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David Hurwitz, July 2016

No one active today has a better feel for this music, for its past influences as well as its future destiny, than James Sinclair, and he galvanizes the players of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland to produce warmly idiomatic, extremely satisfying results. © 2016 Read complete review

Fanfare, November 2004

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Robert Carl
Fanfare, November 2004

the Naxos release pulls off the trick of sounding genuinely “Ivesian,” and convincing (me at least) that this is important music, which the composer would have enjoyed hearing in this spirited performance and format.

To read the complete review, please visit Fanfare online.

Peter Dickinson
Gramophone, December 2003

"...the main attraction here is the Emerson Concerto: everyone interested in Ives will want to hear it."

Anthony Burton
BBC Music Magazine, December 2003

"Alan Feinberg, who gave the premiere of this reconstruction in 1998, and performed it at the 1999 BBC Proms, plays it as if his life depended on it, well supported by the Irish orchestra under the Ives specialist James Sinclair...The performance has great flair."

Paul Driver
, October 2003

"Feinberg is brilliantly persuasive, and the disc includes a tyro symphony whose gaucheness and prolixity are redeemed by a Schubertian freshness."

Gavin Borchert
Seattle Weekly, December 2001

"The most fun and fascinating minutes from 2003's classical releases...Ives' first symphony was a valedictory piece for his studies at Yale with archconservative Germanophile Horatio Parker. There are only hints here of his later iconoclasms, but the slow movement is breathtaking."

Daniel Felsenfeld
Time Out New York

"Charles Ives's unfinished Emerson Concerto, one of a projected series of works called (with typical Ivesian machismo) "Men of Literature," is something of a thumbnail sketch for the composer's later watershed piece, the "Concord" Sonata. Served up here in an appropriately incautious reconstruction by scholar David G. Porter, the concerto presents a series of distinctive dialogues ranging in mood from seething anger to introspective intimacy and callow, naughty laughter - all strung together by a repeated, unironic quotation of the opening bars of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Listeners familiar with the "Concord" will appreciate the concerto's subtle duet between flute and piano, which augurs the latter work's tantalizing offstage flute part.

All of the polyglot composer's multiple personalities are represented here: Ives the heroic, the contemplative, the cantankerous and the screamingly funny. James Sinclair navigates the score with a spot-on lack of restraint, which provides Alan Feinberg with plenty of room for pianistic oratory.

The disc is rounded out by a stunning performance of the composer's First Symphony, which was written as a graduation thesis at Yale. The music is extremely reminiscent of Dvorak, who was all the rage at the time. No mere piece of juvenilia, the symphony, like the concerto, is an inspired, epic sprawl."

Calum Macdonald
International Record Review

"The piano part is hugely virtuosic and heroic, requiring a pianist of the first rank. Alan Feinberg is an ideal exponent of Ives's truculent and tender realism. The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland partners him well... a very strong recommendation"

James R. Oestreich
The New York Times

"[The "Emerson" Concerto] comes in a finely honed reading from 2002, with Alan Feinberg as soloist and James Sinclair leading the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland....Mr. Sinclair followed in 2000 with a collection of out-of-the-way orchestral works, some of them -- as with the Berman selections -- recorded for the first time. The entertainment quotient is higher here, with the "Country Band " March, "Set of Four Ragtime Dances" and "Yale-Princeton Football Game." But there is also Ives at his most substantial and quintessential: "Three Places in New England," in Ives's own version for small orchestra. It's enough to make your ears spin. "

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