Anthony Iannaccone

anthony iannaccone

Reviews

"His craft reaches its zenith in...the Two-Piano Inventions, which won the SAI/C.F. Peters competition in 1990, and the Third Symphony; in both these works, organic growth inspires music of great strength and formal clarity, as opening bars generate the textural and thematic contours that forge contrasting sections of reflection and cross-rhythmic dynamism."

-The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians

"[Iannaccone's music] was the most successful...verdant, light-footed, and always beautifully orchestrated [with] an engaging deftness...[his sense of form] is concise and clear."

-New York Times

"I can't be more direct: Night Rivers (1990-92), the Third Symphony of Anthony Iannaccone is stunning-a rare work that achieves a dramatic balance of the cerebral and visceral. To my mind, it is one of the supreme American symphonies. ...After listening to Night Rivers frequently over the past four years and never failing to be enthralled by the insights of its argument and development, I have been moved to submit a "Hall of Fame" review for only the second time. ...Somehow, even in its fortissimo parts, the Symphony retains an aura of misterioso. The music's sonic diversity and ensembling of colors are masterful, and its progression toward a conclusion, even in its more-or-less static passages, keeps the listener enthralled hearing after hearing. And not since George Rochberg's quite different Symphony No. 2-a neglected masterpiece... do I remember being so convinced by a symphony's quiet ending as I am by that of Night Rivers. A further sample of Iannaccone's compositional gift can be heard in his Two-Piano Inventions on an even-more-difficult-to-find Redwood CD."

-Fanfare

"Michigan composer Anthony Iannaccone was set to conduct his new symphony Night Rivers for the first time, before a sizable audience. ...Inspired in part by Walt Whitman's metaphorical use of the word "river" and "night," [Night Rivers] explores the spiritual qualities of motion as a journey through the tumult of life onto death and then rebirth. The piece is breathtaking...Although Night Rivers does not engage straightforward melodies, its chilling, swirling theme is unforgettable and deeply touching."

-The [Plymouth] Observer

"The music on this release, given its stylistic diversity and technical demands, could be a clarinetist's worst nightmare. To Richard Stoltzman, it's all a walk in the park... Concertante for Clarinet and Orchestra by Iannaccone has a distinctive and memorable voice... Anthony Iannaccone was born in 1943. He is the only composer on this offering previously known to me. He studied with Giannini, Copland, and Diamond, and those influences can be found in his piece. It is the most complex and beautifully finished work on this release. Iannaccone is a consummate master of harmony and counterpoint. His Concertante moves on multiple levels, employing the most deft exploitation of counterpoint. At no time is the casual listener aware that he or she is listening to manipulations of the same thematic kernel. Like Brahms, Iannaccone can be totally intellectual - a purveyor of mind games, yet mind games that lead to a very emotionally satisfying listening experience."

-Fanfare

"Anthony Iannaccone's Night Rivers, Symphony No. 3, on the same CD, contains a shimmering work which brings influences of his teachers Copland and Diamond into his own personal synthesis."

-Wiener Zeitung

"The Whitman renaissance in American music surges on. Beginning in Whitman's lifetime, Europeans launched major Whitman settings....[The repertoire is] now being enriched by American settings by Rorem, Adams, Tilson Thomas, and, as this important CD attests, Anthony Iannaccone. ...In both works [Sea Drift and Apparitions], tiny cells of color and melody, beautifully scored for winds, gradually coalesce into poetic paragraphs. The music is delicate and sensuous without ever becoming sentimental, much like Whitman's verse. ...I find this music full of character... It certainly has a compelling sound and atmosphere."

