Reviews

 

About Fractals


"...Written in a freely tonal, rhythmically undulating style, Fractals often employs some instrumentalists as singers, whistlers, and glass-crystal players, in a luxuriant, occasionally thick orchestration. More than any other composition in this festival [1986 Omaha Festival of Contemporary Music] Fractals substantiates the 'good news' that composers have refreshed the principle of music as an object of beauty..."


Theodore Price, High Fidelity/Musical America


"...Jim Hobbs' style--at least in this composition--is different from so many other contemporary composers in that he brings to his work almost a French tradition of emphasizing the shades of timbre which one can display orchestrally..."


Ned Rorem, Omaha Symphony Program Notes


"...Fractals was a colorful piece, with a strong French Impressionist influence...I was swept up by the beauty and sensuality of the work's ebbs and flows..."

"...Fractals was quite enjoyable...Particularly impressive was the composer's use of tone color. He didn't use groupings of tone clusters like some modern composers do, to startle his listeners, but rather to bathe them in an appealing wash of sound..."


Rick Ansorge, Omaha World-Herald


"...Fractals brought to mind Camus' remark--which could almost serve as a litmus test for all new music--about Kafka: that his genius consisted in forcing people to reread him. Hobbs passed that test with ease..."


Robert Everett-Green, Toronto Globe and Mail


"...The piece, listened to for the first time, sounded fresh and approachable, its elements bonded together like crystals, giving a reflection of some lovely lights and sounds..."


Gaynor Jones, Toronto Star


"...Its frequent dissonance was offset by more conventional writing, and its occasional shrieks were counterbalanced by some delicate scoring..."


Paul Hollinger, Appleton Post-Crescent


About Symphony No. 1


"...Symphony No. 1...is good, clean work, well scored for orchestra; the kindly spirit of Copland smiles behind it..."


Richard Dyer, Boston Globe


"...provided a solid, performable Symphony somewhat influenced by Stravinsky's 'Soldier's Tale' but with big orchestral trimmings..."

Robert Croan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


"...Symphony No. 1...was not overly long. Among its commendable qualities were a lyric middle movement and a brillant final movement that was both syncopated and rhapsodic. The loud and protracted applause which followed its performance could be taken for audience approval not only of this final work, but the entire program..."

Frederick Black, Terre-Haute Tribune Star


"...This interesting work was an unusual amalgamation of musical elements that ranged from the highly melodic to wholly atonal. This piece provided plenty of challenges for the orchestra..."


Kyle MacMillan, Omaha World-Herald


About Dracaena


"...Dracaena featured sliding, almost shimmering tones, like drapery in the wind--nightwind--effects building to a jet landing protracted by indescribable sounds, rather like snortings, then to oscillating and driving mechanical sounds and to less personalizable bubblings, twitterings, night-cricket noises with resonance, and much else. He used a more extensive tonal palette than the other composers..."


Robert Chaikin, Atlanta Voice