Reviews

Three Pairs Suite (Fl. Cl., Vln. Vc., Pno. Perc., 2009)

“Timothy Kramer’s “Three Pairs” Suite for a mixed sextet was the memorable centerpiece of the July 15 concert…We have heard quite a lot (but not nearly enough) of Kramer’s music during his time here [in San Antonio], and all of it has been superbly crafted and intriguingly complex. “Three Pairs” is one of his strongest pieces.”

Mike Greenberg, Incident Light, July 2010

“Three Pairs Suite [is] a venturesome, tuneful piece of music that will impress and delight with its balance of exuberance and formality, tradition and novelty.  … Among Kramer’s strengths as a composer - from the perspective of listeners and musicians alike - is his penchant for writing music that draws fully upon the particularities of color and tone of each of the instruments in his arsenal. Although some movements highlight an instrument or pairing of instruments…within movements, and across them, Kramer never loses sight of the whole.  The suite revolves around its central “Intermezzo”… the movement is an exhilarating, vertiginous piece of music. By way of contrast, the suite’s second movement, “Nocturne,” is more straightforwardly lyrical in nature…Cycling through the circle of fifths …the movement showcases a lovely, soaring melody...”

Justin Isenhart, San Antonio Current, July 2010

“Kramer obtains great colors and textures with his combination of strings, percussion, and woodwind instruments all represented,” remarks Sant’Ambrogio…“[it] has a clear formal structure with great energy in the fast movements, and lovely poise in the slow, meditative movements.”

Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio, Director, Cactus Pear Festival
quoted in San Antonio Current, July 2010

Cycles and Myths (Vln., Cl., Vc., Pno., 1996)

“The writing is [in Cycles and Myths] constantly inventive, clear, full of energy and admirably precise, with no wasted motion.”

Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express News, June 1997

Cycles and Myths grows stronger with each hearing.   It opens with a chirrupy, propulsive, asymmetrical motive that is full of possibilities for development, variation, splitting apart and recombining. The title refers to recurrences of that opening idea (the “cycles”) and development sections that explore some aspect of it (the “myths”). Thus the piece is unified and economical, but hugely inventive; fully modern in its sound world, but classical in disposition. It deserves a place in the standard repertoire, and apparently is getting one.”

Mike Greenberg, Incident Light, March 2010

Party Favors (orchestra, 2007)

“A raucous, delicious and cunningly crafted new piece by composer Timothy Kramer…  Driven by an enormous percussion battery, the music is funky, bouncy and swingy in ways that evoke the 1960s and '70s.  But this score also sends roots deep into classical music tradition. The thematic material is based on the notes B-flat, A, C, B-natural - in the German system, B-A-C-H. Kramer joins the line of Franz Liszt and others who used the same motive in homage to J.S. Bach. Kramer most often uses the four notes simultaneously, as a highly dissonant tone cluster, but the theme also appears in sequence…most notably in a broad horn solo just before the final stretch.  The nervous, persistent rhythmic patterns also show the influence of Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, with the harmonies and colors of Stravinsky's Petrouchka also making a brief appearance near the end.  So the score draws from a wide watershed, but Kramer is always in full control of his materials and always makes the music distinctly his own. It's great fun to hear.”

Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express News, March 2007

Etude Fantasy (on a theme for Madame Duruflé) (organ, 1995)

“…Timothy Kramer's 1995 "Etude Fantasy (on a theme for Madame Durufle)” [where]… a brief motto is put through enterprising, richly varied paces, and the piece is vividly colorful in a rather French way.”

Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express News, November 2007

Der Virtuos (piano with optional visuals, 1988)

“Kramer’s “Der Virtuos” is a set of thirteen pieces based on a series of caricatures by Wilhelm Busch… The drawings depict a rather flashy pianist performing for a man, and the titles refer to musical terms such as “scherzo, “adagio,” and “maestoso,” building to a frenzy.  The pieces begin gently and build to virtuosic extremes - a fascinating and amusing group of pieces!”

Kathy Parsons - MainlyPiano.com , September 2007

Vanishing Perspectives (amplified cello, 2006)

“Timothy Kramer's "Vanishing Perspectives," for electronically enhanced cello solo, is a tautly disciplined, beautifully worked-out piece whose germinal idea is a falling half-step interval.”

Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express News, May 2006

Lux aeterna (unaccompanied choir, S.A.T.B., 2004)

“Timothy Kramer's contribution was a radiant, concise choral setting of "Lux Aeterna," with rich modernist harmonies and a backward glance at medieval chant.”

Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express News, November 2004

Mimetic Variations (wind octet, 1998)

Mimetic Variations…was a handsomely crafted, eventful piece built in part from layers of varying patterns…  Its central slow section developed like a thoughtful conversation.”

Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express News, February 2005

“…a splendidly energetic and excellently crafted Mimetic Variations by Timothy Kramer.”

Timothy Reynish, WASBE Newsletter, November 2004

“Rhythmically complex and sometimes eccentric, with roots in Stravinsky’s neoclassicism, this music has a wonderful driving energy…”

Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express News, October 2002

Meditation (Noël Nouvelet) (organ, 2002)

"Meditation (Noel Nouvelet)" by Tim Kramer, is a haunting, intensely moving organ score that was premiered last summer in memory of 9-11 at the American Guild of Organists convention. Geoffrey Waite's performance was appropriately spellbinding, reflecting the imagery of something shrouded in dense smoke - the chorale tune that, like a phoenix, slowly emerges in the pedals and begins to soar.”

Diane Windeler, San Antonio Express-News, November 2003

BACH meets EsCHer (orchestra, 2000)

“From the title and the composer’s description, you might expect this 10-minute work to be a clever intellectual exercise.  It is that, but it also is sensually appealing, exiting music of dark gravity.”

Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express News, June 2000

“An intriguing polyphonic exercise…”

Michael Hill, Tacoma News Tribune, February 2002

Colors from a Changing Sky (piano, 1994)

“[A work of] rhapsodic impressionism…”

Lehman, American Record Guide, May/June 1998

“The program opens in a bravura manner, with a 1994 work by Timothy Kramer that was inspired by the big stormy skies of Texas…the piece is blustery indeed, with billowing arpeggios that recall Liszt.”

Peter Burwasser, Fanfare, May/June 1998