Broken Cries

I’ve always been a sucker for cello ensemble pieces. There’s something really appealing about having a big group of people all playing the same instrument, and it works more effectively with cellos than most instruments—tons of flutes are cool but there’s only so low you can go and a bunch of pianos are cool to look at but usually guarantee a muddy texture, and I haven’t even taken practicality into account. David Liptak’s Broken Cries, composed in the summer of 2001 (month not specified), sounds like much of the music created by Americans either immediately after 9/11 or eerily right before it. Slow mournful music gradually grows turbulent and uncertain.

—FJO