"Biscardi drew his inspiration from poetry, turning to Eliot and transforming into music a play of contrasting tensions by which the sounds expand and contract in a mobile fixity. The orchestra is subdivided into four sections and even on this level, the work functions perfectly."
"Here one heard at work experienced craftsmanship. The play of timbral contrasts and durational values had an appealing, suggestive quality."
"The work by Biscardi was precise and stimulating. It was a world premiere, and the composer, present in the auditorium having reaching a European concert hall early in his career, was warmly applauded."
"Chester Biscardi's AT THE STILL POINT, the new American work on the Stokowski Legacy series, emplyed the antiphonal format of pitting soloists against a larger group. It is a tense, emotionally volatile work, exploring different possible coloring of tones and often quite dissonant harmonic clusters. Quite haunting. A convincing first U. S. Performance Saturday."
"The New York premiere of Chester Biscardi's 'At the Still Point' was a serious, introverted exploration of musical time and movement."
"AT THE STILL POINT (1976/77) is a piece by a highly regarded young composer, Chester Biscardi. Working mostly in chamber music forms and an atonal framework, Biscardi writes music with a signature vividness and intensity that seems interestingly to spring from a basically lyrical temperament — it's music that can be active and even disjunct from one moment to the next, but the overall effect is one of directed, sustained flow. The registral and geographical arrangement made for interesting interplay as the material ebbed and flowed between the various groups, or the groups themselves combined. Its best moment was an exquisite middle section in which the music slowly and inevitably phased itself out, a lovely exercise in suspended time."
"AT THE STILL POINT, which takes its title and its ideas of motion around stillness from T. S. Eliot's BURNT NORTON, holds interest by keeping a focus on long, big buildups of tension. That, in turn, enhances the ethereal rounding-off at the end. The performances are altogether superb. A PLUS"
"Biscardi's 'At the Still Point' is an impressionistic essay in symphonic textures and sonorities."
"The Biscardi is a mystical excursion into sound and space."
"Here's a fine opportunity to hear an approach to the current problem facing young composers: how to express emotional content without turning to the false nostalgia of postmodern tonal music. Biscardi is exploratory, concerned with sonics and sonorities rather than melodies and chords, but just as dramatically expressive — perhaps more so by virtue of its avoidance of cliché."
The orchestral work [At the Still Point (1977)] was written while Biscardi was in Rome, and shows in particular the influence of Elliott Carter. While the general harmonic rhythm of the piece is slow, the sharply outlined details of individual lines and the emphasis on particular intervals reiterated in similar contexts combine to remind one of similar moments in Carter (in my case, I thought of the slow-moving blocks of sounds in that composer's piano concerto).
At the Still Point, for orchestra and trio (1977), utilize[s] the technique of "frozen registration." Harmonies don't logically flow from one moment to the next, leaving the listener not unpleasantly trapped in a never-ending present tense. Like Debussy, Biscardi uses instrumental timbre and dynamic variation as structural elements.
"Chester Biscardi is a professor of music at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. This disc presents a survey of his works for soloists, chamber ensemble, and orchestra from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s. Though his musical voice has evolved and changed through those years, each work presented here displays a moment of inspiration, a gentle and compassionate spirit, a captured moment in time — at the still point."