select press reviews

Contemporary American Women Composers and Their Choral Music - New!

UVM's Vermont Quarterly article (new page)

Pulse article by Kyle Gann (pdf)  

The Albany Times-Union feature (pdf)

                 An acoustic "Through the Looking Glass" world based on sound that the performer is not making.
The New Yorker

               [Her pieces] have an underlying sense of magic and mystery. Unlike some of her more purely intellectual contemporaries, Leach is not merely messing around with the properties of sound; she's exploring (and connecting with) the aesthetic and even spiritual power of sound.
Bill Tilland, Option

               Either en masse or in various antiphonal clusters, Ms. Leach's slow-paced and soothing music seemed intent on filling this high-ceilinged space with different densities of sound. Textures were made to thicken, but pleasantly.
Bernard Holland, New York Times

               To her credit, Leach offers a spiritual recharge without the banalities of the new mysticism.
Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press

  The result is serene and ethereal-sounding music that seems to float . . . the overall sound is reminiscent of Ligeti works like "Lux Aeterna" and the music of Arvo Pärt, with echoes of Renaissance polychoral composers like Tallis and Gabrieli. This is well-crafted, serious music that deserves to be listened to seriously and carefully. Those who do so will be well rewarded.
D.C. Culbertson, Chorus!  

  A striking attribute of Leach's music is the ability to develop complexity out of simplicity, music that reveals an extreme density - the mind of the listener is suddenly caught in a vortex of devastating sounds.
Piero Scaruffi, i/e

  Drawing clear inspiration from the medieval choral traditions that grew out of the resonant cathedrals of Europe, Mary Jane Leach arranges for voice pieces that sound both holy and exotic.
Thomas Schulte, CD Now

  Celestial Fires and Ariadne's Lament are the two solo CDs of hers: two gems settled into the outline of the "post minimalism" of the nineties.
Giovanni Antognozzi, La music minimalista

                Smooth choral and multiple-instrument continuums accumulate into radiant sonorities pulsing with overtones and a delicately tuned personality. In "Bruckstuck" the New York Treble Singers stretch a Bruckner passage into otherworldy undulations as soft as velvet. . . Leach's choral writing is effective enough to find fans outside new music circles.
Kyle Gann, Village Voice

               A Leach concert is nothing less than transforming to the listener, who, if fortunate, may find him or herself surrounded on all sides by a choir working in sublime sonic gradations and ghost tones — those overtones manufactured by the human ear when confronted with certain tonal dissonances.
Greg Weeks, New Sonic Architecture

               Leach has created a sonic world of tonal beauty, a visionary quest for inner peace.
Fabrizio Gilardino, Vice Versa

  "People say that Leach's music is hard to listen to. Well, Beethoven's music is hard to listen to - at first."
Otto Luening liner notes for his Orchestral Works cd

  Mary Jane Leach's recent CD, "Celestial Fires," is an arrangement of six pieces of music that flow together to create an iridescent lingering sense of suspended time. The music is continuous, yet it breathes very deeply . . . creating a multidimensional cathedral-like environment that sur rounds the listener in swirling sound.
Helen Hall, MusicWorks   

"4BC" contained a rich quality. One was drawn into the piece and en tranced . . . [the] music struck a meditative chord that touched the human psyche, causing one to ponder the eclectic energies that fuel the life cycle. "Green Mountain Madrigal" and "Mountain Echoes" effectively echoed tones and overtones that popped back and forth around and around. Leach's music is like a retreat. Each piece gives one a sense of being; a sense of the universal.
The Phoenix

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