Gapplegate Modern Classical Music Review

Reviewer Name: Gapplegate Modern Classical Music Review

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CD Title: Mark Vigil, The Palest Rose

Page of Publication: Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: Surprises come in all sorts of ways. Today's came in the mail. The cover makes it seem like a new age album. It isn't. I am speaking of Oregon composer Mark Vigil's The Palest Rose (Ravello 7847). It's a compendium of his music for chamber aggregates and a couple for Gamelan orchestra. I suppose you could say there's some of the impressionist in his music. There's a brightness, a lyricism, a refracted quality. It's mostly diatonic-modal, a music of tranquility yet not without vigor, quite accessible. There are three works for solo piano, the two "Fantasies for Solo Piano" have more adventurous harmonic-melodic content, a sort of modernism, than much of the other music on this disk. There are two "Trios for Flute, Viola and Harp," and a "Trio for Violin, Clarinet and Harp," all quite ravishing in a straightforward way. The two Gamelan pieces have a Javanese sound to them. "Elizabeth" adds a woman's chorus that gives the work a more "east meets west" quality. It's all very fetching music, skillfully crafted with an ear toward expressive simplicity, yet artful, like a Whitman's Sampler box. There are many that will find in this music a consolation for some rough days, with the touch of a genuinely talented composer. Relax and listen. Family-Focused Reviews 10-11-2012

Reviewer Name: Family-Focused Reviews 10-11-2012

Reviewer Address: INFODAD is a service of TransCentury Communications, Inc., 888 South Town & River Drive, Fort Myers FL 33919

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CD Title: The Palest Rose

Review: Mark Vigil’s music, in contrast, does repay careful attention, although it too is generally emotionally evocative rather than formally poised or traditionally structured. The Trio for Violin, B-flat Clarinet and Piano is the most classically proportioned work here, although even it has a certain emotional similarity in all three movements, two of which are marked dolce and one of which is designated fluid. The two flute-viola-harp trios have more-interesting sonorities and similar nature-focused approaches. One is a single movement with the rather unwieldy title, “An Autobiography of a Traveler – Can You Hear the Voice of the Roses?” The other is more or less in theme-and-variations form and is called “Dew Drop Dares to Play with the Light of the Sun.” The titles are somewhat overdone, especially given Leonard Bernstein’s famous dictum that music does not mean anything. But the works are pleasant enough, their gentle sounds evoking the natural world much as the gamelan ensemble does in Mariposa Tulip, which bears the (again, rather overdone) subtitle, “Of the Genus Calachortus Lutens.” Three short works for solo piano – Fantasy #1, Fantasy #2 and Elizabeth – are more modest in scale and more forthright in expression. Speaking of which, In Expression, a work for women’s chorus, gamelan orchestra and two flutes, is in some ways the most interesting piece on the CD, with Vigil skillfully interweaving the voices into the textures of the instruments in a subtle and convincing way.

Brett Campbell, music reviewer for the Eugene Weekly 12.23.04

Reviewer Name: Brett Campbell, music reviewer for the Eugene Weekly 12.23.04

Reviewer Address: none given

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CD Title: "Piano Music" cd

Review: Devotees of easy-on-the-ears solo pianism will also appreciate Mark Vigil's striking new collection of fantasies, preludes and sonatas, splendidly performed by pianist Sandy Holder. The Eugene composer's third release reveals growing depth and sophistication as he sprinkles occasional welcome dissonances into his hitherto relentlessly tonal recipe—and, like salt on watermelon, it makes the flavor all the richer. Like Gary Nolands's, this disk is revommended for fans of modern piano music.

Jon Benfield DJ FM Radio Station, east coast

Reviewer Name: Jon Benfield DJ FM Radio Station, east coast

Reviewer Address: none given

Reviewer Email: jbenfield@RADFORD.EDU

CD Title: "Piano Music" cd

Review: Thanks for sending us your new "Piano Music" disc. I would be happy to put it into regular rotation. I have also produced a 60-minute program featuring your music that will go into our classical automation hard drive. Thank you very much and I look forward to hearing more of your music.

