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CRYSTALLOGRAPHY (2013)

Kati Agocs

“Kati Agócs’s Crystallography, set to poems of Cristian Bök, draws fine imagery as sung by soprano Robyn Driedger-Klassen.  The opening songs have some of the wondrous ease and flow that one might find in Canteloube, moving through a more uncompromising, almost New Vienna posture, finally to an even more modern orchestration where exotic rhythms abound. With the soft taps of the percussion ongoing, the close has a hypnotic Bolero-like feel.” 

- VANCOUVERCLASSICALMUSIC.COM, Review of Crystallography as performed by Standing Wave Ensemble at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra New Music Festival, January 17, 2014 (Geoffrey Newman) 


“Kati Agócs’s Crystallography, which received its U.S. premiere in this performance, sets a collection of excerpted texts from Canadian poet Christian Bök’s 1994 book of the same name. Originally commissioned by Standing Wave Ensemble in Vancouver, the work offers a highly structured celebration of alliteration and assonance. Soprano Brenna Wells’s cantillations negotiated sections of misterioso chanting, thematic folksong, and dramatic exclamation—all artfully employed by Agócs. The work is emotionally and thematically palindromic, with the “Amethyst”, “Ruby” and “Topaz” sections leading up the mountain toward the apotheosis in the exact middle of the “Emerald” text. The texture thins out through the final three sections: “Jade” “Opal” and “Sapphire”—the last of which highlighted Wells’s gifts as an early music singer when the texture reduces to a modal chant accompanied only by drums.” 

- THE BOSTON MUSICAL INTELLIGENCER, Review of Crystallography as performed by Collage New Music, January 26, 2014 (Rebecca Marchand) 


"Agócs preserves remarkable clarity in her work despite the constant, complex layering...[Crystallography] shifted just often enough to keep the thoughtful listener on edge. The work remains a bit distant from the listener, a beautiful object observed at arm’s length."

- THE BOSTON MUSICAL INTELLIGENCER, "Hub New Music Debuts with 'Strength in Fragility'”, January 24, 2016 (Brian Schuth)


"Crystallography set poet Christian Bök’s words into ecstatic vocal incantations, sung by soprano Adrienne Arditi. Instruments flowed slowly, wrapping around the central vocal line, and percussionist Maria Finkelmeier laid down a robust processional rhythm."

- THE BOSTON GLOBE, "Hub New Music Transports with all-Kati Agócs program", January 27, 2016 (Zoë Madonna)