Reviews of Works

Aqua

“the music comes across as at once exhilarating and dangerous”
   — Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times
 
“If music has the capacity to elicit a three-dimensional vision, this was it”
   — Michael Huebner, The Birmingham News

Beautiful Ohio

“bitterly beautiful… riveting tension”
   — Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times
 
“Song of haunting beauty and profound alienation”
   — Bruce-Michael Gelbert, qmetropolis

Brion

“a haunting, quirky and continually inventive chamber work”
   — Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times
 
“brings to mind the clean, harmonious lines of the architecture in an uncanny way”
   — Ira Byelick, American Record Guide

Chamber Music

“challenging yet enriching anyone’s notions of melody or, in the molto preciso passage, even of music”
   — Kathleen M. Bennett, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Exiles

“goes immediately onto this year’s must-hear-again list”
   — Richard Buell, The Boston Globe
 
“Meltzer’s strong talent for crafting persuasive musical narratives”
   — Christian B. Carey, Musical America

Piano Quartet


“The Piano Quartet (2016) is in a single movement, and under fifteen minutes. But it suggests a greater architecture than its relatively short duration. Part of the reason is that the music is built on an alternation between music that is either very crisp and dancey, or far more open and lyrical. As a result, it feels as though it’s made of multiple movements, braided throughout the work. The effect of one of great clarity, and paradoxically, mystery.”
   — Robert Carl, Fanfare

Rumors

“a dictionary of colorful effects”
   — Allan Kozinn, The New York Times

Sindbad

“in every possible sense, a knockout”
   — Hugh Vickers, Oxford Times
 
“a subtle and imaginative piece”
   — Joshua Kosman, The San Francisco Chronicle

Snow White

“utterly marvelous”
   — Heuwel Tircuit, San Francisco Classical Voice

That Obscure Object of Desire

“a stunning palette of differing sonorities”
   — Stephen Smoliar, The Examiner

Toccatas

“effortless navigate the genre with a non-formulaic outlook and fresh harmonic
invention at all times”
   — Jed Distler, Classics Today
 
“fascinating in its unusual, unique sound world”
   — Giselle Reimann, Basler Zeitung

Topography

“my favorite song of the evening”
   — Sherri Rase, QonStage

Two Songs from Silas Marner

“inexorable emotional power”
   — Allan Kozinn, The New York Times
 
“a very sensitive and moving setting”
   — Ira Byelick, American Record Guide

Variations on a Summer Day

“[M]ezzo-soprano Quinn Middleman made a similarly persuasive case for Harold Meltzer’s ‘Variations on a Summer Day,’ a gleaming setting of texts from the Wallace Stevens poem of the same name.”
 
   — Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe, July 25, 2016
 

“…the high point of this album is certainly Meltzer’s song cycle Variations on a Summer Day”
 
   — Sydney Boyd, American Record Guide, May/June 2018
 

“He uses music to mirror images in the music, conjuring astonishing gulls at the start…. There’s dramatic invocation… marvelous, soaring, restless a cappella melody…. ”
 
   — Brian Schuth, The Boston Musical Intelligencer, July 25, 2016

Virginal

“alluring, imaginatively scored short work with its fresh harmonic language”
   — Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times
 
“a Stravinskian neoclassicism for the age of Bang on a Can”
   — Ian Quinn, American Record Guide

Vision Machine

“organic, original, and outstanding”
   —Lee Hartman, KC Metrpolis

“imaginative and evocative”
   —Libby Hanssen, Kansas City Star

“breezy and scintillating”
   —Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times