Todd Barton, composer in residence Shakespeare Festival, Ashland Oregon

Reviewer Name: Todd Barton, composer in residence Shakespeare Festival, Ashland Oregon

Reviewer Address: none given

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CD Title: "Piano Music" cd

Review: What a wonderful surprise to receive your lovely cd of solo piano music! It has been a real privilege to watch you grow and deepen as a composer. I find these piano pieces to be the best work thus far--full of passion, thought and diverse emotions. Reminds me of a unique conflation of two of my favorite composers: Satie and Shostikovitch! Lovely work!

Records International Catalogue

Reviewer Name: Records International Catalogue

Reviewer Address: none given

Reviewer Email: none given

CD Title: January 1999 "In Expression" cd

Review: Mark Vigil (b. 1954): With his use of Gamelan textures (whether writing for Gamelan ensemble, as in In Expression or for Western Chamber Ensemble), and somewhat minimalist material, as well as a certain new-age turn to his aesthetic, Vigil brings to mind Lou Harrison in a number of these pieces. Strictly minimalist they are not; a kind of New Romanticism pervades his work, and all the pieces here are very much tonal and readily accessible on first hearing. The incorporation of Eastern instrumental timbres adds a fascinating dimension to the music, and the composer's skillful use of his unusual forces adds to the appeal of these obviously highly personal and deeply felt expressions of the composer's aesthetic.

The Eugene Register-Guard: Fred Crafts

Reviewer Name: The Eugene Register-Guard: Fred Crafts

Reviewer Address: SummerOaks Center, 3500 Chad Drive in northeast Eugene

CD Title: In Expression

Page of Publication: December 26, 1997: Arts & Crafts

Review: One that impressed enormously is In Expression, a showcase of compositions by Mark Vigil of Eugene, Oregon. Vigil was a graduate student at the University of Oregon when I first encountered his title piece at a concert. He achieved a hypnotic blend of Eastern and Western traditions by deftly melding the Women's Choral Society with Nuju Laras Javanese Gamelan. Because the gamelan's pitch is never quite the same twice, the women's chorus had a difficult time staying in tune. To anchor it, Vigil added two flutes and the result was stunning. Also pleasing on Vigil's CD calling card are the pounding octet Wildflowers and his own playing of Interlude For Solo Guitar. But nothing grabs more than the second movement of Trio for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, an enchanting Coplandesque landscape that can be revisited over and over.

The Eugene Weekly

Reviewer Name: The Eugene Weekly

Reviewer Address: 1251 Lincoln, Eugene OR 97401

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CD Title: In A Wild Garden

Page of Publication: December 14, 2000 Vol. XIX, No. 50, page 18

Review: Another worthy effort from a Eugene composer whose enviable gift for lyricism sometimes leaves the music a bit soft at the center. Highlights here include Vigil's second string quartet, piano sonata, and "Mariposa Tulip," featuring the University of Oregon's Pacific Rim gamelan. New Age and many classical fans will find everything here to be at least pleasantly soothing and utterly delectable in some moments. Brett Campbell Musica Frontera

Fever Pitch Magazine

Reviewer Name: Fever Pitch Magazine

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CD Title: In Expression

Page of Publication: Record Reviews Pg. 40 (August 2002)

Review: Composer Mark Vigil hails from Oregon and quotes Ives, Messiaen, Debussy, Reich and Adams among his favorite musicians. Disc 1 contains 6 tracks. Standouts are: "Fantasy for Solo Piano" and "Octet Wildflowers." Disc. 2 contains 10 tracks, “String Quartet No. 1” performed by the Metolius Quartet, is a moving piece that could have fit nicely in any foreign movie. “And yet There Could Be Love” is a piece for Acapella choir with text by an anonymous Vietnamese poet. One positive characteristic about Vigil's work is that no two pieces sound alike, which can often happen in minimalist/classical circle of composition. Also available is the "In A Wild Garden" CD.