William Bolcom, BOLCOM: Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Anastasia Tsioulcas

By Anastasia Tsioulcas

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

William Bolcom's setting of William Blake's poetry occupied the composer's time for decades: he began work in the late ’50s, and completed most of it in the ’70s. But it was only in 2004 that the piece was recorded, when conductor Leonard Slatkin and over 450 musicians gathered for an extraordinary live recording of this massive work, running nearly two and a half hours long and which — true to Bolcom's open-eared adventurousness — easily and beautifully moves between a host of styles, from angularly modern classical to country, blues and even reggae.