Sculptured Birds for Clarinet and Piano - Review

"Mr. Baley's own 'Sculptured Birds' was also austere and experimental — the piano was rattled and strummed, and the clarinet imitated a wind tunnel — but it put these devices to much more musical ends."

 

— Tim Page, The New York Times


"Baley's own 'Sculptured Birds'  the first movement, 'The Jurassic Bird,' composed in 1979; 'Eagle;' 'Bird in the Glide;' and 'The Nightingale' added in 1984, for Mr. Powell — struck deeply. The imagery was keen the musical thought original."

 

— Andrew Porter, The New Yorker

Duo-Concertante for Violoncello and Piano - Review

"The most welcome surprise was Baley's Duo Concertante for piano and violoncello, a quasi concerto following a theme and expansion structure with the cellist and pianist competing in a virtuosity content."

 

— Mark Oliva, Reno Evening Gazette

Orpheus Singing for Oboe and String Quartet - Review

"Orpheus Singing, as the title suggests, is another of Mr. Baley's more lyrical works. The Recitative and Aria movements are joyously songful, the latter ending with a 'tip of the hat' to that Legendary master of American song, George Gershwin. In the final movement, Kolomyika, the composer quotes generously from the traditional Ukrainian round dance, but spins the familiar melodies through some rather unconventional modulation schemes.

 

— Oles Kuzyszyn, The Ukrainian Weekly

Dreamtime - Review

"Virko Baley's Dreamtime, a massive chamber work (the oxymoron fits), appeared here in concert and on CD (Cambria) simultaneously...In 19 movements spread across 80 minutes, the piece ranged kaleidoscopically in strategy and technique, evoking the dream world sometimes through the illogic of its sudden contrasts....Embedded like jewels within Baley's Euro-complexities were movements and moments worth taking home: the gently rocking dissonances of 'Tears', the bittersweet chorale of 'In the Labyrinth.' A really astonishing passage was movement 10, 'Parastas', in which (Dorothy Stone's) Ukrainian change-quoting flute glided above the twangy murmuring of two Jew's harps." 

 

— Kyle Gann, The Village Voice


"Virko Baley's Dreamtime, which filled the EAR Unit's entire program at the County Museum last week, threatened gadgetry just from the printed program: 19 movements running 80 minutes, their titles suggesting pre-Columbian, Australian Aboriginal and similar other worldliness...the music spacey, its fragments held together by some unexpected logic, marvelously laid out for the awesome talents of this sovereign ensemble of new music performers, it had its captivating moments. You didn't just listen, as you do with Haydn, you gave yourself to it and sort of floated. Afterward at home, I let the trance continue by running a much-adored movie, Werner Herzog's Where the Green Ant's Dream, a sad and haunting fable set in the Australian outback. If you don't know it, or don't know Baley's music, (recorded on Cambria), it's time you did."

 

— Alan Rich, L.A. Weekly


"As chamber music goes, Baley's opus is grand... Dreamtime lays easily on the ear and the mind...An intuitive, eventful, evening, and work."

 

— Josef Woodard, Los Angeles Times