Wayne Alpern, Shape of Strings Review
Wayne Alpern brings us yet another creative project with his classical-focused album Shape of Strings. The composer has been releasing albums in different genres, a true testament to the skill and diversity of his compositional process. Alpern has enlisted the String Orchestra of New York City with conductor Monica Bauchwitz to release his exploration of three movements spanning nine tracks.
The Reinvention suite begins the album with Alpern’s composition, establishing a well-crafted exploration of the three movements. His process is idiomatic for modern classical, and jazz, rock, and pop influences can also be heard in the movements. This wide-ranging approach allows the movement to be communicative and utterly charming.
Serenade is the second suite on the album; the three movements have a delightful use of counterpoint and rhythmic movement. Each section develops organically, has a balanced shape, and builds to a clear climax. Again, Alpern’s orchestration for the string orchestra conveys textural depth, while the rhythmic aspect of the counterpoint has dazzling figurations that effortlessly intertwine. In addition, Alpern’s detailed and insightful annotations flesh out the most welcome melodies that give this suite interest and intrigue.
The final three selections are called Divertimento. The opening “Divertimento 1” has playful tarantella-like figurations with its six eight pulse. Alpern also creates a very ‘danceable’ setting with his alternation between arco and pizzicato. “Divertimento 3” is a whirlwind of counterpoints, ostinatos, and flowing melodies. The harmonic movement cycles around in a fresh manner while maintaining a rich sequence of familiar movements.
Overall, Shape of Strings is an album devoted to Alpern’s ability to present a complete cycle in these three works. His compositional style is robust in virtuosity and overall dynamism that vibrantly elevates the compositions to a definitive modern classical statement. The music is fresh, far-reaching in influences, and transfixing in its allure. That’s the short of it!
Connect with Wayne Alpern: Website |
Shape of Strings
September 9, 2022
Henri Elkan Music