Reviews

“Greenpoint’s own” – The New Yorker, 2004

On Poème électronique on the Alarm Will Sound CD, Modernists (Cantaloupe)

Mr. Hause’s orchestration approximates the original timbres, though not slavishly, and stays close to Varèse’s orchestration style in other works. Often, the brighter, more fluid orchestral fabric seems to liberate Varèse’s compositional voice.- Wall Street Journal (Kozinn), 5/4/16
Call me a heretic, but Evan Hause’s acoustic instrumental realization of Edgard Varèse’s Poème electronique conveys a timbral warmth, harmonic richness, and a sense of forward motion that the Varèse original lacks. I say this having only heard the original multi-track Poème electronique via conventional two-channel playback mode. ClassicsToday.com (Distler) 6/29/16
At the end of the collection, we get Evan Hause’s ambitious acoustic re-imagining of Edgar Varèse’s Poème électronique. The original is one of Varèse’s most famous works, conceived to be part of an architectural installation by Le Corbusier at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. The swooping, beeping, and thumping electronic sounds have been given to the ensemble here, sort of a Poème analogique. We’ve even got a bit of singing, somehow even creepier in this arrangement than the original. Honestly, it’s an amazing arrangement executed to stunning effect by AWS; listening to Varèse’s original, it’s hard to believe that such an interesting musical feat could possibly be successful. Acoustic instruments seem to bring out more shades of character than the all-electronic sounds of the original: the bizarre, schizoid sounds are now somehow augmented with humor and intimacy.- Second Inversion.org (Larson), 5/30/16
Evan Hause’s vibrant new arrangement of Varèse’s “Poeme Electronique,” which closes the record, sharpens the spikes that jut out of this classic piece. It also underscores what made Varèse’s work irresistible to edgy rock & rollers and jazzers teasing the bleeding edges of their genres. AWS plays with a sensuality as well as a rock-hard sense of leaned-into riffs, most often on low brass, that grind into the listener’s brain, punctuated with crashing cymbal hits and head-nodding grooves. – The Agit Reader (Sanford), 5/4/16
The album ends with Evan Hause’s arrangement of Edgard Varèse’s Poème Électronique, a piece the composer never intended acoustic instruments to touch. The rich, full sounds of live instruments infuse the stark score with humanity and warmth, supplemented by a full soundboard’s worth of pops, bangs and wails. – WQXR [Q2 Album of the Week, 5/9/16]

On the Trumpet Concerto on the Eric Berlin CD, Fantastique (MSR):
Back in 2001, the ASO commissioned Evan Hause to write a concerto for Berlin, and it appears here in a version for wind band. Its opening movement, “Circus,” is an imaginative sonic spectacle inspired by an Alexander Calder diorama in the collection of the Whitney Museum. That’s followed by some mournful music that local audiences may remember because of the timing of its premiere. Though the “Dirge” was written prior to 9/11, it debuted just three days after the 2001 terror attacks. – Albany Times-Union (Dalton), 9/25/14
The Evan Hause concerto a transcription of the composer’s Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra. The piece is a little more adventurous than the others on this disc. It’s not exactly difficult listening, but does comes across as having a slightly more advanced expressive language than the other works here. It’s also a little more austere and serious-minded. The first movement (Circus) opens as if the music is swirling or racing, and while it settles down somewhat it remains energetic and conflicted throughout, imparting an ever-evolving sense. The second movement (Dirge) is very dark and bleak, though it becomes quite intense and mournful in the middle section. The finale (Chase) has a madcap quality and recalls some of the more humorous music of Shostakovich.- Classical.net (Cummings)
…Evan Hause’s 3-movement, 17-minute Trumpet Concerto (2001), [is] a more modernist, less tuneful piece than either of the duo works. Harmonies are abstract, but the language is not atonal. – American Record Guide, May/June, 2015 (Kilpatrick)
The first movement…is more disjunctive than the music heard [on the CD] so far….there is more than a touch of an impression of awed discombobulation about it all. [2nd movement, “Dirge”:]…there is a palpable stillness here… – Fanfare, Jan./Feb., 2015 (Clarke)

