Plain Truths, just premiered at the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, picks up a nice review in The Boston Musical Intelligencer, the journal and blog of the classical music scene in Boston. Sudeep Agarwala likes the “early-American sound-world” of the ballads and “harmonically complex backdrop” of other songs, and calls the second song, “Annie Lisle,” “particularly heart-rending.”
Here’s the review:
“Plain Truths the High Point, in Plain Truth … Galyon also premiered Kile Smith’s Plain Truths, settings of texts from Newburyport writers and thinkers set for baritone and string quartet. The title was taken from the subtitle of a self-published work of Timothy Dexter (1748-1806): A Pickle for the Knowing Ones, or Plain Truths in a Homespun Dress. The middle piece, ‘Plain Truths,’ is from Dexter’s ‘remarkable chunk of writing,’ as Smith refers to it. His work is an integration of various musical languages all in service of the textual context. While movements such as ‘I Am Aware’ and ‘Plain Truths’ featured a through-composed arioso performed over a harmonically complex backdrop, other movements presented ballads that hailed back to an early-American sound-world. ‘Annie Lisle’ is particularly heart-rending. The work couldn’t have received a better premiere; this sensitive reading of the work illustrated Smith’s piece in the vivid colors with which it was so obviously conceived.”
Read the review of the entire concert here.