Music by Mark Zuckerman

Reviews

02/01/16

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The Outlaw and the King

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Lushly tonal, by appropriate turns lyric and dramatic. (Jacqueline Shuchat-Marx, The Jewish State)

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A work of great beauty. (Alan Mallach, Roosevelt Borough Bulletin)

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In Search of Yiddishkeit

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All in all, I came away from the evening with Mark Zuckerman with three things... First, the pleasure of hearing beautiful music beautifully performed... Second, learning about Mark’s journey, and the role that not just Judaism, but specifically Yiddishkeit, that amalgam of religion, language and culture that formed the matrix of the Eastern European Jewish world for centuries, played in his personal and musical development. And third, the opportunity to meditate a bit on the meaning of that matrix of culture and language ... and the fact that more than sixty years after its homeland was obliterated, it still survives, and brings forth fresh shoots. (Alan Mallach, Roosevelt Borough Bulletin)

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The music and text are already in existence, but Zuckerman uses these tools as a key to a wider audience by encouraging connection through music and arrangements rather than just through the text. (Jacqueline Shuchat-Marx, The Jewish State)

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CDs

Because

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I'll bet you can't listen to it just once. (Daily Blague)

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Choral settings which are often beautiful in their fusion of traditional Jewish idioms and a distinctively modern compositional sophistication ... Intriguing music of deceptive simplicity ... Subtle, persuasive and quite simply beautiful ... This is a striking collection of choral miniatures. (Glyn Pursglove, MusicWeb)

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Serious, well-made pieces. (Alan Swanson, Fanfare)

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Jazzy shimmering ... used ... eloquently. (Allan Kozinn, New York Times, on the performance of Two Browning Settings by Harold Rosenbaum at the 2008 ACA Festival, NYC)

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Proverbs for Four at Fifty, settings of brief Hebrew biblical texts by Mark Zuckerman, was the most unified in sound of all the offerings: firm and hearty, alternating broad rich harmonies with canonical entrances and stark monophony. (David Bratman, San Francisco Classical Voice, on the 11/15/09 performance by Volti San Francisco in Palo Alto, CA)

The Year in Yiddish Song

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Chanukah comes early this year for choral Yiddish music lovers. Thank Mark Zuckerman and the Goldene Keyt Singers for this miracle. The CD is titled “The Year in Yiddish Song.” (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles)

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Zuckerman’s arrangements are so good, they almost sing themselves. The vocal lines are lyrical, the texture varied, and few are more effective word-painters than Zuckerman. (Transcontinental Music)

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The program here is wonderful stuff, all Zuckerman arrangements or even originals ... Zuckerman plays with the tune, and brilliantly. In addition to the pure melody and lyric, there's always something musically interesting going on to hook you. (Steve Schwartz, ClassicalNet CD Review)

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His vocal writing more than justifies the critics' praise of his "lyrical" style and skillful word-painting. (Steven Young, ACDA Choral Journal)

New Music for Strings

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Zuckerman's works are ... highly accessible; coupled with the detailed program notes, listeners are carefully guided through some very enjoyable musical metaphors. The Elegy for Victims of Terrorism, heard on this CD in both its string quartet and string orchestra version, is quite moving and makes the album worthwhile on its own. (Mike D. Brownell, allmusic)

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Zuckerman's outstanding talent, apart from his craft, is his original and incisive sense of melody. He comes up time and time again with memorable gestures and ideas which can carry a listener through a long, complex piece. (Steve Schwartz, ClassicalNet CD Review)

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Pieces

On the Edges

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A vehement and indeed edgy toccata expanded by extensive cadenza-like improvisations and fugal interludes… A recalcitrant unity is stretched but never broken, and Zuckerman’s jouncy main idea is so insistent that all through its clever transformations it somehow remains faintly on the edge of recognition—a notion that both Copland and Creston would surely have approved of. (Mark Lehman, American Record Guide)

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On the Edges ... applie[s] an almost ragtime sensibility to Bachian themes and suggest[s] an other-worldly common ground between those distant influences. (Allan Kozinn, New York Times, on Peter Vinograde's performance at the 2010 ACA Summer Music Festival, NYC)

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A brilliant filtering of … traditional themes and motifs through modernist devices ... Want List material. (Peter J. Rabinowitz, Fanfare)

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On the Edges has ... stony clarity ... crossed with some Nancarrow-like motoric character. Bachian dignity sparks dancing swords with serialism ... demands attention. (Rob Barnett, MusicWeb)

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On the Edges…[has] strong, exciting rhythm ... Most of all, it impresses as a whole. (Steve Schwartz, ClassicalNet)

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An attractive work that explores a variety of moods; it deserves success. (John France, MusicWeb)

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Zuckerman has come up with a fresh approach to neo-Classicism that resembles no other music I know. (Walter Simmons, Fanfare)

Shpatsír

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Interesting, challenging passages for all sections of the orchestra. This is good program material. (The Instrumentalist)

Shir Kinah/String Quartet 2nd Movement

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Une élégie bouleversante ... avec une rare intensité. (Damien Deshayes, ResMusica.com)

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A touching elegy. (Derek Warby, MusicWeb)

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The piece has humility and humanity both, a genuine empathy for lives lost. I find it beautiful. (Steve Schwartz, ClassicalNet CD Review)

Recollections

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The haunting Recollections by Mark Zuckerman ... uses limited material to maximum effect. (Colin Clarke, Fanfare)

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[In] Zuckerman’s haunting Recollections ... layered, muted canonical entrances give the feeling of persistent memories. (Patrick Valentino, Classical Voice of New England)

 

Raritonality

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[An] engaging salute to Rutgers University ... superb recording. (Ira Novoselsky, Band World)

Saxophone Music

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Stunningly beautiful. (Brad Garton, Roosevelt Borough Bulletin)

 

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This site was last updated 02/01/16