Jeffrey Ryan is one of Canada’s most outstanding composers. He evokes bright, vivid colours in his works which brim with imaginative sound worlds. The Linearity of Light is one such work and is concerned with imagining sound itself, brilliantly realised through different pitch combinations and their suggestions of the brightness of light. Equilateral is a triple concerto, and a spiritually complex meditation that fuses lament with joyful affirmation. Symphony No. 1: Fugitive Colours draws on the idea of colours that fade when exposed to light, and does so with masterly orchestral virtuosity.
"Full marks again to Naxos scouts for recognising an original voice... The Linearity of Light is a good opener: overall reminiscent perhaps of Jerry Goldsmith, its vivid orchestration and episodic character would stand it in good stead in a dystopian or sci-fi film score, particularly the last three minutes, which bristle with excitement and drama... anyone who has enjoyed Goldsmith’s finest soundtracks should be quite comfortable with Ryan’s music. That is not to say that this is film-grade writing - far from it. Ryan’s orchestration is considerably more sophisticated, his ideas much more original ... Equilateral…is an impressive work that is sure to have wide appeal. The Symphony is even more terrific…This big, four-movement work is a cornucopia of orchestral detail and effects that never resorts to ostentation or gimmickry - often, indeed, the music is contemplative and gentle. The Gryphons ... turn in creditable, ingratiating performances. With luck [Naxos] will press on with this Canadian series as with the American and Spanish Classics… Either way, a Jeffrey Ryan follow-up should be high on the ‘Things To Do Next’ list..."
Byzantion - MusicWeb-International.com - March 2012
International Classical Music Awards
"…the music can be appreciated with neither programme nor inference. It works very well in absolute terms, intricate and invigorating in the outstanding performances here. Sound World. Linearity of Light is a spritely and concise curtain raiser eleven minutes in length. For most collectors this will be a pleasing introduction to the composer. Originality and quality is obvious yet the spirit of the piece recalls Stravinskian wit and use of an orchestral piano is redolent of Martinu’s symphonic muse. Equilateral seems to flow out of the first number seamlessly. It opens with energetic thrust and momentum….with Fugitive Colours, Ryan has created a memorable addition to the form ... Imagery may have been a primary influence but the work packs an emotional wallop. Passages sinister and joyous seem to transit directly to the listener’s subconscious. This first symphony is a monumental achievement and music lovers everywhere are the beneficiaries.The Idea of North... Ryan’s symphony not only reverberates from coast to coast to coast in Canada but also vaults the North Pole to land in the midst of the modern Nordics. Such is powerful and prolific company for Jeffrey Ryan. Naxos has taken great Canadian music of our day and given it global reach.
Stephen Habington - Classical Music Sentinel - September 2011
Remy Franck - Pizzicato magazine -November 2011
"...This is some of the best new music I have reviewed in more than two decades. For the Vancouver Symphony, playing these pieces must have been rewarding. These are persuasive readings."
Kilpatrick - American Record Guide - January-February 2012