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You’ve seen a lot of Belinda Reynolds around NewMusicBox lately—she’s been offering us a weekly crash course in issues related to composing for students. When I heard Play, the work inspired by a game she plays with her students on her new disc, I found my ear coyly charmed in a way I was not expecting. But the rest of the disc might serve as required listening for composers who fear that writing for amateur players will buff the edge off of the skill and inventiveness they might display in the rest of their work. Seems the opposite is true, at least in Reynolds’s case. The album’s title track has a mysterious, fairytale quality to the opening flute line, and though the cello and piano pull things down a slightly darker path, the music finds itself cycling around again, not quite down the same path, but through similar trees.

–MS