Stephen Brookes, The Washington Post
The focus of the evening was “Asumani,” a 2012 work for flute and cello by the gifted Turkish American composer Kamran Ince. It builds spare, questioning music gestures — flavored with microtones and other “extended” instrumental techniques — into a radiant climax before dissolving again into silence.  
Tom Strini,
Violist Erin Pipal and pianist Cory Smythe played the very difficult Road to Memphis, a 2008 duo by Kamran Ince, Present Music's long-time composer in residence in everything but name. Read Thomas and Reich invite you in and surround you; Ince is all up in your face, jabbing and feinting through jumpy, punchy bits of phrases and throwing haymaker tone clusters throughout the first movement. Ince soothes you after he knocks you around, with a second movement of more lyrical, longer lines that often open with very consonant leaps of an upward perfect fourth followed by a perfect fifth down. The finale starts off with a bang, and we think we'll have a wild ride to the finish line. But it dwindles away, returns with less energy, dwindles again, rises with still less energy, then fades away. Entropy never sleeps -- until it sleeps forever.  
Tom Strini,
Henceforward, when I hear the word “pandemonium,” I will think of this: The Greek sub-god Pan, in the person of soprano Jennifer Goltz, leading the rave-up to an orgiastic climax as crazed and hair-raising as anything I’ve heard in all of opera. 

The occasion, in the real world, was the premiere of Kamran Ince’s The Judgment of Midas, given in concert form Friday by an expanded Present Music ensemble, six superb guest singers, a chorus of nine and five players of traditional Turkish instruments. The occasion, in the plot of the opera and ancient myth, is an epic musical contest between Pan and Apollo (baritone Phillip Horst). The mountain god Tmolus (bass Mikhail Svetlov) judges the contest. Pan partisan Midas (tenor Matthew DiBattista) and tourists Franny (mezzo Abigail Fischer) and Theo (baritone Gregory Gerbrandt), who have somehow tumbled in from the 21st century, witness the spectacle and sometimes enter the fray. The composer conducted them all with searing intensity.

Ince, a Turkish-American composer, is fond of metal percussion, high chiming effects on piano and high shrieks from strings and woodwinds. The pandemonium rises to a clanging, banging, clattering, all-consuming roar as sensual and exciting as it is noisy. The incredible Goltz rose above it all in both pitch and volume. (How high was that exactly? High E? Inquiring minds who lack perfect pitch want to know.)

When the climax subsides, tourist Franny has a dazed little exchange (it made me think of this Woody Allen moment) that shows Pan has left her so wrecked she can’t remember her own name, much less that of boyfriend Theo.

But here’s the kicker: After all that, Pan loses, at least on the official, contested ballot.

Horst/Apollo makes a strong case in an answering aria about order and clarity, about music as the bearer not only of wild dancing and unharnessed pleasure, but also of the light of reason. Upon hearing this, Franny recovers her rational awareness and reconciles with Theo in a touching duet. Franny, you see, sings pop music; Theo is a composer of the serialist persuasion. So Judgment of Midas turns out to have some relationship issues stirred into its age-old battle of Classicism vs. Romanticism, the intellectual/spiritual vs. the expressive/carnal. When Franny and Theo reconcile, so do the Classic and Romantic.

Ince did not waste the obvious compositional possibilities attached to characters who are so much about music. Twelve-tone rows snake through the orchestra when Theo/Gerbrandt carries on in 20th-century arioso style. Pan’s music swings a little, at first; it’s fun and playful. But it becomes increasingly driving as the exchanges with Apollo escalate, and finally goes over the edge in that demonic pandemonium.

Ince’s Apollo rides in on a shimmer of clear, major harmony; “He sure knows how to make an entrance,” cracks Franny. Apollo begins with elegant, declamatory music with noble, direct harmonies — even though he opens by bragging about his many sexual conquests. His iterations grow more serious and serene in text and evolve into an idiom rather like the meditative Sufi music of the Whirling Dervishes. The Turkish musicians accompany his crucial third aria, the one that brings Franny back to herself, and a very rational canon plays out between Apollo and the chorus.

