Blue & Green Music

Cassatt String Quartet, Michael Kelly (baritone), Bradley Moore (piano)

Catalog #: TROY1905
Release Date: October 1, 2022
Format: Digital

Composer and conductor Victoria Bond is a major force in 21st century music. Known for her melodic gift and dramatic flair, her works have been performed by all the major chamber ensembles, the New York City Opera, Dallas and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras and many noted performers. She is the artistic director of Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival and has been honored with the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Walter Hinrichsen Award. This recording, her fifth for Albany Records, includes two works for baritone and piano, bookended by two works for string quartet. The illustrious Cassatt String Quartet, Michael Kelly, baritone, and Bradley Moore, piano are the performers.


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Track Listing

Title Composer Performer
Blue and Green Music Victoria Bond Cassatt String Quartet
Art and Science Victoria Bond Michael Kelly (baritone); Bradley Moore (piano)
From an Antique Land Victoria Bond Michael Kelly (baritone); Bradley Moore (piano)
Dreams of Flying Victoria Bond Cassatt String Quartet


  • The conductor and composer Victoria Bond always impresses, and here along with the Cassatt String Quartet, Michael Kelly's baritone and Bradley Moore's piano, were treated to 70 minutes of textured, meticulous and dramatic musicianship. The title track starts the listen with stirring strings that make for an emotive and precise interaction that's haunting, playful and even glorious in its dynamic delivery, and "Art And Science"follows with jumpy keys and diverse singing in the highly intimate but also exciting album highlight. On the back "From An Antique Land"flows with the animated piano and very expressive singing bringing a poetic and articulate dimension to the listen, and the final piece, "Dreams Of Flying", is especially emotive, and blends the sublime strings with both moody moments as well as animated bursts of bowing and plucked prowess. The 4 compositions here are all Bond originals, and they illustrate her melodic and sometimes tense vision that's unpredictable, mesmerizing and timeless.

    – Take Effect

  • Victoria Bond's previous albums have met with consistently positive reception by me and others in this magazine, which, given her compositional gifts, is not surprising. The present disc zeroes in on her music for string quartet and voice and piano, with the arrangement of the genres presented in chiastic fashion. The opening work, Blue and Green Music, also supplies the title for the CD, each of its four short movements given over to colors with an emphasis on – well, do I really need to say? As previous reviewers have noted, Bond draws her inspiration from a number of sources. Here, it is provided by Georgia O'Keefe's eponymous painting, which the composer realized had a "lot of music in it,"and all she had to do was to "hear that music."What she heard (and wrote down) is indeed splendid, her music drawing upon colors as well as notes. The work was commissioned by the Cassatt String Quartet, the members of which play it most vividly and convincingly. The first of the two vocal works, Art and Science, pays tribute to Albert Einstein, even to the extent that its text is drawn from a 1927 letter to a German magazine written by the genius who transformed the way that we look at the Universe. When Bond came across this letter, she realized that it exemplified imagination preceding proof, a fact that served to convince her that she had to set it to music. The song begins in jocular and spiky fashion, almost as though its text were drawn from a comic-strip text instead of profundities inhabiting such concepts as relativity and warping of space-time. However, the tone soon changes dramatically to one of wonder and contemplation. Unfortunately, no texts are provided for this setting (they are included for the following cycle), and so Einstein's profundity (almost certainly beyond my pay grade) is lost to my attenuated hearing. At least Bond's sublime music is not The program concludes with Dreams of Flying, another quartet work, but this one commissioned by the Audubon String Quartet. I suppose I hardly need mention that the focus of this work is the subject of birds and their ability to fly. The four movements carry the evocative titles of "Resisting Gravity,""Floating,""The Caged Bird Dreams of the Jungle,"and "Flight."The two remaining movements continue the quasi-dissonant sonorities of the first two and add some clever chirping sounds, making this work a touchstone of Bond's ability to create new and distinctive sounds in the string quartet medium. The Cassatt String Quartet particularly shines in this stunning work. The CD is an all-around fine release, for which I am delighted to append a most hearty recommendation.

    – Fanfare

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