Maurice Saylor: Composer


"evocative, communicative, powerful music..."

"a wonderfully absorbing piece, full of contrasting ideas. The sustained phrases, angular motifs, swirling figures, glissandi and other special effects were played with astounding virtuosity..."

"Saylor has investigated a palette of textures as varied as his repertoire of thematic transformations, and his piece...projected an extraordinary feeling of cohesion and evolution."

"Saylor's...attractive textures are woven with skill, provid[ing] a dramatic set of moods that were explored thoughtfully.

“one of the more imaginative composers in town.”

-  The Washington Post

About The Hunting of the Snark

Maurice Saylor … is nothing if not inventive … this colorful and wonderfully uninhibited work … was irresistible from start to finish -- clever, deeply engaging, and performed with enthusiasm and evident delight by everyone involved. — Stephen Brookes, Washington Post

Saylor … writes for a “pit-band” made up only of “instruments reviled by society at large and rejected by people of good taste and common sense.” The result is a truly amazing array of colors; an ensemble that is eccentric, sometime hilariously perverse, and deliciously supportive of Carroll’s witty text. -- Ronald E. Grames, Fanfare Magazine

The opening ‘Snark’ theme is a corker whose wavering between major and minor comes across as a perfectly natural theme which you will find yourself whistling for days if you are not careful. -- Paul Corfield Godfrey, MusicWeb International

Setting [the Hunting of the Snark] to music is a risky enterprise. The American composer, Maurice Saylor (1957) saves it with musical notes, above all because he creates a new sound world that does justice to the verbal imagination of Carroll … Saylor seeks to make intelligible the unintelligible lyrics. — Juan Carlos Moreno, Ritmo
[translated from the original Spanish]

Despite its light and amusing aura, the eight-part The Hunting of the Snark, Maurice Saylor’s musical version … is an important work. Saylor’s music is intellectually engaging despite its thoroughly individual language, and his “Snarkestra” plays with gusto, letting all the edgy sounds of its unexpected combination of instruments collide in the hunt for the unknown. The music is at least as much fun to hear as Carroll’s wonderful poem. — Maria Nockin, Fanfare Magazine

The Hunting for the Snark … is an ambitious work … and quite worthy of attention. With, all the instruments, more or less, being unexpected ones, Saylor's music has the air of a soundtrack to a postmodern cartoon — Laurent Bury, le magazine de l’opéra et du monde lyrique
[translated from the original French]

Full Reviews and Interviews for The Hunting of the Snark; an Agony in Eight Fits

The Naxos Records' 2011 release of The Hunting of the Snark; an Agony in Eight Fits performed by The Cantate Chamber Singers and the Snark Ensemble’s New Music for Vintage Silent Film Comedies is featured in the January/February issue of Fanfare Magazine. There are two lengthy interviews (one with Maurice and one with Gisele Becker, Cantate's artistic director and conductor) and two reviews. The main review is located at the end of the interview with Gisele.

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