On Hause’s performing edition of the zarzuela Maria la O by Ernesto Lecuona:

…the result is extremely useful and attractive, both for its musicality and the clean, uncluttered look of the engravure. The orchestration is spot on for a medium-sized zarzuela orchestra, with the addition of the percussive Batería Cubana of bongos, claves, maracas, woodblocks and all the rest, which make up that unique, rhythmic backdrop to so many of Lecuona’s most memorable numbers. As a percussionist himself, Hause has expended lavishly detailed attention to this department, and quite right too…Evan Hause’s edition is a major cause for rejoicing. – www.zarzulea.net (Webber), 2013

On Tango Variations on the University of North Texas CD, Encryptions (GIA):

Each [variation] is distinctive in its voicing and mood, from the sublime and elegant to bawdy and vulgar……While each work [on this compilation CD] has its own merit, the high points are surely the works by Colgrass and Hause. – American Record Guide, May-June, 2012
…a delightful and clever homage to the tango tradition. – Records International

On the live Premiere of Sunken City at the Bar Harbor Music Festival (played by Hurd and McMillen):

But I think perhaps my favorite piece of the evening was “Sunken City” by Evan Hause…In his opening remarks, Mr. Hause spoke about being a very ‘visual musician’ and this piece definitely illustrated that point, bringing to mind an undersea excursion on a sunken ship, with images of scuttling sea critters and strange, sad and wonderful sights. – Mount Desert Islander, 7/21/11

On the Premiere of Passage by the Dogs of Desire, 3/6/09 in Albany, NY:

Much of Hause’s text is a dialogue between [Henry] Hudson and his son (who also was abandoned in the mutiny), and the confluence of those voices, over an uneasy, Berg-ian orchestra, was a captivating effect. The piece is very dense and probably would reward repeated listening. – Metroland (Nilsson), March, 2009
Evan Hause, another Dogs regular, delivered “Passage,” a kind of ode to the final days of Henry Hudson. Dark, dense and reflective, it seemed to reach beyond the confines of its seven-minute length. – Albany Times-Union (Dalton), March, 2009

Reviews of various performances of Hause’s orchestration of Poème électronique by Edgard Varèse, played by Alarm Will Sound:

Alarm Will Sound has built much of its reputation on its recording of acoustic arrangements of the electronic music of Aphex Twin. It started the second half with something similar, an astounding acoustic take [by Evan Hause] on “Poème electronique” (1958) by pioneering composer Edgar Varèse. The ensemble produced sounds of ringing, whirring, shrieking, tapping, sliding, whistling, pulsing, blasting and all manner of other effects, using only standard instruments, a barrage of percussion and some vocalizations when necessary. – The Denver Post (MacMillan), 1/22/09
Varese’s contribution proved the most forward-looking and impenetrable of the night. His 50-year-old Poeme electronique was turned into a Poeme acoustique. This jarring electronic work was conceived for a huge space at the Brussels World’s Fair, yet translated well into this setting (by Evan Hause) for acoustic instruments. With its bursts of noise and oddball percussive touches, the piece still sounds ahead of its time. Rocky Mountain News (Shulgold), 1/21/09
…the completely engaging performance [of Hause’s arrangement of Poème electronique] was the high point of the concert. To create the sounds, the ensemble used their traditional instruments, but augmented with things like crumpled plastic bags. A singer put her head into the space between under the lid of a grand piano and made odd vocal noises that were weirdly amplified by the echo and resonance of the piano’s soundboard. Chains were shaken, wooden boards slapped together and hums were intoned by the players. – www.sandwichcake.com (Hinton)
The original work was a technological tour-de-force, and Hause’s adaptation for Alarm Will Sound is extremely impressive — if I had been asked to do this, I honestly wouldn’t know where the hell to begin. The work definitely loses something without all the old-school bloop-bleeps, but I really enjoyed the theatricality of the acoustic version, which calls for almost every member of AWS to move around the stage, juggling their regular instrumental duties with an array of kitchen-sink auxiliary percussion effects. – Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society blog (Argue)

On the Premiere of the opera, Man: Biology of a Fall, October, 2007 in Brooklyn, NY:

