San Francisco Chronicle
3 Apr 2016

If you’re going to make a grand piano thunder and clang, you have to be able to do it with the elegance and fervor that pianist Lisa Moore brings to the task. About half of her formidable new release is devoted to music that rolls out in big, granitic masses, including John Luther Adams’ “Tukiliit,” which gives the disc its subtitle, and Julia Wolfe’s pitiless “Compassion.” Moore renders all of it with surprising tenderness and force. But even more striking (at least to this taste) are the contrasting stretches of gentle lyricism. The overlapping, sun-dappled textures of Martin Bresnick’s “Ishi’s Song” flirt continuously with sentimentality without ever lapsing into it, and Kate Moore’s “Sliabh Beagh” — a tribute to her Irish Australian forebears that is at once an invented folk ballad and an extensive piano commentary on that material — ties itself into wonderful self-referential knots. But the most unforgettable glimpse of beauty here comes from composer Missy Mazzoli, whose “Orizzonte” is a still-voiced meditation on eternity, with a subdued yet haunting layer of electronic sounds overlaying the piano writing. — Joshua Kosman