Mark Greenfest  |  SoundWordSight

"Monday night, June 9, the Chelsea Music Festival had a lecture on C. P. E. Bach precede a program of music called Silent Moons and Brahmsian Schoenbergswith . . . the very fine soprano Adrienne Pardee and the Amaryllis Quartett."


CD Review: Composer Nicholas Vines' Economy of Wax

Audiophile Audition | Daniel Coombs

"Economy of Wax for soprano and ensemble is written in reflection of the 2009 bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth. Soprano Jane Sheldon had commissioned a number of composers to write pieces that are connected to the concepts discussed in Darwin’s The Origin of Species. Vines’ contribution to this cycle is the present Economy of Wax, after the observations by Darwin on how bees make honeycomb. The texts are taken from Darwin’s own notes on the subject and Vines has very cleverly and creatively used the mathematical components of the actual honeycomb in the harmonic fluctuations that appear every twelve seconds. Additionally, the flute and viola create a shimmering series of tremolos, trills and flourishes to simulate the activity of the bees. Adrienne Pardee, soprano, performs very well and this piece is definitely fascinating."

Jeremy Shatan  |

"I have long rhapsodized over the Sunday morning chamber music concerts at Tanglewood, in Lenox, MA. Performed brilliantly by students in gorgeous Ozawa Hall, the concerts are like expertly sequenced mixtapes of music from the Baroque era to right now. Often featuring world or American premieres, the concerts are a great place to bring an open mind . . . 

In July 2010, I heard a fascinating work by Australian composer Nicholas Vines called Economy Of Wax, which has just now been released - although it was recorded in January 2012. The other two works were recorded in 2008 and 2010, which makes one wonder what they were waiting for. But here we finally have it, an album of Nicholas Vines's music called Torrid Nature Scenes.

Economy Of Wax, the short centerpiece of the album, is from a series of works commissioned from eight Australian composers to commemorate Darwin's 200th birthday. The title refers to Darwin's studies of hive construction by bees and his conclusion (as paraphrased in the liner notes by Andrew Robbie), that while "...bees know nothing of the geometric principles that guide their economy of wax, they nontheless behave in ways that contribute to it faithfully." Vines, inspired both by Darwin's scientific methods and the bees own systematic activities, prepared a set of scales and motifs from which to assemble the composition. Scored for soprano (the majestic Adrienne Pardee), flute/piccolo, viola and harp, the piece completely avoids any cliched buzzing sounds and instead stays in constant motion to represent the movements of the insects as they build their warehouse of honey."

Torrid Nature Scenes
By Callithumpian Consort, Eliot Gattegno, Adrienne Pardee, Jessi Rosinski, Derek Mosloff, Franziska Huhn, Paula Downes, Thea Lobo

2013 Chelsea Music Festival Finale, with Aaron Diehl

untapped | Frances Dodds

". . . Three lovely ladies came in and out of the arrangements: the Italian violinist Clara Franziska Schoetensack, the powerful soprano Adrienne Pardee, and the flutist Emi Ferguson . . ."

Britten's Les illuminations with the Salastina Music Society

Crescenta Valley Weekly | Robin Goldsworthy

". . . The program’s center of gravity was Britten’s setting of Arthur Rimbaud’s “Les Illuminations,” a work that at once expresses clear-eyed disenchantment with the world as well as a young man’s arrogance that he is at the center of it.

Concluding its third season, the Salastina Society’s concert at the Colburn School of Music’s Thayer Hall was yet another harvest from the bumper crop of world-class chamber music that Southern California has been enjoying in recent years . . . [and] each of the musicians on stage [were] formidable solo artists in their own right. Their unanimity of tone, elegant phrasing, deep expressiveness, and bristling energy had to be heard to be believed. . . Adrienne Pardee, the soprano soloist in the Britten, was fully up to the demands of the score, deftly navigating its heady brew of swagger, acidulous irony, and urban solitude with her own remarkable sense of control and word-painting."

Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, 2011

The New York Times  |  Allan Kozinn

“In ‘No Longer Very Clear’ (1994), a John Ashbery setting heard on Sunday morning, the athletic soprano line is treated almost as if it were part of the instrumental ensemble.  Adrienne Pardee sang it with an urbane charm, and if she was unable to project the text distinctly, she had it on Babbitt’s authority—by way of an interview quoted in the program book—that making the text understandable was not important here.”      

The Boston Globe  |  Matthew Guerrieri

“From Milton Babbitt, the festival’s lone late composer, came “No Longer Very Clear,” a short setting of John Ashbery; soprano Adrienne Pardee was a clear, vibrant medium for Babbitt’s glass-cut ambience.”

Sequenza 21  |  Jerry Bowles

“At the morning concert on Sunday, August 7th, soprano Adrienne Pardee and a small ensemble led by conductor Stefan Asbury performed Babbitt’s No Longer Very Clear (1994), a setting of a poem by John Ashbery.  This piece isn’t heard as much as some of Babbitt’s other vocal pieces: a pity, as it is a thoughtful and  nuanced treatment of an intriguing poem, with shimmering vocal textures and a delicately spun vocal line.  Pardee, a TCM Fellow [sic] demonstrated a lovely tone, impressive control, and rapt attention to the score’s myriad details: wide-ranging dynamics, tricky rhythms, varied articulations, and abundant chromaticism.  Both she and the instrumentalists did so well that Asbury, remarking that it was, after all, a short piece, asked them to repeat it; which they did, making the work’s charms even more abundantly clear."

As Europe in Milhaud's L'enlevement d'Europe, Tanglewood Music Center 2011

Musical America  |  Leslie Kandell

"In the first Greek myth, “L’enlevement d’Europe” (“The Abduction of Europa”), the roll-down screen showed far off mountains.  Jupter (tenor Martin Bakari) transforms himself into a bull and seduces Europa (Adrienne Pardee); she climbs on the bull’s back, puts her feather in his mouth, and off they go.  (Imagine these promising young singers’ faces when [director Mark] Morris told them what to do.”

As the First Attendant in John Harbison's Full Moon in March, Tanglewood Music Center 2010

The New York Times  |  Allan Kozinn

"Full Moon in March has plenty of high tension and occasionally melodic writing, which . . .  Adrienne Pardee and Martin Bakari mastered completely.”