Unlike many newer operas, Judgment of Midas has real arias; it’s almost a numbers opera. You don’t come out humming the tunes because they aren’t repetitive enough to stick. But Ince gives his singers compelling melodies that show off their voices and express the moment, notably in DiBattista’s soaring declaration of devotion to Pan; in Goltz’s teasing, bluesy note-bending dissing of Apollo; and in Apollo’s golden redemptive hymn.

Ince’s harmonies, as always, are intuitive plays of conventional triads ranging from pristine to covered with “dirt,” as the composer refers to the dissonant notes he imposes on them. Well thought-out bass lines, rather than functional chords, drive the music forward and create a sense of shifting levels. A long, step-wise ascent of tonal levels gave the pandemonium an ominous sense of good times turning reckless and then sinister, in the way of an ever more drunken party.

Musically, though, melody and harmony rank behind Ince’s fabulous orchestral color. I’ve heard virtually everything Ince has written in more than two decades, and his palette here exceeds all else. This composer’s limitless sonic imagination has wrought one amazement after another. Librettist Miriam Seidel gave Ince an ideal platform for his style. Seidel also gave her characters marvelously witty lines, most of them legible without a glance at the supertitles.

Judgment of Midas is an ardent love letter to music, but Seidel’s words bear that love lightly. Thanks to her, this is a essentially a comic opera. The singers understood that and, under the direction of Jill Anna Ponasik, slyly played the relationships from their perches in front of the orchestra. Smiles abounded in the UWM Zelazo Center and laughter broke out frequently. Fischer, as Franny, got most of the good punch lines and she knew what to do with them.

The Zelazo Center is a difficult hall acoustically for large ensembles. On a few occasions, the orchestra covered the singers, but the balances were generally good. Jason Fassl’s smart lighting warmed up the place, set moods, and now and then commented on the action. You don’t get a 1960s psychedelic light show in just any opera.

