Ken Smith/Gramophone: The piece, written for solo clarinet and piano trio, was premièred by clarinetist David Krakauer and Trio Solisti (violinist Maria Bachman, cellist Alexis Pia Gerlach and pianist Jon Klibonoff) at New York’s Morgan Library on May 2, 2003. A recording of the work, which will also include Moravec’s Mood Swings, B.A.S.S Variations, and Scherzo, will be released later this year by Arabesque Records.
Steve Reich’s Cello Counterpoint and Peter Lieberson’s Piano Concerto No 3 were the other nominees.
The work is a meditation on Shakespeare's The Tempest. NPR samples a promising four minutes of it here.
J. Jioni Palmer/Newsday: As a composer, Moravec is considered a member of the "new tonalists," a group of composers who shun hard-edged, complex avant-garde sounds in favor of harmonic tones.
Prominent prior winners include Aaron Copland (Appalachian Spring), Charles Ives (Symphony No. 3), Gian-Carlo Menotti (Music in the Consul), Samuel Barber (Vanessa and Piano Concerto No. 1), Elliott Carter (Second String Quartet and String Quartet No. 3), Ned Rorem (Air Music), George Perle (Wind Quintet IV), John Corigliano (Symphony No. 2) and last year, John Adams (On the Transmigration of Souls).