Charleston City Paper
/ Jun 2010
The second it ended, their listeners leaped to their feet, screaming and shouting, like they'd been blown out of aircraft ejection seats. So much for the misguided notion that you can't please a crowd with modern music. This one should be required listening for anybody who's afraid of the music of today.
Post and Courier
/ Jun 2010
Given the historic visual image, the music makes even more sense, and is more melodic than many modern compositions. The audience sprang from their seats to offer a standing ovation mid-concert.
/ Feb 2010
The highlight of the night turned out to be the new piece, Gumboots. Written in 2008 by David Bruce as a commission for Carnegie Hall, it includes many elements of African dance music in string quartet format with clarinet. Part I of the piece built tension between the string quartet that carried through the hall with growing force, but never fully exploded, reaching a peak tension and then slowly fading out behind a repeating arpeggio figure from the viola.
However, during Part II, a group of five dances, took the lingering tension and released it cathartically in a string of buoyant and breezy movements. The highlight of these was the fifth dance, which showcased clarinetist Sarah Beaty's immense talent. Her trills and shrill tone wove in and out, leading each piece. In the fifth dance, these trills came in waves, each one reaffirming the last and giving it a sense of unity, recalling its triumphs in the final moments with just the right sense of nostalgia and without sounding like a retread. The piece received a standing ovation and again at the end of the concert, when all the performers walked back out, it received jubilant applause.
/ Feb 2010
"David Bruce's “Gumboots” (2008) was next. Bruce writes with intelligence, inspiration and a knack for creating sound pictures that are almost cinematic. The first part was plaintive and yearning with desolate landscapes and horizons that seemed to stretch forever. The second dance-y part moved with vigor, loud and snappy rhythms, some of which had Caribbean flavors or the high energy of carnival. Beaty was fabulous in a brilliantly virtuosic part that required a lot of flair and style. "