Caroline Shaw: Orange
In Orange, Caroline Shaw’s music furtively glances back while striding forward with scintillating inventiveness. Its beauty emerges as much from its fragments of Mozart, Ravel, and Bartók as from the iridescent shards of light that punctuate this playful, unexpected album. “Punctum” is a good place to start, its explosive Beethovenian opening and modal introduction giving way to a breathtaking pass by Bach’s Passion chorale. “Ritornello 2.sq.2.j.a” moves distractedly from the 17th century to the here and now; the five-movement Plan & Elevation is engaging, thoughtful, and exciting. Shaw was partly inspired to write “Valencia” by the wondrous construction and architecture of a Valencia orange, and many of her most radiant ideas, indeed, blossom from simple roots.