Praise for Rushes


"Gordon cultivates a wealth of auditory illusions.  The music at Friday's premiere danced in space around the ring of bassoonists, and when their tones hit a certain sweet spot—whether in the register of the instruments, in the resonances of the room, in the attention cycle of the listener, or some combination of the above—the overtones became as much a part of the music as the pitches on the page, like the chiming of an invisible set of crystal bells."

—Daniel Stephen Johnson, Musical America

"Sure, the bassoon can sound uncannily human and plaintive, but that's not what drew Michael Gordon to the instrument. "Rushes," his sonic meditation for seven bassoons, is a vast pixelated canvas made up of thousands of short staccato notes that rush by in torrents and yet seem to stand still. And sound, uncannily, like electronic music." 

—Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times

"A composer who undertakes to write an hour-long piece for seven bassoons would have to be brilliant or mad, and Michael Gordon is perhaps a little bit of both. "Rushes" is more or less just what it sounds like: a steadily pulsating, unbroken wall of woodwind sound. But like the rippling patterns of the op art it calls to mind, "Rushes" is full of wonderful, illusory textural effects and little bursts of surprise. The combination of brusquely staccato phrasing and tender modal harmonies makes for a bittersweet flavor that shifts constantly beneath the listener's attention, and although some of the instrumental coloring is reminiscent of Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians," Gordon uses the distinctive qualities of the bassoon - its reediness and weight - to create a boldly different sonic landscape." 

—Joshua Kosman, The San Francisco Chronicle

"That there is still fascinating music being made in American minimal music was once again proven by Rushes by Michael Gordon. . . .  Without giving into being rushed, Gordon's simple transformation achieve, in all their simplicity, a great expressiveness.  Rushes asks a lot of its performers.  For those who were sitting close enough to see their sweat, it was a nearly physical experience."

—Joep Stapel, NRC Dutch National Newspaper

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Martha Memories: The Week's 8 Best Classical Music Moments on YoutubeThe New York Times

Michael Gordon Goes for Broke with 'Rushes' for Bassoon Septet — WXQR Public Radio

With "Rushes," seven bassoons are together at last — The Boston Globe

Michael Gordon's 'Rushes' spotlights an unexpected ensemble — The Star Ledger