecilia:

“…Shatin’s ideas are far from time-worn, and she presents them in a unique and riveting manner…” – The Washington Post


To Keep The Dark Away:

“…it is the intricately beautiful new music of Judith Shatin and Gayle Martin’s playing of it that which makes this album so very special” – Rafael Music Notes, Full Article

“One is struck by the intensely personal writing of solace and reflection that can be heard in the opening title movement and more intensely in the central “An Actual Suffering Strengthens.”  Cinemusical, Full Article

“The slowly oscillating, hypnotic left-hand of the first of Shatin’s To Keep the Dark Away (2011) against a highly disjunct right-hand melody could hardly be more contrastive. The five movements, all inspired by Emily Dickinson, are like different elements of a multifaceted jewel.”  Colin Clarke, Full Article

“There is a refreshing trend in new music to create work that is theatrical, even visceral, without resorting to clichés or purely programmatic devices. American composer Judith Shatin falls into this category for me” – Fanfare, Full Article

“A wide-ranging composer,she’s ready to dip into Appalachian or traditional Jewish musical practices (or even Johann Strauss), ready to work with electronics as well as acoustic instruments. And even within these two pieces, her style ranges widely.”  Peter  Rabinowitz, Full Article