Selected reviews, etc.:

 

"Taub's piece...made more of an impact because of its length and distinctive tone row."

(12/10/71, New York Times, Composition for Piano)

 

"Taub's Quintet is a brisk work for winds, strings and piano which features bright, sharp sonorities and is agreeable to listen to."

(2/12/73, New York Times, Quintet I)

 

"The performances of the evening were vital from start to finish and showed how effective composers can be at interpreting one another's works." (4/19/75, New York Times, the Composers Ensemble)

 

"Mr. Taub's music...is full of energy, noise and quotations, and punctuates the obvious pictorial moments with innocent decisiveness. More power to him if he perseveres in musical theater." (4/3/76, New York Times, Passion, Poison, and Petrifaction)

 

"Taub's Quintet bespeaks an authentic musical wit and I was thoroughly charmed by it." (Perspectives of New Music, Fall-Winter 1975, "Two Conferences: A Report on the ASUC and Theory Meetings in Boston" by William E. Benjamin)

 

"And there were good moments: the trilled well-wrought opening of Bruce Taub's Band Piece." (Spring 1983, Newsletter of the International League of Women Composers)

 

"The conference exploded into existence with an exuberant concert by the LSU Wind Ensemble...The high points were undoubtedly Richard Brooks' Collage and the spectacular Band Piece (Chromatic Fantasy) by Bruce Taub, both of which were enthusiastically received by the large audience. Band Piece, intended as an homage to composer Ross Lee Finney on his seventy-fifth birthday, set up a consistent momentum dramatically terminated by stupendous, reiterated sonorities." (1982/83, Perspectives of New Music)

 

"One would not readily expect to encounter poignant irony in the work of an aspiring young mainstream composer...it is also ironically - and astutely - free for the most part from the bald cliches that customarily qualify as jazz influence in concert music." (MLA Notes, June 1988, Fragile Lady)

 

"The pun on the word "four" in Taub's title betrays the witty side of a composer whose work has been referred to as "poignant" and "ironic" and who has been able to demonstrate a penchant for theater as well, as in his choice of a George Bernard Shaw play as the basis for his short chamber opera Passion, Poison and Petrifaction or the Fatal Gazogene." (MLA Notes, March 1990, Variations Four String Quartet)

 

"...basking in Brahmsian richness. Taub eschews effects; every note takes its place in fervent and disciplined musical discourse." (Piano Quarterly, May 1992, Preludes)

 

“Taub is adept at connecting and overlapping fragmented colors and evoking a Bergian sense of cataclysmic drama.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 15, 1996)

 

 

“Bruce Taub’s Sonata for solo viola boasts an imaginative use of a head-motive to help unify the work.  The work is not easy to play, but is very effectively written for the instrument.  The work has an unexpected ending that, like the surprise coda to a good story, we should not give away here.”  (MLA Notes, March 1996)

 

“This work (Lady Mondegreen’s Dances) is music of extraordinary density, throughout its three movements (played attacca), there is rarely a moment where more than one or two instrumental lines are at rest.  Within music of such thickness and weight, Taub manages to create effects.  Rhythmic motives appear throughout, at times independent, but more often strategically woven into the textures as rhythmic unisons.  This, coupled with Taub’s economical use of musical material, makes Lady Mondegreen’s Dances an intriguing work: harmonically and texturally dense (almost relentlessly so), yet treated with a carefully composed classical sense.”  (MLA Notes, September 1997)

 

“Bruce Taub’s day job as Editor-in-Chief for one of the premier music publishers at times overshadows his talents as a composer, so it was good to hear him represented at this concert. His setting for soprano and piano of Longfellow’s ruminations on the titled Jewish Cemetery [at Newport] is through-composed, a musical stream-of-consciousness, as it were. The music ebbs and flows with the emotional waves of the text, sometimes resorting to literal interpretations…and proves effective.”  (New Music Connoisseur, Summer 1998)

 

“The Empyrean Ensemble opened its eleventh season at home on the UC Davis campus on Friday with a program that showed care and creative flair in bringing a piece from late nineteenth-century Vienna into lively dialog with American music composed on the verge of the millenium. The contemporary works resonated harmoniously with the late Romantic finale in a finely performed concert rich in diversity of styles, united by interesting formal similarities and structural symmetries. Finishing the first half was the premiere of Bruce J. Taub’s “…the limit of the flame…” (1997), a piano quartet performed with fury and fantasy by Baune and Rose with Jennifer Culp, cello, and Eric Zivian, piano. The title comes from “The Psychoanalysis of Fire” by Gaston Bachelard in which he relays an “intuition” by Auguste Rodin: “Each thing is merely the limit of the flame to which it owes its existence.” Fiery outer movements that end with the same coda material surround a slow movement that glows like an ember, a Chorale dedicated to the memory of the composer’s father. The texture is dense, the parts virtuosic and the language both expressive and expressionist. Like a flickering flame whose constant motion is its defining feature, Taub’s piece left the listener with a smoldering memory of its burning intensity.”  (San Francisco Classical Voice, Stephen Blumberg, 10-27-98)


1999 Dartington International Summer School and Festival of Music:

 

“There will be a total eclipse of the sun on 11 August 1999. Dartington will be plunged into total Darkness at 11:13 and 40 seconds. The whole day is devoted to musical and artistic expression about sun and moon…Once we get to night-time, the musical possibilities become endless…Nocturnes for piano by John Field and Chopin, and for ensemble by Haydn (who seems to have been much obsessed with times of the day). For strings we have Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” and “Serenata Notturna (plus timpani). We mustn’t overlook Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” Obvious? Well what about John Cage’s ‘The Perilous Night’ and Django Bates’s ‘It’s only a Paper Moon’, not to mention ‘The Night’s Music” by Bartok, and Debussy ‘Et la Lune Descend sur le Temple qui Fût’. Obscure? Well how about Josef Holbrooke’s Nocturne ‘Fairyland’ with narrated text by Edgar Alan Poe, or Bruce Taub’s Trio ‘In the light of present reality’. They’ll all be a part of a late and long concert to round off the day – the likes of which we won’t be able to celebrate until the next total eclipse comes around in 2090.”

 

“This approximately 7½ minute work [Lady Mondegreen Bangs the Can!] for percussion ensemble (four or more players) commissioned by the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players features a complete contingent of mallet instruments plus membranophones (six timpani, ten tom-toms, tenor drum, and bass drum), whip crotale, tambourine, temple blocks, cymbals, gong and tam tam. Although scored as a quartet, the use of additional players, especially for the mallet parts, would be desirable. The mallet writing which is set in an active, contrapuntal framework, is virtuosic in nature. The work drives to a frenzied close with crashing sfff chords. This is quality literature that will prove challenging and rewarding for the mature college ensemble. (Percussive Arts Society Notes, February 2000)



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Bruce Jeffrey Halitcher Taub