|Review by Jan Hanford:|
I've always wondered why there haven't been very many (if any) recordings combining classical instruments and synthetic accompaniment. Apparently what it took was a musician with exceptional abilities in both disciplines. Kathy Geisler hold a master's degree in oboe performance from the Julliard School and became involved with computers and technology in music in the 1980's. She uses state-of-the-art equipment and software to "sculpt" her computerized performance.
Kathy Geisler's oboe performance is exceptional, with outstanding expression and tone. And her participation in the complete picture of this music, as both soloist and orchestra, has produced a performance that is uniquely personal.
Rather than the Wendy Carlos approach of presenting as many sounds and textures as possible (both a strength and weakness in Wendy's music), Kathy Geisler maintains a single orchestral texture and the result is cohesive and delightfully musical. She uses sampling technology which comes very close to the original sounds and textures of orchestral accompaniment but maintains that edge of still being electronic. This balance is difficult to achieve and some electronic musicians move too far into the realm of either cute or bizarre or both. But here, Kathy Geisler maintains a perfect balance of musicality and electronic innovation. The real test for me is the slow movements: these are as lovely, delicate and warm as any I've heard.
I highly recommend this recording for the many electronic classical music enthusiasts, and also especially for curious listeners who haven't yet ventured into this genre. For an example of high quality performance, intelligent musical interpretation and electronic sophistication this is an excellent recording with which to start.