All of this effort made Judgment of Midas work as a concert performance with some extra bells and whistles and made it look stageworthy as a full production. I can see it in a Neo-Baroque staging, with Apollo as the sun riding a cloud down to Mt. Tmolus. As Franny says, “He does know how to make an entrance.”
Jack Sullivan, American Record Guide Critics Choice
*Critic's Choice
This recording presents bold, colorful music by the Turkish-American composer, Kamran Ince, who has recorded three other discs for Naxos. I knew I was in for a wild ride when I saw in the notes that Symphony 2 and the Concerto for Orchestra, the opening works, represent the composer’s “more patient and mature” side. Having been knocked out of my chair by the time I read this, I couldn’t imagine what the impatient side was like. …Ince gets deeply into Turkish traditional music, presenting it from the inside out. He has an uncanny ability to meet the rawness of this aesthetic on its own terms and create ways to put it into a Western symphonic context without compromising its wailing grandeur. Subtlety is not his strong point—one must accept a fair amount of literal repetition and raucous sonority—but Ince’s sense of dramatic structure makes the adjustment possible for people who are open to something bold and new. His cause is helped by the Bilkent Symphony, which plays with amazing energy and abandon, and the Youth Chorus, which offers striking vocal colors. Let yourself go, and you’ll get lost in this music. The earlier Piano Concerto and Infrared Only, from 1984 and 85, turned out to be as feverish as the notes promise…Ince unleashes the full force of Western orchestral technology and Lisztian piano pyrotechnics. Unhinged and dreamlike as they are, both pieces have decisive inner structures; they really go somewhere, the concerto arriving in a firm D major, Infrared also concluding in D but with a G added to give the ending an fascinating Eastern tang. What ties this earlier music to the later offerings is a reliance on repeating blocks of sound, ominous pedals, heavy timpani, and pulsating colors. The Piano Concerto is a workout for the soloist; Ince himself, obviously a gifted pianist, plunges fearlessly into his own thicket of technical challenges. Infrared Only is a bit more predictable in its pounding ostinatos and hymn-like cantilenas than the concerto, but it’s fun to hear the brass and drums of the Bilkent Symphony showing their chops, especially in Naxos’s brilliant recording from Ankara, Turkey. Not to be missed, but hold onto your seat, check your speakers, turn down the volume a bit, and wait until the neighbors are away.
Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare
Kamran Ince (b. 1960), born in Montana and raised in Turkey, is probably the only composer to have written a symphony for and about a soccer team (or, as Naxos phrases it, keeping the non-American audience in mind, a “football club.”) Galatasaray, founded over a century ago, is a kind of religion to many of the Turkish people, I gather, so why not write a Galatasaray symphony? The question then becomes, what can this music possibly mean to those of us who are not Turkish, and who might not even be all that excited about soccer? Well, it's pretty exciting stuff—imagine if John Adams (not John Luther Adams, but the John Adams of Nixon in China fame) had rewritten Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, and you'll have an idea about what's going on here. There's a lengthy Turkish text, fortunately translated into English in Naxos's booklet. Here's an example: “Speak. Tell me./Where does this love come from?/Tell me. Reveal the secret./What's the reason for this pride, this passion?” Yes, these people love their soccer, and don't you dare get in between the two. If you don't know a word of Turkish—and you probably don't—and you don't read the text, you might well guess that you're listening to a patriotic oratorio. The appearance of a boy soprano clinches it. And you know what? You'll probably like this poster-sized, heroic, and appropriately populist music immensely, even if you dislike soccer, or even sports in general. It certainly impressed me. The other big piece on this CD is the Requiem Without Words, composed in the wake of the terrorist bombings in Istanbul in 2003 that killed Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike. A wordless requiem, then, fittingly becomes a non-denominational one. Still, the keening, melismatic vocals of the ethnic singer create the most potent sense of location. Again, after the work's opening onslaughts, a more elegiac mood (but equally intense) is established, and Ince's minimalist writing (but not strictly so—there is more of Adams than of Philip Glass, although both influences are present) comes to the fore. The singers either sing the vowel “ah,” or (in the work's agitated climax) seemingly random syllables. Some of the work's more fragile scoring is very pretty, and when it is, one is reminded of the late Henryk Górecki as well. Like the Galatasaray Symphony, this is not difficult music to respond to. Our ears are now trained to accept modern music composed in this style, and when a composer wears his heart on his sleeve as openly as Ince does, we tend not to resist. Very effective stuff. The two shorter works are no less gripping. Red, Hot, Cold, Vibrant, written in 1992 for the California Symphony, is like an industrial fever dream, full of pounding and shrieking, and madly driving rhythms. If inserted in a film, it would be an immediate hit, and I am surprised no one has thought to do so yet. Before Infrared also has an industrial air, but it is less of a Rite of Spring gone heavy metal than an atmospheric journey with an ominous beginning and an awe-inspiring climax. (The title is an allusion to an earlier work by Ince, called Infrared Only.) I don't know how well this music will stand up to repetition—I mistrust anything that works so well the first time I hear it. Nevertheless, Ince has quite an ear for orchestral color, and he has breathed life back into the frankly tired minimalist style in these four works. I'll certainly be hunting down earlier examples of Ince's music—see Fanfare 21:5 and 29:2 for other reviewers' opinions. I can't think why these recordings have been in the can since 2005-07 and are being released only now. The Bilkent Symphony Orchestra offers further proof that Turkey has world-class orchestras, and the vocal and instrumental soloists carry out their unusual duties with assurance. Ince, one assumes, knows how his music should go—and does it ever go! This CD is highly recommended, unless your doctor has warned you against nervous excitement!
Ettore Garzia, Percorsi Musicali
Classical. Kamran Ince and Turkish music
(translated from Italian)
Naxos published digital releases of three CD’s of Turkish composer Kamran Ince (1960) this month. This enriches the Naxos catalogue of the artist, one that was previously more in favor of large orchestral works. He has been active since the mid-eighties, managing to receive significant prizes given by a series of committees that do not come only from his country of origin.

The first CD containes his last symphony, the fifth, dedicated to the anniversary of the football club Galatasaray. This is joined by some very valid compositions of the past for small and large ensembles. This is repeated in the second CD, that includes some of his best and most representative compositions like Curve, Hammers & Whistlers, Istathenople and Strange Stone. The third album, Music for a lost earth, instead, contains only the long title track divided into parts. It is an “environmental" project in which Ince addresses the issue of mental dysfunction of men today, and how we can create a new feeling in a future new world. This comes out in a captivating composition suite that combines certain experiments with environmental minimalism that is now of great appeal in Europe.

