Chicago Tribune 1/2005
"Daniel Lippel is sturdy and reticent. At first glance, he gives the impression of a young Marlon Brando; he is exceptional in his craft but he does not ham it up. The apotheosis of the modern guitarist, Mr. Lippel, who received his PhD from the Manhattan School of Music, has won various competitions and played amongst some of todayâ€™s top new music chamber groups. Add that to his world touring with indie-rock group Mice Parade, and you get more than the sum of the parts. Mr. Lippelâ€™s recently released CD Resonance is a fine example of contemporary guitar literature and we explored the motivations behind his unique program choices. â€œ
Guitar Review Fall 2005 Issue #131
"...meticulous phrasing and penetrating tone..."
Chicago Sun Times 1/2005
"Well this is a treat. Guitarist Daniel Lippel has put together a wonderful CD featuring works by Mario Davidovsky, Nils Vigeland, Elliott Carter, Soonjung Suh, Judah E. Adashi, and Peter Gilbert. Except the Davidovsky and Carter, none of the works on the CD have been recorded before. The first half of the CD contains the work of the three "older" composers: Davidovsky, Vigeland, and Carter. Of the three, Davidovsky's "Synchronisms #10" is the highlight. As in his other "Synchronisms" pieces, Davidovsky blends electronic and acoustic sources with aplomb and sensitivity. After a long guitar introduction, Davidovsky slips in the electronics almost imperceptibly, yet the music's subtly increased energy carries the guitar and tape into a thrilling duet of musical equals. Davidovsky may be a crusty, old-school modernist, but "Synchronisms #10" is, overall, a gentle, beguiling work filled with pleasures both simple and complex. The second half of "Resonance" contains three works by composers who are all under forty. I particularly liked Adashi's "Meditation: Three Episodes from William Styron's 'Darkness Visible'." This is a very sensitive, tonal work in three short movements. The guitar writing may lack the bravura found in several other pieces on the album, but in its place Adashi gives Lippel the chance to sing out beautiful, delicate melodic lines. The chromatic inflections to the relatively traditional harmony are well felt and never sound cheap. Also welcome were the luxurious silences: these gave some well-deserved moments of reflection to what is a pretty intense CD.
Whether he's rippling through Carter or chilling out with Vigeland, Lippel's playing is consistently convincing and leaves little to be desired. He's as technically sound as anyone could possibly want, and his musicality makes everything sound as natural as improvisation. "Resonance" may be a little difficult to find, but it's definitely worth the search."
David Salvage, Sequenza21 February 14, 2005
â€œOn this recording Daniel Lippel pairs classic 20th century works by Davidovsky and Carter with new pieces by younger composers, two of which are premiere recordings. As the title suggests, Lippel chose works that focus on the guitarâ€™s unique tonality. Lippel's playing on the Davidovsky is intense and well articulated, emphasizing the angular nature of the phrasing. Nils Vigelandâ€™s La Folia Variants shows a thoughtful and carefully orchestrated approach, showcasing a rich and peculiar combination of harmonics balanced with the guitarâ€™s natural overtones. Soonjung Suhâ€™s Garak, Korean for â€œmelody,â€ makes a nice pairing with Elliott Carterâ€™s Shard. Garak balances irregularly timed runs and strumming with elements of Korean folk music in some of the melodic sections- a combination that thankfully sounds better on the CD than it does on paper. The fine performances and well-balanced program make this disc a standout and definitely worth purchasing.â€
James Hanna- Guitar Review Issue 130 Spring 2005
"Daniel Lippel is a New York-based guitarist, who is intensely committed to challenging contemporary music. He performs both as a soloist and in different groups so far afield as the Zvi Migdal Tango Ensemble and Mice Parade, an indie-rock group. The list of his teachers includes David Starobin, Jason Vieaux, David Leisner and John Holmquist, of whom especially David Starobin has played an important role as his mentor. Contemporary music is unfortunately mostly relegated to specialist festivals and minor venues. The major record companies mostly fight shy of anything written by composers still alive. It is to be hoped that this brave project will pay dividends in the end, for although all the music on this disc was written within the last fifteen years it should be readily accessible even to non-specialist listeners or guitar freaks. What is needed is an open mind and open ears. Apart from using my mind and ears I have also culled information from the booklet notes, where in several cases the composers are quoted. My only regret is that the designer of the booklet, has not - as so often is the case - been able to withstand the temptation to print the text in white against a brownish background. It might look stylish but readability is low. But there my complaints end. The text, when I had found my magnifying glass and a suitable spotlight, is illuminating (sorry about the pun), the sound is well defined and realistic, quite closely recorded but still without the sort of extraneous noises that often afflict guitar recordings. The recording engineer - and also co-producer with Daniel Lippel - is Peter Gilbert, who is also the composer of the music on the last track on the disc. Although written during roughly the same period the music here is nicely differentiated, each of the composers having an individual voice. It also seems that none of them is a guitarist and that may be one reason for the successful results, thinking more in terms of music as opposed to guitar music. The oldest of them, the doyen of American music, Elliott Carter, is represented by a short piece (less than 3 minutes), composed for David Starobin in 1997. It is filled with pleasant surprises and rhythmic vitality, swinging violently before, in the end, it dissolves into thin air. Here Carter very decisively marks the end of the composition with a very earth-bound full stop. Mario Davidovsky, born in Argentina, who has been one of the fore-runners in the field of electronic music, combines a pre-recorded and altered tape with the live guitar. This piece was also written for Starobin and the use of unvarnished guitar sounds against the processed guitar sounds from the tape gives the music a feeling of unity. The electronics do not enter until halfway through the composition and before that the music flows in a lyric-melodic vein but spiced with violent outbursts of powerful chords and percussive effects. Fascinating! In Nils Vigeland's La Folia Variants the well-known, late Renaissance theme is used, in the composer's own words, "more as a point of departure rather than a foundation". It is a quite extended work in three movements, where the central Sonata is powerfully contrapuntal while the concluding Dances are more lyrically reflective, the dance elements appropriately more in the line of the stylized dances of the baroque than the more flexible and rhythmically more intense dances of later periods. Seoul born Soonjung Suh uses elements from traditional Korean music which he dresses in modern harmonies. Garak, meaning Melody, is partly an introverted composition but in the middle section also highly virtuosic. In Judah E Ardashi's Meditation, loosely based on the first three chapters of William Styron's Memoir, the silences between notes sometimes seem just as important as the notes. People of today are very often unfamiliar with silence but to me it seems that the moments of afterthought occur in the silences.
