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George Chien
Fanfare, November 2002

The performances are committed, it’s been 19 years since that Cambria LP was released, and it may be another 20 years before Cadman gets his next chance to be heard. He deserves this one.

Barry Brenesal
Fanfare, June 2002

"The performances are assertive, warm, technically adroit, and fully committed, as they would have to be in order to make music like this work.. Peter Zazofsky's singing tone is much in evidence throughout, and he is ably partnered by Ross Harbough's cello in the Piano Trio. Their successive solos in that work's second movement are a delight. The Bergonzi String Quartet clearly relishes the opportunity to show off their golden tone and fine ensemble work. Engineering is good, close, and well-blended. Strongly recommended."

Margaret M Barela
American Record Guide, April 2002

"The artists bring a high standard of musicianship, wonderful sympathy, a broad range of temperament, and considerable instrumental prowess to their performances -- so much so that they become (mostly) invisible and let the music shine through... For listeners looking to leave the beaten path of mainstream composers but still enchanted with late romanticism, Cadman's music offers many rewards, and this release in particular satisfies demanding ears."

Anthony Burton
BBC Music Magazine, February 2002

"Naxos's apparently indefatigable 'American Classics' project has turned up yet another minor but not uninteresting figure. The American performers, led by the excellent pianist Paul Posnak, do their best with Cadman's thick textures and sprawling slow movements.

SOUND: * * * *

Michael Jameson, October 2001

"Charles Wakefield Cadman (1881-1946) was one of the earliest North American composers to receive musical training not based on orthodox European precepts. His music, derived almost exclusively from indigenous influences, once enjoyed considerable popularity. Indeed, several of the works for violin and piano heard on this excellent new recording were included in the repertoire of no less a violinist than Fritz Kreisler. Cadman's style tends toward the lighter, salonesque genre, but each of the works included here more than warrants an occasional hearing. Perhaps the best known piece is the 1920 miniature The Legend of the Canyon, which was widely featured as an encore in Kreisler's recital programs. His recording, made in 1925 with pianist Carl Lamson, has been included on a useful historical reissue on the Biddulph label, and the same performance also appeared on the 1996 RCA retrospective. The performers on this new Naxos issue ably recreate the nostalgic atmosphere the piece ideally demands, with Peter Zazofsky's approach closely mirroring Kreisler's own, exemplified in his occasional use of glissando, a pleasingly 'old fashioned' use of vibrato, and some effectively-nuanced finger substitutions.

Zazofsky and pianist Paul Posnak also deliver a fine rendition of Cadman's sonata for violin and piano, written in 1930 for Sol Cohen, but the most significant discoveries on this disc arguably are the larger scale chamber works involving strings and piano--the Piano Trio in D major (1914) and the G minor Piano Quintet (1937). The trio aims to be everything--and isn't quite the sum of its parts. There's a big, romantically infused opening maestoso, a lyrically simple slow movement, and a finale with ragtime effects. The quintet is a better work, filled with strongly contoured ideas (the influence of Brahms is clear in the slow movement) constructed with great flair, the best sections being the racy outer movements. Both receive accomplished performances, highlighted by the tremendously assured partnership involving the Bergonzi Quartet and Posnak in the quintet. The disc ends with another effective salon miniature (also recorded by Kreisler) From the land of the Sky-Blue Water, again movingly played by Zazofsky and Posnak. This is a further valuable inclusion in Naxos' 'American Classics' series, and the excellence of the performances and sound reminds me that it would also be good to have a commercial recording of Cadman's Pennsylvania Symphony of 1940. Any takers?"

Lawrence A. Johnson
Gramophone, January 2001

"Well-crafted works by an all-but-forgotten American composer, vitally performed...This generous disc in the Naxos American Classics Series offers yet another timely excavation with the music of Charles Wakefield Cadman...The performances from musicians affiliated with the University of Miami's School of Music are vital and communicative, recorded with presence and clarity. Another winner from this enterprising series, which continues to provide a huge service to music lovers with its wide-ranging survey of little-known repertoire and forgotten American composers."

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