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Review: CBSO/Cosmic Dances at Symphony Hall

The CBSO's involvement in the UK's version of El Sistema, titled In Harmony, meant that the audience for this concert included many rows of excited (and well-behaved) children for whom this was the first time they had heard and seen a live orchestra...

John Gough

The Berkshire Review

“The unexpected delight of the evening was Enrico Chapela's Concerto for Electric Cello and Orchestra, otherwise known as MAGNETAR. Dudamel had given the world premiere in LA just three days before.”

Steven Kruger

San Francisco Chronicle

"Chapela was on hand for "Li Po," a gruff, explosive essay for orchestra with electronics. Much of the score, with its growly sounds and blocky orchestral textures, is reminiscent of Varèse, but at the midpoint Chapela puts on his dancing shoes and breaks out of that mold to delightful effect."

Joshua Kosman
29/10/ 2011

Culver City News

Revving up with Adams, Chapela and Prokofiev.
"For the new piece, “Magnetar,” by Enrico Chapela, cellist Johannes Moser emerged with the Yamaha SVC-110SK electric cello, which has a fingerboard and strings, but with a body that is merely an empty outline. "

Ebner Sobalvarro
27/10/ 201

SFist Reviews:

Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil
"On the new works, you can't get any fresher than Enrico Chapela's MAGNETAR, which for some reason is written in all caps."


San Francisco Clasical Voice

“…in composing [MAGNETAR, Chapela] aimed for an aptly outsized sound world. For the most part, he has suceded. […] Magnetar may not be everyone’s idea of a concerto, yet it fuses its influences into something both heavyweight and alluring.”

Georgia Rowe

The Los Angeles Times

“Young and old -- in suits or T-shirts and jeans, in high heels or sneakers -- smiled, stood and cheered. There was no indication that I could see of shock, outrage or condescension. Delight seemed to pervade a packed house. This means that either Chapela is doing something very right or very wrong. Audiences have changed, and he has managed to please them.”

Mark Swed




Enrico Chapela

The Indy Post

“ The new piece was Enrico Chapela’s “Private Alleles,” an eight-minute tone poem focusing on forms of human genes that, in this case, explain the genetic heritage of the composer’s fellow Mexicans. His use of the orchestra is seductive in the combinations of sound he bends into abrupt new shapes, alluding distantly to ancient Mexican folk music. ”

Jay Harvey

Strings Magazine

“The result is a major e-cello concerto—for electric cello, orchestra, and special effects—that could easily create demand for a second. (Perhaps Chapela could be persuaded to write a concerto for a conventional cello.) It's rich in jazz, rock, and Latin-American influences, and quotations, that are seamlessly integrated over a large, solid—but barely perceivable—under structure (assuring continuity). For 25 minutes, Chapela charts a riveting narrative of sounds that create their own reality of love, excitement, and drama [...] The crowd roared.”


The Classical Review

“ Born in 1974, the youngest composer here is Enrico Chapela, whose ínguesu closes the disc. Inspired by a celebrated 1999 Mexico vs. Brazil soccer match, here standard Mexican dances are transmuted and retooled into a strange Ivesian sonic landscape full of archaic off-center fanfares, sudden odd crescendos and referee whistles. It’s all great fun and surely crafted, making me want to hear more from this young composer. ”

Lawrence Johnson 

San Francisco Classical Voice

“ One of the gems, from 2006, is jazz-influenced, while others serve as reminders that Stravinsky once walked the earth. But it’s doubtful that he ever attended a Mexican soccer match, or knew all the authentic cheers that are ingeniously worked into Enrico Chapela’s fabulous ínguesu. You may not know them, either, but the percussion and effects will nonetheless slam into your gut with savage intensity. ”

Jason Victor Serinus

The New York Times

Inguesu is not brain surgery, as new music sometimes is, but Mr. Chapela’s vivid scoring and energetic style hopping (Minimalist chugging blossoms into full-fledged neo-Romantic give and take) keep it entertaining, even for a listener uninterested in soccer. ”

Allan Kozinn

The Boston Globe

“ The exuberance also echoed the piled-up rhythms of Latin American composers like Revueltas and Ginastera”

Matthew Guerriri

San Francisco Classical Voice

“ This funny, exciting, and most accomplished piece […] weaves together Brazilian and Mexican folk tunes, instrumental paraphrases of fan cheers, and many other ideas into a vibrant, propulsive whole […] All of this sounds good without any program at all, and recalled Chavez’s colorful expansiveness while sounding quite contemporary. ”

Benjamin Fradzel 

Sequenza 21

“ Enrico Chapela’s Irrational was a perfect curtain-raiser. The piece is based on Chapela’s explorations of irrational numbers; but this was in no way indicative of a dry or cerebral surface. On the contrary, Irrational pulsates with vibrant energy. Its frequent time changes and energetic tutti pileups were deftly negotiated by New Paths. What’s more, Chapela’s music set the stage for the rest of the concert; serving as a foreshadowing of elements grappled with throughout the concert. The evening was often about music of deft negotiations – balancing massed orchestration versus delicate linear writing and intricate metric shifts with visceral “dancing” rhythms.”

Christian Carey 

The New York Times

Li Po, by the Mexican-born Enrico Chapela […] you could listen to this work without knowing anything of its origins and still be swept along by the wash of colors, the sputtering mechanistic energy and the riot of instrumental and amplified sounds. ”

Anthony Tommasini

Sequenza 21

Li Po is a composition for 18 musicians (eight winds, eight strings, two percussion) for a prismatic combination of shifting sounds and colors. […] The musical structure was complex, crying for a second hearing, but completely fascinating as it evolved. Listening to the work I was unaware of the passage of time. Really interesting. ”

Jerry Z

The Los Angeles Times

“ Chapela’s Li Po, in many ways the most interesting work, is for large ensemble and is very much all over the map. Chapela uses sophisticated computer programming of French spectral school to fool around with phonic syllables, Spanish- and Chinese-based. But the electronics are only one layer. There are all kinds of compelling instrumental effects, exciting visceral rhythms, and tons on tones sliding around ”

Mark Swed

The Orange County Register

“ Chapela's Li Po gets the award for most energetic. […] What emerged was a barrage of tightly intertwined instrumental and taped sounds, all over the place but tumbling over each other and closely related in timbre. It was difficult at times to tell where the tape sounds – wind, rain, buzz saws, frogs, whistles – stopped and in the instrumental sounds began. Ethereal and whomping episodes intervened, and then big slow waves.
It was ten minutes of controlled mayhem, but that control was key – it gave the work shape and personality”

Timothy Mangan 















Enrico Chapela