-American Record Guide

"Anthony Iannaccone is an important American composer whose expressive manner has moved from the 12-tone style of his early music to the more accessible character of most of his works after 1975. His music, always structurally sound, can often be intense or mysterious or exude both qualities, and though it can divulge diverse influences - Stravinsky, Copland, and Diamond for example - it is quite individual, yielding both intellect and passion.... Iannaccone's earliest works date to the late '50s and include his Parodies for Woodwind Quintet (1958) and Piano Trio (1959). His first two symphonies came in 1965 and 1966, respectively, and other large works soon followed, mostly, however, in his less popular serial style.... By the early '80s, Iannaccone was producing some of his finest and most acclaimed compositions. His Divertimento for Orchestra (1983) has been hailed for its melodic freshness and structural brilliance, while the Walt Whitman-inspired works - Walt Whitman Song (1980) and a A Whitman Madrigal (1984) - divulge his deft hand in the vocal/choral genre.... Among his more important works from the 1990s are the highly and justly praised Night Rivers, Symphony No. 3 and Waiting for Sunrise on the Sound for orchestra.... Iannaccone has remained active in the new century as a conductor..."

-All Media Guide

"Quartet No. 3 (1999) is an impressive three-movement work in a style blending modern and romantic sounds in a large canvas lasting 32 minutes. ...[The other] works [Rituals, Aria Concertante] are a bit more acerbic in tone than the quartet, yet their breadth of expression and virtuoso writing are impressive."

-Fanfare

"The 35-minute Clarinet Quintet was composed for clarinet superstar, Richard Stoltzman, and premiered by him and the Arianna String Quartet in 2002. In three movements, the two outer energetic movements bracket a moving 15-minute Adagio that abounds in long-limbed melody with an elegiac tone. It was only after I had heard the piece twice, increasingly impressed, that I read that it was composed in the period just after the death of the composer's mother as well as the horror of 9/11.... but perhaps as important is the optimism and vivacity of the outer movements. In any case, this is a major work that, in a just world, would become part of the repertoire for clarinet and string quartet... Two-Piano Inventions has two movements... The first is an atmospheric night piece, the second is nearly a moto-perpetuo. Both abound in complex polytonal polyphony and ostinati, handled with aplomb by the pianists. It is very effective.... Partita consists of a Prelude, Sarabande, Burlesca, and Gigue.... Clever and effective... particularly so is the Burlesca which rings changes on a glittery theme in less than two minutes. The animated Gigue fulgurates icy fire.... Keyboard Essays [consists of] Song without Words, an atonal song decorated with treble filigree; the rapidly tossed-off Triviana, densely serial and impish; Spiral and Circle, which 'gyres and gimbles woozily' [through many tonalities] coming full circle to rest on its initial pitch center; and Contralumina, depicting random flickerings of light competing with each other against a dark background. Terrific playing!... I am a pianist and have a disproportionate fondness for piano music, but the star here is the wondrous Clarinet Quintet. Yowza!"

-Scott Morrison Reviews

"String Quartet No.3, Aria Concertante for Cello and Piano, Rituals for Violin and Piano... Iannaccone's chamber music has an intimate, highly personal quality. The most recent work here, the third quartet, although not programmatic, seems to resonate with memories and reflections from a rich and varied life which has not been without profound sorrow. In all the works here, there is an [underlying] feeling of tonality, though sometimes the music is expressly atonal, as in the cello and piano works, though always disguised in the harmonically rich and idiomatic writing for the most expressive registers of the stringed instruments. However else the music may be classified, it is full of deep-seated though unsentimental emotion throughout."

-Recordings International

"Symphony suceeds with new piece, classics...
On Saturday evening music director JoAnn Falletta led the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in a program that balanced the new with the familiar. The large audience was pleased by everything, even the modern sound of the piece receiving its local premiere. Anthony Iannaccone's Waiting for Sunrise on the Sound [evoked] a dream-like recollection of a terrifying boating experience the composer had as a young boy.... alternating soothing string harmonies with sharp-edged wind dissonance was an effective way to experience the composer's traumatic memories. With the musical challenges under control, the orchestra was able to explore the piece's emotional range with powerful drama."

-The Virginian-Pilot

"Saturday's Plymouth Symphony program features Escape [for Orchestra] by Anthony Iannaccone a composer with a gift for dynamic music girded by fresh colors, lively ideas and a compelling blend of head and heart."