More in the symphonies, sometimes Ince rises from the modern tradition of classical Turkish music with the reproduction of the musical pieces of the past that contain a meaningful historical sense. This is done with a firm grip as in the past cultural exchanges between Western and Turkish classical music, with the composers’ desire to complete their musical knowledge (think of Haydn, Mozart who used some Ottoman folklore).

After 1990’s traditional Turkish music was westernized, giving rise to comingling with popular sounds that trace “sad” and “mystical” characteristics (many encyclopedias report a group of five Turkish composers in vogue at the time, in the same way that there were European national schools).

Composers like Ince use a “multilingual” style: while inspired by “Sufism” with the proverbial spiritual issue, and the Turkish folk song, the compositions are hybrids that examine the Western choral tradition, minimalism, and the general essential elements of the post-war European classical music of the 20th Century.

There are not many composers who can boast a following in Turkey as Ince. I would like to mention composers Fazil Say, whose record production, however, is mainly based on the reconstruction of personal repertoire--and there is almost no historical approach dedicated to his compositions--and the more experimental Evrim Demirel, who combines his ethnic heritage with impressions of Schoenberg.

Discography Recommended -Symphony No. 4, "Sardis", Prague Symphony Orchestra, Naxos 2005 (composed in 2000) -Kamran Ince & Friends, Albany Records, 1999 (contains almost all of the chamber music repertoire written between 1983 and 1997) -In white, Present Music, Innova 2004 -Arches, on the album "Fall of Constantinople" Argo 1998 (year composed, 1994)  
Blair Anderson,
Youthful and mature works are presented on this 2011 album of compositions by Turkish composer Kamran Ince, but the common trait running through them is his audaciousness, a hallmark of his style. The Piano Concerto (1984) and Infrared Only (1985) are notable for their directness and brashness, and even though Ince's handling of the music is episodic and sectional, with abrupt interruptions of highly contrasting material, the dazzling orchestration and ferocity of attacks sustain interest and override the segmented structures. The Symphony No. 2, "Fall of Constantinople," is more consistent in mood and overtly unified and symphonic in concept (yet designed almost as a sectional tone poem rather than a conventional symphony), but the dark, warlike music that permeates the work is startling in its force and savagery. Perhaps most surprising and daring is Ince's Concerto for orchestra, Turkish instruments, and voices (2002, revised 2009), which fairly explodes off the CD from its percussive beginning. In this work, Ince demonstrates his ease with blending unusual and conventional tone colors, including folk instruments and a chorus, and produces an exciting concerto that is as original as it is unexpected. Ince leads the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in all the performances but one, where he performs as soloist in the Piano Concerto, which is conducted by Isin Metin. The extraordinary timbres that Ince calls for are vividly created by the musicians, and the clear and resonant audio of the recording makes them sound distinct and fully present.
Chestnut Hill Local (Philadelphia), Michael Caruso
Ince’'s “"Thyestes”" sets one of those ancient Greek legends that reveal the primitive barbarism at the foundation of western civilization. One can only wonder if such events ever really took place and, if so, whatever can be learned from their retelling. All the same, Ince’'s unaccompanied score is a masterpiece of concise structure, eloquent word‐setting, evocative harmonies, and exquisite voicings.
David Sterns, Philadelphia Inquirer
As Kamran Ince's Thyestes ended, someone brushed a light switch, plunging Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill into darkness but for the bulbs on the singers' music stands. It was strangely appropriate: The Turkish American Ince took on a grisly text from the ancient Seneca play Thyestes, about the chaos of the universe's dismembering mankind, with musical choices curiously devoid of hysteria, punctuated by choral exhalations suggesting disillusionment beyond words.
Sophisticated vocal constructs grew like sand castles destined to collapse - words from a corrupt Roman era, music from 2011, a time of uncertain economy and waning humanitarian loyalty. Still, you didn't expect the earth beneath them to vanish into an abyss. And the lights' going out? It felt like an act of God underscoring an exposé of hopelessness.
Records International
The second symphony we've offered in honor of a soccer team (anyone remember the one for Middlesborough FC about 12 years ago?) sounds like something Carl Orff might have written if he were Turkish - a 33-minute pagan rite with much brazen sounding pomp in hymn-like and march-like music and the boy soprano's tone adding to the Orffian vibe. Well, even the notes suggest that it's more an oratorio than a symphony. The 20-minute Requiem (for the victims of 2003 terrorist bombings in Istanbul) traffics in sounds of human anguish and of free-floating threat and anxiety before ending with a Byzantine-hymn-like comforting ending. The tightest and most invigorating works are the two oldest: 1986's Before Infrared evokes a huge mass of something awakening, getting moving and then hurtling through space while Hot, Red... (1992) is another juggernaut based on brawny ostinato figures whose minimalist tendencies are offset by shrieking brass interjections, whacks on the bass drum and other unexpected jolts to its rhythmic progress. Various Soloists, Turkish Ministry of Culture Choir, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra; Kamran Ince.
