The Whole Note declares Mark Abel “a compositional master” after reviewing his new album of chamber music: The Cave of Wondrous Voice.
“Abel is renowned for his vocal works. His exciting song cycle Four Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva features four Russian poems translated to English for the first time by Alyssa Dinega Gilliespie. Soprano Hila Plitmann sings with dramatic clarity… Carol Rosenberger (piano) and Sarah Beck (English horn) support with technical/musical control… Diverse tonal and stylistic storytelling is featured in Abel’s chamber works. Intuition’s Dance features Rosenberger and clarinetist David Shifrin playing contrasting happy bouncy faster, and slower spooky lyrical sections. Cellist Fred Sherry joins them in the three-movement Clarinet Trio in which they each are almost soloists… Another wordless musical story suggesting “the subconscious mind’s journey through the course of the day” is The Elastic Hours, performed by violinist Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker and pianist Dominic Cheli. … Abel is a compositional master of intriguing contemporary music.”—Tiina Kiik, The Whole Note