-Detroit Free Press

"There were two opportunities yesterday for the public to hear the results of the Lancaster Festival's first national competition for new orchestral music by American composers... Thirty compositions were submitted from 17 states.... Iannaccone's From Time to Time was the winner and will open the festival orchestra concert on Thursday... [his] work was the most skillful in form and development and in the use of the orchestra... an impressive, exciting piece.... A striking feature of the four finalists' pieces was that none observed the shibboleths of serialism or minimalism."

-The Columbus Dispatch

Anthony Iannaccone..."who has a way with serialism and aleatorality that leads to an effective synthesis of the traditional and the new."

-Fanfare

"[After a Gentle Rain] contains some of the most genuinely beautiful moments of wind ensemble scoring in the entire repertoire..."

-American Record Guide

"[Antiphonies] reveals a superb craftsmanship...in extraordinarily skillful writing..."

-American Record Guide

"The real revelations on this disc are the works by Anthony Iannaccone. I was especially taken with A Whitman Madrigal , which was written in 1984. This is very beautiful writing...that admirably catches the scope of the gorgeous poetry. Moreover, Iannaccone has the necessary formal sense to hold together a work that lasts over eleven minutes. The rhapsodic piano episodes are particularly effective in conjunction with the richness of the homophonic choral textures. The same composer's Chautauqua Psalms with biblical texts are also extremely effective ...both dreamy and compelling, a fitting successor, not dissimilar in mood, to Ive's remarkable setting of the same text. Examples of contemporary choral music that have real depth and are romantic without being simplistic are rare. These pieces are a real find."

-American Music

"These chamber compositions of Anthony Iannaccone (born 1943) are refined, musicianly, and intellectually honest. Rituals, for violin and piano, is an extended composition skillfully fashioned and adroit in its adaptation of characteristic "gestures" of the virtuoso recital piece. In Iannaccone's hands these "gestures" are transmuted into something personal, while retaining, for the listeners' sake, the general shape of familiar territory. The blend of old and new, alternating between broadly lyrical and dramatic, adds up to a satisfying musical experience." [Pignotti and Mehta] play it with especially scrupulous attention to its architectural requirements and its carefully calculated coloristic effects. ...Partita for Piano is an accomplished essay in the neobaroque. Its rhythms are supple, its keyboard writing clean. Its harmonies are piquant-frequently familiar enough, in all truth, but ever escaping the cliche, and often surprising in its ingenious avoidance of the obvious. The second movement, Sarabande, a delicate combination of luminous grace and tremulous sensibility, is a good example of this, and of the Partita at its best. Joseph Gurt's performance is first-class."

-American Record Guide

"Iannaccone's music has all the marks of a knowledgeable composer. The orchestration is imaginative and colorful. Here is obviously a workman well-schooled in his craft."

-Detroit Free Press

"Though it is contemporary, Divertimento is far from being atonal. ...I found it to be delightfully light and lyrical."

-Kalamazoo Gazette

"the [Kalamazoo Symphony] orchestra premiered Anthony Iannaccone's orchestral tone poem, West End Express, commissioned by and for the KSO. To capture in musical language the sense of traveling the New York subway route during his growing up, the composer made marvelous use of scoring that replicated the driving energy of the mechanical behemoth. Wheels clicking the rails juxtaposed with panoramic visual allusions of open spaces as well as dark, smothering tunnels. A sense of zipping along prevailed in Iannaccone's effective instrumental colorings. ...virile, hypnotic syncopation fused with brilliant brass."

-Kalamazoo Gazette

"I feel that Anthony Iannaccone's Chautauqua Psalms is an important work, important in that startling sense which causes reasonable, critical people to begin whispering crazy, old-fashioned, and half-forbidden words like "genius" and "masterpiece."...Chautauqua Psalms is musically difficult, but deserves to join the company of its illustrious ancestors such as Charles Ives' setting of Psalm 67 and Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms as a guidepost of what is highest, purest, noblest, and best in our sacred choral culture."

