On Blow! (1993) for saxophone quartet
“The Aurelia Saxophone Quartet gave…an unbelievably virtuoso performance of Blow!, by American composer Perry Goldstein, a true firework of vivacity and perfection, in addition to rhythmic gymnastics and great timbral flexibility.”
Aachener Zeitung

“‘Blow!’ [is] a raw-boned tour-de force that gave each player a chance to shine both in ensemble and solo sections.”
Buffalo News

“‘Blow!’ sounded fresh, idiomatic, and exuberant as it explored idioms from the blues to what used to be called progressive jazz.”
The Danbury News-Times

Blow! is “packed…full of symphonic associations, from the piercing, concentrated frenzy of Ornette Coleman to quivering big band chorales, to the modernist hop-skipping style the composer was mostly trained in. …the Aurelia’s members obeyed the title’s imperative with enough virtuosic energy and enthusiasm to make ‘Blow!’ a gas.”
New York Newsday

On Of Points Fixed and Fluid (1995) for solo piano
“The concert ended with Perry Goldstein’s kinetic ‘Of Points Fixed and Fluid’….Mr. Goldstein’s percussive, pummeling music was just the change of pace we needed.”
The New York Times

Of Points Fixed and Fluid is “a polytonal and quasi-tonal powerhouse of a piece.”

On Tableau and Talisman (1991) for flute, bass clarinet, and piano
“The world premiere performance of Goldstein’s jazz-paced, abrasive, ultimately cathartic “Tableau and Talisman” revealed the American composer’s strong talent and considerable accomplishment. His is a name to remember.”
Los Angeles Times

On Total Absorption (1994) for solo bass clarinet
“We don’t often hear a bass clarinet exceeding 120 mph on hairpin turns and steep inclines. Definitely an I-dare-you contraption.”

On Motherless Child Variations (2002) for saxophone quartet
“Perry Goldstein, who serves on the faculty of Stony Brook University, is closely associated with saxophone music, and his Motherless Child Variations (2002) make sure, idiomatic use of a saxophone quartet (in this case, the Aurelia). After a slightly spiky introduction, the famous, mournful spiritual is put through six variations, taking on elaborations even before the completion of its first statement. This is in no way a crossover piece, but Goldstein does call into play tricky meters and syncopation, the occasional dirty wailing of blues, and the free and highly elaborate lines of jazz. It all fits together nicely, and the result gets a fine, highly idiomatic performance from the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet.”

“The album [‘Influence’] opens with the marvelous ‘Motherless Child Variations,’ based on the traditional spiritual, which Richie Havens performed with unnatural zeal and beauty at Woodstock back before PCs. This version [by Perry Goldstein] never loses the recognizable line, swelling and swaying through on saxophones to an almost whimsical baritone sax backbeat.”
Stephen George

“Perry Goldstein’s Motherless Child Variations for saxophone quartet make their starting point with the negro spiritual ‘Sometimes I feel like a motherless child’ and flow through with consummate structural and inventive artistry to a dreamlike solo ending, ten minutes of pleasure appreciating not least the expertise with which he handles the instrumental textures.”
Patric Standford, “Music Vision” CD Spotlight

On Noir (1999) for alto saxophone, bassoon, and piano
“Perry Goldstein’s ‘Noir’ is a complex and sometimes sensuous piece….” David Schwartz, American Record Guide

“Noir, by New Yorker Perry Goldstein (b. 1952) is fragmentary in nature. This work proceeds in a cumulative way, using disparate ”building blocks” of music–along the same structural lines as Tippett’s Second Piano Sonata–that eventually coalesce. An especially compelling passage occurs around 6:04, when short bursts of figuration from the piano and bassoon transform into an accompaniment to a long, lyrical line from the alto sax. One by one, the other instruments discard their busy material and become more melodic, evincing a real sense of progress and growth.”
Phillip Scott, Fanfare Magazine

On Quintet for Alto Saxophone and String Quartet (2006)
Perry Goldstein’s Quintet for alto saxophone and string quartet is a playful, lyrical reimagining of the commonly orchestrated string quartet and clarinet.
Greg Cahill, Fanfare Magazine

Then for something not completely different but different enough to add spice to this program: Perry Goldstein’s Quintet is a blues-and-jazz inflected piece that pays homage to the pop-cultural influences in contemporary music. Like a mini-concerto, it has a cadenza for the sax in its singing middle movement. The last movement returns to the bright bounciness of the first. Marked “Dancing, yet driving,” it sounds like Paul Creston with overtones of Jacques Loussier but with a more contemporary edge to it. A neat piece.
Lee Passarella, Audiophile Audition