(Azure) built from a quiet bare-octave opening to a central polytonal climax in the upper reaches of all the players’ ranges; the sudden silence that followed it was powerfully cathartic, in the manner of Samuel Barber’s famous Adagio. Suggestions of melody appeared from time to time as did striking string glissandi of varying size and speed. Ultimately, the work tapered to a hushed conclusion “with the same feeling as in the beginning: that of the mysterious and magical—and a music which has always been playing before and continues—into infinity”. . . . . . .

(September 23rd, 2014 The Boston Musical Intelligencer)


. . . Next came a work composed for Mr. Elisha by his sister Adrienne especially for the (Carnegie Hall) debut under review. Entitled “Cry of the Dove” (it commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the state of Israel) the piece makes brilliant use of the cello’s pyrotechnical capacities. . .

(New York Concert Review)


Interplay of cello, ensemble daring in “Cry of the Dove” (Concert Review)

But it was “Cry of the Dove” that stood apart [from the rest of the program] for its audacious interplay of soloist and ensemble… Elisha achieves a spectrum of expressive images as she sends the cello to its technical extremes. The piece receives much of its special sonic qualities from the array of subtle percussion detail…The composer couldn’t have had a more fervent champion to bring solo strength to the forceful narrative. Her brother, Steven Elisha…brought to the music a magnificent boldness of utterance.

(Donald Rosenberg, The Cleveland Plain Dealer)


. . . In between Lee and Crumb are numerous composers who are pushing musical instruments and musical concepts to new limits — or using unconventional vocals and spoken-word narratives to create a new vision of chamber music.

Composer Adrienne Elisha’s “Once Emerged from the Grey of Night” is just one example. Based on a painting and poem by Paul Klee, the piece uses resonance between the piano and the marimba to suspend harmonies, creating an “otherwordly” effect, as she writes in notes for the program. In a similar fashion, the players voices are threaded through the work, mixed with the timbres of their instruments, ….. “New sounds created by this technique add power to the harmonic and melodic structure.”

(Malcolm Howard, The Colorado Independent)


The most successful of the six works on the program made us sit up straight. Adrienne Elisha might have intended her brand-new “Once Emerged from the Grey of Night”, placed last on the program, to be an otherworldly experience, but it had an immediacy that drew us in. It juxtaposes minimalist textures, for clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and piano, with a grab bag of odd elements. The violin plays Paganini-like cadenzas (deftly executed by Trond Saeverud), the musicians sing along with their instruments in haunting wordless tones, and at one point a musician leans into the open piano and lets loose a blare on a party horn (described as a “Hungarian New Year’s trumpet”). Yet the overall effect was not a collage: It somehow added up to a potent piece of music.

(Paul Horsley, The Kansas City Star)


Naked Sounds, Extinguished Songs: Concerts at the Herrenhaus Edenkoben

Rheinpfalz, May 14, 2011

Two world premieres and a European premiere gave Saturday’s concert at the Herrenhaus Edenkoben a special significance.  The program was completed by two more works; the musicians of the Interface Ensemble and two guests did justice to it, all the way to the finest nuances.

Doing justice to the finest nuances — in new music, this can mean breaking the sound barrier all the way, as far as it will go, as intended by the inventor who takes elemental, primal energy to a transcendent level.  Thus, American composer and violist Adrienne Elisha, former ‟composer-in-residence” at the Herrenhaus, composed, in commission from Spektrum Villa Musica, a ‟twin sun” named Anthelion which was performed for the first time in concert on Saturday.

Anthelion dominates the horizon like an alarm or shrieking sirens; as the volume rises, the music becomes glitteringly bright and blindingly brilliant, by the spare, clean and economical use of pure, (one might say stark, and vulnerable) sound.  Finally the clarinet pierces through the air and rings in the echo of the first movement (‟Sonic”) as ‟Resonance” in explosive reflections of light. The piece ends with the question, submitted by quiet and harmonic percussion, about the possible coexistence between ‟a sun and its twin sister” — it resonates in atmospheric tones…. (TTG)

“Salon Arendt”, Ausstellungshalle: Performance Marion Anna Simon/Adrienne Elisha
Foto: Marietta Franke, Köln 2013, Copyright
“The American composer and musician Adrienne Elisha (who among other things, studied with Leonard Bernstein), enriched the exhibition project with her full energy and sensitive viola playing. In addition to the performance with Marion Anna Simon to open the exhibition gave a concert the following Sunday (28/07/2013), in which she played, among other compositions (her own works such as “Dunes Music”) evoking the blowing of the wind on the ocean,  and “Inner Voices” which becomes audible from the silence”…
(Marietta Franke)
“The collaboration of Jamey Leverett, James VanDemark and Adrienne Elisha in InCantation resulted in a powerful and riveting performance”. . . . .
(February 6th, 2014 Democrat and Chronicle)



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