Records International
Vital and exciting, with an almost angry rhythmic insistence and a love of strong contrasts; this is music of passion and aggression, with an almost raw edge and a concern to appeal to and play on the emotional responses of the listener. There are influences and inflections from the composer's Turkish background, and stubborn and insistent syncopated rhythmic passages which propel the music forward. The Fantaisie is especially gripping, a helter-skelter dream sequence with seldom a breathing space in its 20-odd minute span.
The New Yorker
"...a confident, individual, arresting voice..."
"each Work has a quality and a no-holds-barred approach..."
"...bright textures, sudden transformations, simple, bold harmonic strokes"
The Washington Post
"...extraordinary vision and musical sophistication..."
"...insolent, virile music of brilliant wit and color."
The Los Angeles Times
" that rare composer able to sound connected with modern music, and yet still seem exotic
The San Francisco Chronicle
"...spectacular juxtaposition of sonic effects...there was real suspence in the roller coaster ride."
The Baltimore Sun
"A strong south wind from the Mediterranean blows through Ince's music, but there is a spaciousness about his music...He's a composer who's not afraid to take risks and his full-throated lyricism rarely fails to soar."
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Each Sound is brand new-you've never heard these instruments combined and played in quite this way."
"…pulsingly, evocative work…eloquent lyricism and energy…"
The San Jose Mercury News
"...exquisite effects...considerable beauty..."
Oakland Tribune
" The colors are hot, the gestures bold and brash."
John Sunier, Audio Magazine
"This is the most exciting new concert music I've heard on CD (Argo/Decca 'Fall of Constantinople CD) this year…Ince mixes such diverse elements as medieval compositional techniques, Middle Eastern folk music, Bach chorales, wild percussion, tone clusters, and the styles of late Romanticism as well as modern Russia. He also drops nontraditional instruments, such as electric guitar, electric bass, and synthesizer, into the normal symphony orchestra. Yet this very pictoral and striking music could not be called avant-garde; it communicates instantly and clearly in a language quite its own. Ince not only attempts to depict the sound of pounding waves in one section of his lovely piano concerto 'Remembering Lycia', but also wittily portrays 'speeches' by the emperor of Constantinople and the Turkish conqueror in his five-movement symphony about the 15th-century 'Fall of Constantinople.' After I first heard the opening work, 'Arches', I was amazed to read that only five acoustic instruments plus a synthesizer were used; it has the effect of a full orchestra. Don't miss these world premiere recordings."
Patrick C Waller, Music Web International
"…Ince's music displays a fusion of styles and has been described as "muscular, primaeval and neo-romantic. Whilst there is a strong Eastern component, the American element (and perhaps an influence of Ives) should not be underestimated. All presented here (in the Naxos orchestral Kamran Ince CD) is programmatic, and the forces involved in the symphonies are large, including the piano, additional percussion, synthesiser and electric bass guitar. This is a most interesting disc in an important series. Ince has absorbed many influences but is an original voice. Using the power of history he makes an impression that resonates in modern world. Contemporary music enthusiasts are unlikely to need me to prompt them to seek it out but perhaps I can challenge contemporary music spectics to give it a try. They will only be a few pounds poorer and might be surprised."
Justin Davidson, Newsday (Winner, 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism)
"Ince (in In White CD)…weaves grand, contemplative tapestries of sound punctuated by glints of Mediterranean melody, moments of sacramental splendor, Bach-like violin solos and spiky dissonant natterings. With a jeweler's touch, Ince takes each reference and allusion, polishes it brightly and sets it in a glittering string of episodes. 'Flight Box,' a work that alludes not to a cockpit recorder but to the architect Santiago Calatrava's seemingly airborne Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum, begins with a series of string proclamations, soon made plush by a vocalizing choir. A pulsating burst of brass and a flourish of high-flying trumpets add a touch of awesomeness to the reverent mood before breaking into a rapid-fire Turkish jam session, played with fierce precision. The piece gets its power from the superimposition of solemnity and frenzy - reflecting the sense of stasis one sinks into while hurtling through the air in a large plane…glittering episodes like multi-hued stones set in a gold chain…alternates sacramental and aggressive modes, with passages of whirling-dervish ecstasy."
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Cronicle
