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by Daniel Hautzinger

Visconti-Lonesome-Roads-CDDan Visconti has a knack for titles. The young composer, who studied with Margaret Brouwer at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Aaron Jay Kernis at Yale, is so adept at naming his pieces that it’s nearly impossible to listen to his music without the title’s image blossoming in the brain. Take for instance the small ensemble piece, Drift of Rainbows (2009), included on Lonesome Roads, a 2012 Bridge Records release by the Scharoun Ensemble Berlin and the Horszowski Trio of some of Visconti’s chamber music. Ecstatic strings surge and arc over majestic chords like, well, rainbows drifting through the air.

One reason Visconti’s titles are so successful is the pictorial quality of his work. He creates vivid paintings in sound, depicting the vast fields of America and the people that populate them by incorporating vernacular music. Black Bend (2003), for string quartet and bass, is an inventive romp through the blues, with strings wailing in imitation of a soulful singer. The violin and harp piece, Lawless Airs (2008), takes cowboy songs as its starting point. Read the rest of this entry »

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