Reviewed by Steve Smith in the New York Times: "sweetly lyrical" ... "rhythmic vitality"
"A similar rhythmic vitality applied in ... Michael Vincent Waller’s sweetly lyrical Ritratto.”
Feature Article by George Grella in the Brooklyn Rail: "one of the most interesting composers in New York"
Michael Vincent Waller’s music is easy to admire: he writes with clarity, he has an involving interest in variation form, his harmonic palette is tonal but he’s not confined to functional harmony, he uses repetition as a means to build form and maintain direction, and he crafts attractive melodies—a fundamentally important skill that has become bizarrely undervalued in contemporary classical music. Waller’s pieces are very much of the present moment, but stand outside the current orthodoxies seeping out of conservatories and graduate schools. - George Grella
Review in New York Classical Review by George Grella: "set the tone for the entire concert"
The first piece was Michael Vincent Waller’s Pasticcio per meno è piu (which can be heard on a new CD of Waller’s music, The South Shore). Waller is a young composer working outside the predominant styles of pop-inflected post-minimalism. His roots are in Satie, and he served an apprenticeship with LaMonte Young. Pasticcio is a trademark piece, with simple harmonic movement, a regular pulse, and a flowing melodic line that at times doubles back on interior phrases before proceeding. The means are modest, and Lee was sensitive to the calm, confident affect of the music.
The performance also set the tone for the entire concert, inscribing a world of music inside the larger world. Everything that was going to happen would have a sense of order and structure. The contrast with Lee’s comments made one think that perhaps that special bubble that settles into concert venues just before the music starts is created by a feeling of mutual trust, that all involved expect everything to make sense.
...Like Waller, Kardos reaches back to late romantic and early modern French music, and there is a hint of minimalism by means of pulse.
The sextet Ritratto, described on the Wolf Notes contemporary classical music program as "pensive and beautiful". Mayner outlines "he lives in both worlds: between the avant-garde classical music world, and the more traditional, classical tonal-music" [...] "performers who Michael Vincent Waller has worked with is almost a list of people who I've had here on Wolf Notes, Jenny Q Chai, String Noise, and a lot of other performers and groups that are of course well-known in the New York City area, and now of course, taken up with the Dedalus Ensemble"
For this concert, “Violin and Violoncello Duos” — conceived in conjunction with Michael Vincent Waller, an ambitious young composer who regularly mounts avant-garde concerts […] Mr. Waller’s “Allegoria Della Primavera,” inspired by Botticelli’s painting of that name, opened with insistent Minimalist patterns dispatched in swift, frolicsome sequence. In its second part choralelike phrases swayed in pensive near-stasis before swelling suddenly to a gamboling final flourish.
Reviewed by George Grella in Sequenza21: “pleasantly mesmerizing” ... "minimal without being minimalist" The large scale piece on the program was a new work from Michael Vincent Waller, “Acqua Santa,” that started modestly but grew into an ambitious and attractive work. Waller’s basic pulse both lengthens and picks up the pace as the music moves along, the structure builds from monophony to homophony, and there’s some of the pleasantly mesmerizing quality of watching waves from the shore. It’s essentially minimal without being minimalist in the repetitive sense, and the appearance of whole-tone scales develops an impressionistic aesthetic that elided nicely with the closing set of pieces: Ravel’s “Une Barque Sur L’océan,” Debussy’s prelude to “La cathédrale engloutie,” and Liszt’s “La lugubre gondola,” finished off with Marco Stroppa’s effective adaptation of a traditional lullaby, “Ninnananna.” This whole stretch of the concert was involving and powerful.
Reviewed by Harry Rolnick in ConcertoNet: “ingenious”
Michael Vincent Waller’s Acqua Santa, starting with minuscule variations on three contiguous notes, it went onto other variations, ending with a Javanese-style pentatonic motif […] ingenious.
Reviewed by Studio Phoenix ArtBlog: “Deeply moving, soulful and somber" ... "captivating in its subtle complexity”
Waller is a seriously gifted composer ("protege of Bunita Marcus") who excels at arranging musical events with contemporary classical talents, that's always stunning.
Of all the pieces that evening (Stravinsky: Elegy, Tom Chiu: BABIP, Iannis Xenakis: Embellie, Morton Feldman: The Viola in My Life III, Salvatore Sciarrino: Tre notturni brillianti & Paul Hindemith: Sonata for solo viola, Op.25 No.1) it was Waller's Capo Finale that stole the show. Deeply moving, soulful and somber, it was captivating in its subtle complexity. Its a new work for viola and piano, wonderfully performed by and written for, Mandel & Huebner. The piece grips you with its post-minimalist patterns and modal harmonies.
Program Listing in TimeOut Classical: “an adventurous, enterprising young composer"
Paired for the evening by Michael Vincent Waller, an adventurous, enterprising young composer, this dynamic duo plays pieces by Stravinsky, Xenakis, Morton Feldman, Waller and more.
Program Listing in TimeOut Classical: “up-and-comer Michael Vincent Waller"
Violinist Pauline Kim-Harris and cellist Christine Kim are the high-octane sister-act Project SiS. They bring their energy downtown for a program of Ravel, Xenakis and three 2011 compositions from up-and-comers Michael Vincent Waller, Eric Hachikian and Christopher Bowen.