Accolades and Press Reviews
American Academy of Arts and Letters
A lyric gift of gentleness yet strong in its articulation, his music sings and weaves its way through sonorities of varying hues and weights. Music as sensitive as his one is grateful for in times when sensibility of any kind seems a risk rather than an endeavor.
Elegy for a Singer
. . . [An] affecting work, the strings sing a rich, winding melody that goes through several permutations, followed by a contrasting section and a return to the opening melody, but this time slightly altered and more passionately stated. The overall form is clear-cut and simple, but the piece carries a considerable emotional weight—it sounds in places like a Mahler adagio—and its string writing is skillful.
Concerto for Oboe
A likable, gracefully neo-Classic score with a great deal of interplay between the oboe and soloists within the orchestra, and some delightfully worked-out counterpoint.
The real treasure here is David Evan Thomas’s Thrum. . . in invention, expressiveness, excitement, and the fresh voice of the composer. Thomas is not a guitarist himself, but he has written for the instrument and has a wonderful touch.
SENSUOUS, COLORFUL AND EXPRESSIVE
SENSUOUS, COLORFUL AND EXPRESSIVE: Thomas works playfully with motives, varying and combining them, allowing them to emerge in changing hues. Thus, the melodic arches, the singing lines which distinguish a fanciful musical medium and make the music warm, even catchy, step forth.
David is one of the shining lights in the Twin Cities music scene, having composed a number of beautiful choral works— this setting of the psalm being especially lovely. A singer himself, he composes lovely vocal lines for choristers, always being cognizant of the text. The soprano solo enters at the close, offering a peaceful conclusion.
Variations on Simple Gifts
Thomas’s piece deserves to take its place in the American repertoire alongside Rorem’s A Quaker Reader and Samuel Barber’s Wondrous Love variations.
The Healing Fountain
Eloquent and smartly written.
When Music Wakes My Sleeping Heart
Written in the Dust
One of the finest examples of literature written for the genre. Contains all the ingredients which make this a masterful, virtuosic work for duet: a brilliant pedal cadenza, “pedal fans” in the outer movements, motives which are started by one player and finished by the other, ranges of motion for each player that cover the keyboards, fast figuration, conversational passing back-and-forth of musical ideas, and elegant, lyrical writing. All combined, they enable Written in the Dust to tell a compelling music story.”
I can imagine movements such as Furlana and the lively Tambourin becoming firm favourites with concert audiences the world over.
Thomas has supplied such an abundance of invention and sheer compositional high spirits that the listener’s interest never flags.
Reviewing Stephanie Wendt’s performance in Ås, Sweden: “Then she offered two works especially written for her, [including] a much more challenging work by David Evan Thomas that he chose to call Night Echoes. It was the second work that caught me with its darkness and unexpected tonal twists.”
Read the Swedish review here.
Elegy for a Singer
RSO SCORES WITH PREMIERE OF ELEGY. Among the two or three most beautiful works whose first performances I’ve heard from the RSO. After a century during which the phrase “modern music” was all it took to evacuate most concert halls, this is the kind of piece that should convince average concertgoers that it’s safe to go back in the water. A piece unmistakably of its own day, and yet in a triad-based tonal language, it glowed with a radiant beauty. It would be good to hear the Roanoke Symphony do more new music like this.
Concerto for Oboe
Full of attractive orchestration and powerful phrases.