-Choral Journal

"Anthony Iannaccone (b. 1943) is a gifted American composer. ...each of the works [Rituals, Partita, Bicinia, Sonatina] is noteworthy and merits the consideration of anyone seeking new music for the instruments represented here. The prize-winning Rituals for Violin and Piano is perhaps the most difficult and exciting work of the four. It requires virtuoso technique and vigorous determination from both players. Iannaccone's writing is consistently idiomatic and original, and this album is a good example of his talent and imagination."

-The Instrumentalist

"The scoring [of Sea Drift] is imaginative, the melodic content immediately arresting, and the shape of each work so skillfully constructed that you are left in that state of musical appetite that asks for more... Even if the performances had been half as good, I would still have welcomed such interesting music to the catalog.

-Fanfare

"Concertante for Clarinet and Orchestra is a musical painting, blending dark, light, and agitated moods where both clarinet and orchestra take center stage. Stoltzman's famous lyrical playing is featured in many of the slow sections, culminating in an enthralling dramatic ending featuring riveting staccato passages in the altissimo register."

-The Clarinet

"Iannaccone writes in an insistently eclectic language that comprehends diatonic, chromatic, and serial elements in a single work.... [He] seems to prefer writing strongly programmatic music, and the pieces on this album indicate a strong proclivity toward the poetry of Walt Whitman.... The first movement of Sea Drift takes as its program one of Whitman's best-known poems, Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Rocking... Listeners will appreciate Iannaccone's full-bodied, well-rounded style. These compositions are obviously the work of a composer who has a deep appreciation of wind ensembles, and who understands their unique textures and sonorities. He eschews the heavy percussion that so often dominates military-band type wind groups, and he creates colorful, deep, and diverse textures, weaving simple melodic elements into complex but powerful forms."

-The Alabama Harbinger

"The second CD in the set [Eastman Wind Ensemble at 50] starts with Sea Drift by Anthony Iannaccone.... Three poems by Walt Whitman inspired this work, and Hunsberger beautifully brings out moments of drama. The first movement, Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Rocking, has a pulsating quality that suggets the sea. The performance of this movement is excellent, including the solos by various section leaders, especially the flute. The second movement, On the Beach at Night, is marked sognando (dreaming) and the ensemble created a variety of lush sonorities that portray the night skies. The third movement, Song for All Seas, is full of shimmering tone clusters used in the previous movements. The intense rhythmic energy is beautifully executed by the winds and resembles the ebb and flow of the sea. This is a glistening performance of a resplendent work."

-The Instrumentalist

"Apparitions is a sophisticated, single-movement work that incorporates many colors... Calling for harp and piano, the piece explores permutations and similarities in motivic borrowings. In this case, material is quoted from the composer's first symphony, Schubert's Erlkoenig, and a J.S. Bach Chorale.... [This is] a significant work...
Sea Drift is a major work from veteran master composer, Anthony Iannaccone. Inspired by Walt Whitman's Sea-Drift poems, this is truly evocative music, suited to advanced groups. There is ample opportunity for every voice to shine. The tutti ensemble portions are powerful without being bombastic. A great work from a great writer."

-Neue Noten

"Iannaccone's Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet is written in three broad movements and integrates the clarinet within the string quartet and also allows the clarinetist many moments of soloistic expression. Iannaccone's work covers a wide range of moods, from calm, religioso, and pastoral to wildly rhythmic, aggressive, and energetic.... [This] work left me with a great appreciation for what Iannaccone has accomplished... an engaging work that will please both performers and audience."

-The Clarinet

"Anthony Iannaccone's tremendous third symphony (1992) [is my other] favorite “unknown” symphony of the 1990s, and is music that deserves to be widely played."

-Fanfare

"...an organicism pervades the music [of Iannaccone’s third symphony] that holds together all the disparate elements in a unique way … powerful, driving lines literally had me leaning forward in my chair."

-American Record Guide