"The men's chorus Chanticleer commissioned…a piece to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of its founder, Louis Botto. Titled "And on Earth, Peace: A Chanticleer Mass," the work draws on the efforts of five composers, each one tackling a single liturgical movement, and involves Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and Orthodox traditions. The piece has already been recorded for Warner Classics…To these ears, the most rewarding contribution by far came from the Turkish American composer Kamran Ince, who approached the Gloria with the intoxicating setting of a poem by the Sufi mystic Jelaluddin Rumi celebrating "the aroma of God." Ince's music combines a series of nuanced but fairly traditional tonal harmonies with solo interjections that follow exquisitely surprising melodic scales. The effect is a powerful evocation of the splendor inherent in everyday life."
Frank Oteri, New Music Box
"Kamran Ince … often beautiful and always exciting post-minimalist music…The first CD of his music, on the…Northeastern label (1995)… was one of the first discs I heard when I arrived at the American Music Center five and a half years ago. It made me realize that as much as I thought I knew about contemporary American music, I certainly did not know enough if his music had evaded my radar. In fact, the disc became something of a catalyst for the second list of radio repertoire suggestions, Another Century List. An orchestral CD (of his music) came next on the …Decca/London new music imprint Argo…and then a disc of chamber music on Albany. The most recent disc (In White), this time on the ACF's Innova label, continues the trajectory with five pieces for various forces. Flight Box, scored for forces similar to a jazz big band (saxes, horns) but with no drums and violin, cello, and seven singers added, was composed early in 2001 and has nothing to do with the events of September 11. Rather, Ince's passionate music, which is inspired by feelings triggered from constant global travel between teaching gigs in Memphis and Istanbul. I want to be on that flight! The MKG Variations for solo cello is a quiet introspective work inspired by J.S. Bach, the Goldberg Variations rather than the Cello Suites. It also exists in a later version for solo guitar…The disc's centerpiece, In White, an extremely lush concerto for violin and chamber ensemble, opens with a melody reminiscent of the middle movement of the Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez but gradually travels to more mysterious terrain that sounds like polytonal Michael Nyman crossed with George Crumb before exploding into a full-fledged, tender romanticism. The work is inspired by Christian and Muslim architecture in Asia Minor. In Memoriam 8/17/99 for solo piano is a deeply moving emotional response to the catastrophic earthquake in Marmara, Turkey. Finally, Turquoise is unpredictable and rock-savvy (pun intended perhaps). Scored for the 20th century's ubiquitous'Pierrot' ensemble (flute, clarinet, violin, cello, keyboard and percussion) with added trumpet, here played by Stalheim, it is music that sounds right at home in the sound world of the Bang On A Can All Stars, who should commission him!"
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"In White" (1999), a chamber violin concerto, is one of Ince's best fantastical musical journeys. It starts with a monotonous figure that rises and falls in overlapping waves, which give way to snarling violin gestures. The gestures grow into a theme that takes amazing polytonal development turns before settling down for an inverted version of the opening figure. You think Ince is done, but a second development of the violin tune erupts and brings the music to even greater heights. A long, slow coda diffuses momentum and brings "In White" to a graceful landing.
Guitarra Magazine
"Ince's MKG Variations (guitar version),…are a revelation. Imagine you are walking down the street and someone is walking towards you. They look normal enough, but as they pass you, they leap at you, grab you by the collar and shake you. They let you go, circle around you and grab you again, shaking you. That is what this piece does… an explosion of sound that quickly disappears into the quite again, only to erupt intermittently throughout the piece.."
Pittsburgh Tribune Review
"Kamran Ince's "Hammer Music." The 15-minute composition was written in 1990, and is a masterful blend of challenging and rewarding elements that makes excellent use of acoustical instruments and synthesizer."
The Los Angeles Times
Kamran Ince's 1996 Turquoise, another work of extraordinary, pulsating beauty. It was my first encounter with Ince - born in Montana of Turkish and American parents - and not, I hope, my last. He knows how to make music move - a talent you don't find on every tree."
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Arches is...a piece that is saturated in a profound romanticism...the piece both relies on and defies minimalist conventions with its achingly lyrcal countermelody."
San Francisco Classical Voice
Kaç (1982), Turkish for "escape", is a collection of shimmering episodes for alto sax (played by the brilliant Dale Wolford), piano, and percussion. Composer Kamran Ince lets his sonorities linger, allowing piano strings the freedom to resonate and echo the sax's vibrations. It's a marvelous sound world, including the dull, foreboding thud of the bass drum, the glassy chime of the glockenspiel and various other percussive elements, juxtaposed in passages of contrasting sound with the piano and sax. The piece pounds and crashes, too, and the players brought committed gusto to their interpretation.