Opera’s been crunching mere mortals up against mythic, ominous forces since Poppea’s coronation, but Hause’s music eschews the genre’s penchant for poetic or metaphysical resonance in favor of pocket ensembles and inventive clarity. His scores unfold as shape-shifting tapestries facilitating the audience’s consideration of the topics at hand. This limber musical approach provides probing incision beneath Heidt’s inexorable, frequently sarcastic confrontations and arias……..The wonder of his works, along with a certain dramatic release in viewing the machinations of a supposedly greater generation, is how his fluent lines and versatile musical underpinnings help the [Defenestration] trilogy’s probing dramas to resound. – The Brooklyn Rail (Lockwood), 10/3/07
Hause’s imagination encompasses an encyclopedia of period popular styles and expressionistic gesture; much as another composer might use harmony to express emotion, Hause’s idiom can turn on a dime when a character jokes, insinuates, or opines.   His small orchestras call to mind Pierrot Lunaire, or Mahagonny, or the Lounge Lizards. All this was on thrilling display in the premiere of the third installment of Hause’s Defenestration Trilogy, Man: Biology of a Fall.  – New Music Connoisseur (Wiprud), Spring/Summer, 2008

On the Premiere of Nassau, Vol. 2 by the Dogs of Desire on March 31, 2007:

This year’s blue ribbon for utilizing the most musical styles in the shortest amount of time goes to Evan Hause. In “Nassau Volume 2,” he jumps from Gregorian chant and polyphony, to Mozart and Schubert, and on to Webern and John Adams, and all in only a few phrases. – Albany Times-Union (Dalton), 4/1/07

On Street Jam on the Eric Berlin CD, The End of the Matter (MSR):

Evan Hause’s Street Jam is a delightfully crisp and punchy work. The two forces, trumpet and bongos, work together at times, against each other at times, and upstage each other at times. The title is a perfect visual image to put with the music. Hause has wonderful energy and drive in this piece. Both performers really throw down, too! – Sequenza 21, February, 2008

On the Premiere of Ghosts of the Revolution (née Freeman’s Farm) by the Albany Symphony on October 1, 2005:

…his piece…had the most vivid drama and made good use of the instrumentation for a substantial effect. Hause always packs a lot of meaning and activity into his writing, and this score had some moments that recalled Charles Ives.” – Albany Times-Union (Dalton), 10/2/05

Various reviews of performances and CD of Hause’s arrangement of Omgyjya Switch 7 by Aphex Twin, played by Alarm Will Sound:

The opening work [Evan Hause’s arrangement of Omgyjya Switch 7] firmly established the tone of the first half of the concert; an outburst of unstoppable energy with the radical grooves that Aphex Twin offers. – MLive (Anzaldua), Kalamazoo, 4/3/12
Special mention must be made of Evan Hause’s exuberant arrangement of “Omgyjya Switch 7” which closed the first half. The ensemble…proved their virtuosity and enthusiasm over and over again as the evening wore on and negotiated the often fiendishly complex rhythms with aplomb. – Sequenza 21 (Salvage), 2005

“Acoustica” by Alarm Will Sound (2005) – Billboard [pdf]


On the Premiere of Spectral Caravan on August 15, 2002 in New York City (played by Faiman and McMillen):

What made Mr. Hause’s piece particularly compelling was his way of deconstructing and varying the central rhythms without undermining the illusion of constancy that they provide. – The New York Times (Kozinn), 8/17/02

On the Premiere of Nightingale: The Last Days of James Forrestal on May 19-June 4, 2002 in New York City:

…has the makings of an engrossing music-drama…fresh and dramatic….his score rises to the drama’s strongest moments… – Opera News (Kerner)

On the Premiere of …labyrinth of flames… at “June in Buffalo” on June 5, 1994:

…I was most taken by Evan Hause’s labyrinth of flames…Apparently in two parts, the turbulent, dynamic opening section ignited by fierce clarinet trills was succeeded by slow piano chords and a violin meditation growing steadily stronger in very involving progressions. This is music with a clear message and destination. – The Buffalo News (Trotter), 6/6/94