Ritornello (2011) - Electric Guitar Concerto

Duration - 13:00

Electric guitar, string orchestra

Commissioned by the Albany Symphony, David Alan Miller, conductor, with support from the Mellon Foundation; and by Nederlands Jeugd Strijkorkest, Bas Wiegers, conductor.

Bermel, who has been LACOs most successful composer-in-residence (more evidence of a golden age), has an alluringly easy way with mixing genres. What is surprising here, however, is how readily King Crimson and the French Baroque can appear kissing cousins. The ritornello, or repeated section, of the concerto is guitar bopping in broken triplets, the meter constantly changing, a homage perhaps to Fred Frith. But it also hints at Bermel’s recent Brazilian infatuation. A largo, with the dotted rhythms of Lully, breaks the sway and sets Hijmans off in the direction of heavy metal and a spellbindingly Clapton-esque improvised cadenza. Ritornello is the real thing, an authentic electronic guitar concerto true to many musical spirits.
— Los Angeles Times