New York Times

-- My Desert, My Rose....the composer describes as a series of patterns that are subject to the players’ in-the-moment choices as to length, meter, tempo and dynamics. The intricate, industrious patterns — involving plaintive lines, obsessive ostinatos, string scratchings and more — exuded adventure and intensity. (M. Tommasini)

-- “A gripping experience.” Beyond Zero: 1914 - 1918

-- “It’s a testament to Ms. Vrebalov’s skill that the result is a unified and purposeful work (Babylon, Our Own), combining depth and a great deal of surface polish, beauty and even fun. Her musical language, inflected with Balkan and klezmer idioms, is vivid and free of clichés. Its relationship to the music and poetry of the past — recorded, inherited, memorized — is refreshingly unneurotic.”

-- “Ur Song, an arresting aria from an opera in progress by Ms. Vrebalov.”

-- “spell no. 4, for a changing world, a premiere: a recording of a choral work by Ms. Vrebalov (“Slepacka molitva”) wafted through a gripping sequence of groans, cries and ethereal chords, punctuated with the sounds of chimes, shells and broken glass.”

…hold me, neighbor, in this storm… “a vibrant tapestry of urgent, sinister passages with insistent rhythms, lyrical interludes, raucous folk melodies and microtonal whispers.”


Wall Street Journal

-- “Yet Aleksandra Vrebalov’s Bubbles topped it for innovation, with Kronos joined by the vibraphonist Andy Meyerson and 30 members of the outstanding San Francisco Girls Chorus, conducted by Valerie Sainte-Agathe. Never have buzzing lips, piercing whoops, and giggling been so beguiling, and when these singers drew out “I Love You,” it was impossible not to be moved.”













Los Angeles Times

-- “An ecstatic arrangement by Aleksandra Vrebalov of the Prelude from “Tristan and Isolde.” Mark Swed.

San Francisco CHRONICLE

-- “The moments when the suave vocal murmurations of Vrebalov’s score come together into a rich, moody harmony feel like the outcomes of some hard-won psychic battle….luminous and transparent score….this is music full of dramatic nuance and inventive delight — not merely the backdrop to the protagonist’s life passage but its very essence.” Joshua Kosman on Abraham In Flames.

WQXR

The Sea Ranch Songs, album of the week. “Aleksandra Vrebalov Reshapes California Minimalism with Kronos Quartet...the album creates a sense of wonder and connection with the natural world.”

HYPERALLERGIC

-- Salome (film, 1923), soundtrack.....”a hypnotic score, by the contemporary Serbian New York-based composer, Aleksandra Vrebalov.”

Time Out New York

-- “Aleksandra Vrebalov's wrenching …hold me, neighbor, in this storm…

The Times

-- “A strange and sober beauty.” Beyond Zero: 1914 - 1918

The Guardian (BBC Proms):

-- “Aleksandra Vrebalov's Hold Me, Neighbour, In This Storm was chilling and beautifully structured, with pre-recorded Serbian Orthodox church bells and Islamic calls for prayer.”

Washington Post:

-- “Babylon, a Clarice Smith commission (for Kronos Quartet and David Krakauer), is a searing 35-minute work.”

The Berkshire Review of Scotland, Edinburgh Festival:

-- “It’s an impressive and well-wrought piece (…hold me, neighbor, in this storm…), and I’ll certainly be looking out for Vrebalov’s work in the future.”

Cleveland Arts:

-- “The most impressive piece on Friday’s program came last, Aleksandra Vrebalov’s “…hold me, neighbor, in this storm…” In this audacious and affecting score, the Serbian composer evokes traumas and joys experienced by the Balkan people during the 20th century.

Vrebalov employs a vast soundscape in her jolting portrayal of violence, courage and defiance. Along with the intense interplay of the string quartet and occasional colorations of ethnic instruments, the narrative is catapulted by a tape of church bells, a woman singing a folk song and the chilling sound of exploding bombs. The performance seized the ears and sent the audience into the night with much to ponder.”

Danas (Serbia):

-- Opera Mileva – “Exceptional music by Aleksandra Vrebalov.”

Blic (Serbia):

-- Opera Mileva – “Supreme artistic experience.”

Opera Journal:

-- Opera Mileva – “Vrebalov scores with broad strokes and bold gestures in lush orchestration. There’s no minimalist picking and plonking here and there, but huge swathes of strings and floating melodies with violent interjections of stabbing brass and percussion.”

Lucid Culture:

-- “The richly hypnotic, glacially shifting, Messiaenesque tectonics of Aleksandra Vrebalov’s Eastern Chapel Meditations.”

BBC Music Magazine:

-- “Vrebalov's Spell, a mesmerising piece for violin interacting with live electronics and pre-recorded choral fragments.”