Just as Davidovsky's Synchronisms, which start the programme, Peter Gilbert combines the guitar with electronics, but uses them quite differently. In Ricochets, a premiere recording like most of the contents on this disc, we experience a constant combat between the electronically-produced sounds of the modern industrialized society and the solo instrument, which for its survival prepared with a pencil stuck between the strings at the fourth fret and tin foil being wrapped around the neck of the instrument, which is also differently tuned. The human mind obviously has to adjust to the technological surrounding and the composition seems to end somewhere in outer space. We don't really know whether the instrument gets the last word, but to my ears at least the last chord of the guitar lingers ever so little after the electronics have died away. Hopefulness? Daniel Lippel writes "resignation". Whatever, it is the composition - and the whole disc - is thought-provoking and stimulating. Much of the music is extremely demanding for the guitarist and I can't imagine it being better played.
Some people I know refuse to listen to music by other composers than those who have been dead for at least 100 years. This disc is not for them. Everybody else should definitely find this - as I said earlier - thought-provoking and stimulating."
GÃ¶ran Forsling Music Web International, May 2005
All music strives for resonance. It resonates with us physically, through sound vibrations and pulse, and it resonates with us spiritually, through human communication and expression. The pieces on this recording demonstrate daring in their approach to sonic and spiritual resonance. Many moments in these works draw our ears in, focusing attention on the delicate timbre and sustain of the guitar. It is rare to have the opportunity to contemplate sound for its own sake- we habitually shut it out, as it surrounds us constantly in our lives. When sounds are taken for granted they are sapped of their meaning. The musician's role is to fill sounds and silences with meaning, so that we are compelled to take time and truly listen.
Guitarist Daniel Lippel is committed to repertoire that challenges him as a musician. This commitment is reflected in his activities commissioning and premiering new works, his experimental programming, and his interest in rethinking the concert experience. He brings this same urgency to his performances of works from the standard canon. He has performed throughout the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, with recent recitals on the Music from the Forefront Series at Bowling Green State University and Trinity Concert Series in New York, as well as an appearance for the Harvard Group for New Music and a performance with ICE (International Chamber Ensemble) of the music of Mario Davidovsky at Columbia College in Chicago. His appearances as a chamber musician include appearances at Carnegie's Zankel Hall and Weill Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, Hertz Hall at UC Berkeley, SUNY Buffalo, AKI New Music Festival, and on the Cooperstown Chamber Music Festival. Lippel's interest in contemporary music has resulted in engagements for the Princeton Composers Concerts, Columbia Composers Concerts, Friends and Enemies of New Music, Look and Listen Festival, and Norfolk Contemporary Music Seminar, as well as masterclasses at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Bowling Green State University and guest lectures to composition departments at the Manhattan School of Music, University of Texas at Austin, and University of North Texas. He won first prizes in the Stafford (England) Guitar Competition, ASTA Competition, and Boston Guitar Society Competition. Lippel performs actively with new music ensembles (Flexible Music and ICE) as well as non-classical ensembles (Zvi Migdal Tango Ensemble, Fat Cat Record's Mice Parade). Mr. Lippel was on faculty teaching classical guitar at Bowling Green State University from 1999-2001.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Synchronisms #10 for guitar and electronic sounds- Mario Davidov
2. La Folia Variants- Cadenza - Nils Vigeland
3. La Folia Variants- Sonata - Nils Vigeland
4. La Folia Variants- Dances - Nils Vigeland
5. Shard - Elliott Carter
6. Garak - Soonjung Suh
7. Meditation- Requeim: For Fallen Artists- Judah Adashi
8. Meditation- Paris: Wanderjahr Revisited- Judah Adashi
9. Meditation- The Stranger: Cosmic Loneliness- Judah Adashi
10. Ricochet- Peter Gilbert