Ken Smith, Gramaphone
"What is fully palpable, however (in the In White CD), is how Ince's music maintains such a contemplative core...maintains its calm beneath a surface positively buzzing with rhythmic activity."
Jerry Dubins, Fanfare Magazine
"… (in Symphony No. 3 'Siege of Vienna') Ince calls for substantial instrumental forces, augmenting the standard orchestra with piano, synthesizer, electric bass guitar, four Wagner tubas, and a large battery of percussion. With forces like these, and movement titles like 'City under Siege,' 'War of the Walls,' and 'Final Assault,' one might be led to expect quite a cacophonous din. But Ince does not abuse the powers at his disposal, thereby making the climaxes even more shattering when they do come. In a number of ways, I found the subject matter, Ince's response to it, and even the music itself to have certain parallels to Shostakovich's approach in his Eleventh Symphony. Listen, for example, to Ince's frozen, disembodied, dead-man-walking soundscape that opens the fourth movement, 'Forgotten Souls.' It is a sound not too far removed from the opening measures of the Shostakovich. Likewise, the sudden, violent outbursts of military engagement and battle. This is very effective, colorful, and evocative writing. It is easy to understand Ince's success both in the concert hall and in film. …I find another analogy between his Fourth Symphony and Respighi's Pines of Rome. Subtitled 'Sardis,' it was commissioned by Crawford H. Greenwalt, Jr., director of excavations at the Sardis site northeast of Ephesus. An important city in pre-Christian Anatolia, Sardis was plundered by the Persians in 546 B.C. and was subsequently conquered by Alexander the Great. It became the site of one of the Seven Churches of Asia referred to in the Book of Revelations, fell under Arab rule in 716, and finally passed into Turkish hands in the 11th century. In five movements, for an orchestra including piano, electric and bass guitars, and mandolin, the symphony is a topographical portrait of the river, hills, mountains, and rocks of Sardis, rather than a musical depiction of its history. Like Respighi's Pines, Ince's symphony is as cinematic in character as it is a poignant rendering sculpted in stone of an eternal landscape. Domes is an extended orchestral movement for flute/piccolo, clarinet, bass clarinet/Eb-clarinet, two bassoons, two horns, trumpet, bass trombone, harp, piano, and strings…The best way I can describe it is to say that it seems to be a succession of contrasting moods and tempos that unfold within a larger, overarching mood and tempo that imposes its own time-space continuum on the work as a whole…there is a recurring ticking, tinkling motif that makes me feel as if I'm trapped inside some kind of cosmic clockwork from which there is no escape. Kamran Ince belongs to a new breed of American composers who are writing music that is once again accessible and, at least on its surface, quite beautiful and emotionally engaging…it seems that the box office beckons. The Prague Symphony Orchestra, under Ince's direction, plays superbly, and the Naxos recording is excellent. Strongly recommended.