"There's a cool sensuality in the way Hui traces over the shapes of
these things [...collection of pitches that are turned over like pebbles in the hand], trying to get the feel of them from every angle, and the
music grows more fluent under the intensity of this effort. There's also
a sense of unbridgeable distance, as if the solace of the title were more
sought-after than found."[Solace]
-- Robert Everett-Green, The Globe and Mail, January 18, 2003
"Adams saved the best for last, the world premiere of Night On Earth based on a Garcia Lorca text. It's deeply melancholic yet driven by human resilience before crushing despair. This stately vocal dance of the near-dead packs an emotional punch whose treatment in Spanish was just right. The textural detail applied to colour and rhythm, contributing to an exhilarating experience ... Hui's peaceful San Rocco achieved a saintly otherworldliness ..."
-- Geoff Chapman, The Toronto Star, November 5, 2002
... a static, mood piece that worked beautifully." [San Rocco]
-- Robert Harris, The Globe and Mail, November 4, 2002
"... a fine, colorful, therefore typically Gloriaesque program ... [with] two exquisite small bits by Earle Brown and Melissa Hui." [When soft voices die]
-- Alan Rich, Los Angeles Weekly, October 12, 2002
"All of the eight works ... bore a title or a subtitle, evoking certain intentions whether of mood or structure ... [The composers] fulfilled those expectations. But in distinct ways: Takemitsu, through impressionism; Hui, through emotional compression; Dutilleux, through investigation of the instrument's sonorities." [When soft voices die]
-- Chris Pasles, Los Angeles Times, October 10, 2002
"The sounds are old -- ancient, even -- but the combinations are new, as is the sensibility behind them ... one of the freshest and most exciting discs of the year." [The Shock of the Old CD by Common Sense Composers Collective and American Baroque]
-- Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, June 30, 2002
"There's still a great deal of vitality to be found in using historic instruments and techniques... a compelling case for such generational hybrids with The Shock of the Old."
-- Steve Smith, Billboard Magazine, June 29, 2002
"The duet that capped and also ended the siblings' brief emotional concord was tender, joyous, sentimental and oblivious
-- exactly what the situation needed. Both singers were stretched by the wide span of Hui's writing, and each made the frightening upper reaches sound easy. [The Cellar Door]
-- Robert Everett-Green, The Globe & Mail, March 24, 2002
"Opera loves strong emotions and this splendid little piece knew just how to ratchet-up the characters' feelings. Moreover, of all the composers in Opera To Go, Melissa Hui seemed to understand best how to support a vocal line
instrumentally without offering it competition..." [The Cellar Door]
--William Littler, The Toronto Star, April 23, 2002
"The pipa entered alone after a silence, with a pungent clash of chords that killed the nervous opening groove and made way for an intimate music of real lyric beauty." [Come as you are]
--Robert Everett-Green, The Globe & Mail, March 8, 2002
"Affection is different from the high-spirited excitement of Hong-Kong-born Melissa Hui's Common Ground, the concert's punchy, pulse-driven overture,
moving from accelerations on cymbals through diverse, quick little patterns to end with a spray of glitter at the top of the piano."
-- Paul Griffiths, New York Times, October 17, 2000
"... Hui's lovely Lacrymosa provided the still contrast -- in a sensitive, pure-toned and gorgeous trio."
-- Mark Alburger, 21st Century Music, May 2000
"... Solstice, all pared-down tones floated in the air, hovers with meditative poise."
-- Josef Woodward, Los Angeles Times, April 5, 2000
"... In the Breath of the Night ... was absorbing, mostly for its opposing elements. The gently shifting chords of the opening ... the second had an odd equilibrium of activity over accord, with traces of Ivesian hubbub to further stir the pot."
-- James Manishen, Winnipeg Free Press, February 18, 2000
"Lacrymosa was perhaps the most appealing work... Touches of George Crumb (singing into the piano)... contributed a note of nostalgia - memories of past masterpieces. Still, Miss Hui carried it off; her piece left the audience in a haunting afterglow...
(One liked this one a lot.)"
-- Marvin Tartak, San Francisco Classical Voice, October 27, 1998
"This is definitely music, and one
lingers over certain obsessive passages by Melissa Hui ..." [arranged excerpts
from Speaking in Tongues]
-- François Tousignant, Le Devoir, Montréal,
October 16, 1997
" ... to surrender to stasis and
transcendent alertness. Hui accomplishes her purposes with extreme economy...
