Reviews

"Scurria has a remarkable melodic sense... The duet 'If God is love, can love be sin" was gripping and memorable, as was the limpid moment when he sings 'Hester, take down your hair.' Scurria's lyrical writing and tenor John Bellemer's sensitive singing as Dimmesdale brought out the wonderful musicality of the name 'Hester Prynne' - so lovingly phrased, evoking such tenderness in the name, that I wondered if this is a classic love song in the making, like Bernstein's 'Maria.'" (Boston Musical Intelligencer) ... read more

"Scurria wrote the first movement, embuing it with 'very stirring' sounds of battle. Bullets from the battlefield rattled in a can were among the percussion instruments. ... The third movement, written jointly, concludes with a children's chorus singing a wordless melody 'that quietly dies away and leaves you thinking... it's very powerful.'" (Civil War News) ... read more

"'Listen Friends' (with poetry by Jim Haba) is a lovely piece. Scurria captures Haba's imagery of the sea, the ebb and flow of the tides. She reflects the rippling flow of language and shades of meaning with shifting rhythms." (CVNC) ... read more

"Her artistic personality is quite mature. ... The harmonic idiom and time sense is that of a classic modern, like Piston or Holmboe. I compare her to symphonists, although as far as I know, she hasn't written one. Nevertheless, her architectural reach and her ability to carry on an extended, dramatic argument I think point to a symphonist. Opposing this, however, is a lyrical side. Not many symphonists were also great song writers, and not many song writers are great symphonists. I detect an impulse to song and lyric poetry." (Classical Net) ... read more

In either case - architectural or lyrical - Scurria's music strikes me as a journey to discover heartbreaking beauty. The climaxes of her work aren't so much dramatic as rapturous. Furthermore, no moments in the music here merely mark time or lay there. A tremendous technique infuses the music, but Scurria never uses it to cover up a paucity of ideas. She's an honest workman - the real goods. (Classical Net) ... read more

"On a personal note, I encountered Ms. Scurria's music by chance, but I am profoundly glad that I did. Her melodies, harmonies and the textures she develops, even her subjects touch me. And in more than 700 web pages that I have written so far nobody has been kinder or more cooperative. Listen to this lady's work. Remember this lady's name. You'll be as glad that you found her as I am." (ViolinStudent.com) ... read more

About Five Haiku ... the "music is gorgeous. ... Scurria's music proceeds in the conventional way of haiku settings - slow and contemplative - but the difference between this setting and others lies in its ravishing beauty." (Classical Net) ... read more

"Games Children Play for solo violinist (violin and speaker) is a divertissement. The texts, by Scurria, are charming and fun - the music as well, idiomatically suited to the instrument. Beneath the fun, however, lies the anxiety in a child - small, trying to figure things out, and wondering how to make it to adult life. (Classical Net) read more

About Beyond All Walking - The music's expression ranges from declamatory to lyrical. The large gestures are big indeed, as in the opening. It's a magpie of influences, even contemporary influences, but it adds up to something personal, just as Rachmaninoff's music does. Also, like Rachmaninoff, Scurria's dramatic and lyrical interpenetrate. The singing is intense, slightly melancholy, the drama tinged with tenderness. During my first couple of hearings, I tended to listen to the work as that of a young composer and was impressed by the variety of textures, highlighting and mixing sections, nonetheless part of a real symphonic argument. Very quickly, however, I realized that, young or old, Scurria is one fine composer. Roughly two minutes from the end comes a gorgeous, elegiac chorale for strings - something awfully hard to keep up for that long - capped by a "blue note" in the solo flute for a stunning, if enigmatic conclusion.  (Classical Net) ... read more

"... A  young tonal composer with something to say." (Classical Net) ... read more

"They got a real sense of it. It was wonderful. It was very evocative of what I thought happened there." - Richard Moe on We Are Met at Gettysburg (Classical Net) ... read more

"What is already evident is a work of considerable strength and beauty, and I am eagerly awaiting the final version!" - Steve Ledbetter, (PhD Musicology) / Program Annotator for the greater Boston area and formerly of the Boston Symphony Orchestra

© 2020 by Amy Scurria.

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