This wonderfully slow, dreamy music blends the restraint of gagaku with
the ambience of Eno and impressionism." [Solstice in Common Sense
Composers' Collective CD, CRI Emergency Music]
-- Thomas Goss, 20th Century Music, August
"... and Hui's Solstice are
both beautiful pieces with a stately pace and evocative instrumental color...
" [Common Sense Composers' Collective CD, CRI Emergency
-- Kevin Holm-Hudson, 20th Century Music, August
"The delicacy of sound and extremely
limited pitch material in Melissa Hui's Solstice distinguish it
from the other works; it barely rises above a whisper, and is evocatively
lyrical..." [Common Sense Composers' Collective CD, CRI Emergency Music]
-- Art Lange, Fanfare, July/August 1997
"Hui shines in eclectic program...
Sunday evening's presentation by New Music Concerts... saved the best for
first. From Dusk to Dawn ... impressed because of her mastery of
long-range form... "
-- David Lasker, The Globe and Mail, June 17,
"Yarnell is a composer to watch,
as is Melissa Hui. Hui's Solstice creates its effects by using a
combination of Feldman and Takemitsu in a combination that is indescribably
lovely." [Common Sense Composers' Collective CD, CRI Emergency Music]
-- John Story, Fanfare,May/June 1997
"In general, I'm more taken with
the group's pensive adagios... and so Melissa Hui's Gagaku-inspired
using only a few meditative pitches, moves me ... " [Common Sense Composers'
Collective CD, CRI Emergency Music]
-- Kyle Gann, Consumer Guide, The Village Voice, April
"... restriction as her motto in
she knew how to tell a fascinating story."
-- Pay-Uun Hiu, De Volkskrant, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September
"The listener travels through a
fragile musical landscape... tranquil and subdued... Aljira evokes
a naturescape: rushing water, bursts of glimmering sunlight, a lingering
-- Anne Voegtlin, The Columbian , November
"... an evocative, evanescent sonic
-- Kip Richardson, The Oregonian , November
"... what convinced me that Hui
may have special gifts was the way she provided a meaningful context...
for every excursion into the harsh sound patterns so many modern academic
composers will use as a mere background. She's got a fine ear for harmony
and unusual skill in structure; I'll be keeping an eye out for her records."
-- David Maclaine, Willamette Weekly, November
"... equally rewarding [as Solstice, ]
with a most appealing serenity..." [San Rocco]
-- James Manishen, Winnipeg Free Press, January
"Like most primal experiences, it
was both thrilling and frightening. And like everything I've heard of Hui's,
it was brilliantly concise." [Common Ground]
-- Tamara Bernstein, The Globe & Mail, February
"... Common Ground, featuring
the wild skree of the expanded orchestra's brass and percussion, furnished
the evening with an appropriate pre-Golani fanfare."
-- Christopher Reibling, The Toronto Star, February
"The one piece different from all
the others ... a work perfectly at home Downtown ... Still and introverted
... it was the concert's most disciplined work, the only one whose composer
every note." [Solstice]
-- Kyle Gann, The Village Voice, July 12, 1994
"One heard Melissa Hui's voice in
Rocco, a serenely lovely piece ... inspired by the sense of timelessness
she found in the Italian village of the music's title..."
-- William Littler, The Toronto Star,April
"Youth is no impediment to genius:
That the composer, though just 27, has a strong vision was evident throughout.."
-- Nick Humez, Portland Press Herald, Maine,
August 2, 1993
"On a beaucoup aimé l'oeuvre
de Melissa Hui, à l'orchestration magistrale, à la coloration
subtile. On voudrait l'entrendre à nouveau." [Between you]
-- Nigel Barbour, Le Soleil de Colombie, March
"... Hui's piece seemed a remarkably
mature synthesis of some quite disparate materials." [two sides to the
-- Robert Everett-Green, The Globe & Mail, January
"A tense, magnetic suite ... One
would not have to know the ethnicity of the composer to notice the Oriental
character of her scoring and of her compressed style of utterance. But
while its contrasts were clear, and part of its origin traceable, the piece
followed no recipe, and ran considerable risk. If Changes is any
guide, Hui at 24 is an important composing talent."
-- Robert Everett-Green, The Globe & Mail, October