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John Sunier
Audiophile Audition, March 2013

This bargain CD enables listener to access some of the finest impressionisticAmerican orchestral works ever composed, which deserve a much better place in American music history and appreciation. © Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Gil French
American Record Guide, March 2013

This reissued recording of Deems Taylor’s work is apparently the only one available, and it is excellent. The engineering is rich and atmospheric. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Brian Reinhart
MusicWeb International, January 2013

Deems Taylor comes first on the program, with his half-hour suite Through the Looking Glass. There’s bubbly good cheer throughout…

The CD’s second half…brings [Charles Tomlinson Griffes’] nearly-complete orchestral music—there’s also an overture and a handful of dances—and it’s all superb. The Poem for Flute and Orchestra…would be played everywhere by everybody, so wonderful is its writing for the soloist and so enchanting are its melodies. The White Peacock showcases the composer’s superb way with the orchestra, celesta and muted strings engage in dialogue with the flutes and oboes before a sudden swell of the violins portends Griffes’ glorious attempt to write the most luxurious, radiant music he possibly can. The work’s second half is pure magic.

…The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan…sounds simply utterly amazing, from its foreboding beginning through swells and waves of hallucinatory rapture. The climax arrives when it’s least expected, but goodness is it breathtaking in its explosive sweep. The CD ends with a Bacchanale, which sounds very oriental and includes yet more delicious orchestral writing.

As for this disc, Scott Goff’s flute solo work in the Poem is extraordinary…and Gerard Schwarz really understands the sensual, impressionistic idiom of the music. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Hurwitz, September 2012

Both here and in the Taylor work the performances are uniformly splendid: extremely well played, and just about perfectly conducted regarding tempo, texture, and balance. Scott Goff plays the flute solo in the Poem with finesse and lovely tone.

A great disc for collectors of turn-of-the-(20th)-century Americana. © 2012 Read complete review, September 2012

It is the Seattle Symphony under Gerard Schwarz that tackles orchestral works by Deems Taylor and Charles Tomlinson Griffes—and very well, too. The underlying Romantic sensibility of all the compositions makes them easy and pleasant to listen…with Taylor’s Through the Looking Glass a particular joy: each of its five sections portrays elements of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland…it is nevertheless pleasant and appropriately ebullient. The five Griffes works on the disc all have Impressionistic elements and well-painted orchestral colors. There is particular richness in the Poem for Flute and Orchestra, with Scott Goff floating his notes elegantly above the ensemble. Three Tone Pictures is a set of landscapes, while The White Peacock is lyrical and poetic. Griffes offers some Oriental exoticism in The Pleasure Dome of Kublai Khan, and he combines that with propulsive intensity in the short Bacchanale, which makes a fine encore at the end of the CD. The disc…has good sound as well as fine playing, and provides yet another opportunity for today’s listeners to hear music that, if not exactly modern at this point, is certainly unfamiliar—and a welcome change from the standard repertoire that continues to dominate concert halls. © 2012 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2012

The unanswerable question, ‘what would he have given us?’ resides on the gifted American composer, Charles Tomlinson Griffes, who died aged 36. His five finest orchestral scores show a rich palette derived from his student days in Germany and later transformed by his French Impressionist influences. As a young man he seemed destined to become a pianist, his orchestral scores often starting life as piano works.The two earliest on the disc date from 1912—The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan and the Three Tone Poems. Few exotic scores come closer to capturing total eroticism in the events pictured by Griffes taking place in Pleasure Dome.There was once an LP of Griffes orchestral music from RCA that will never be equalled, but be happy with the Seattle orchestra, the shimmering Three Tone Pictures sounding very beautiful. The Bacchanale is given a suitably buoyant reading, while the two works originated in orchestral garb, the Poem for Flute and Orchestra and The White Peacock are given highly persuasive accounts. Deems Taylor was born one year after Griffes and lived to be eighty-one, by which time he was recognised as one of America’s most respected critics. Yet through much of his life he was busy composing music in every genre, his five-movement suite Through the Looking Glass, being formed from episodes in Lewis Carroll’s story. It exists in two versions for chamber and full orchestra, and it is the latter one heard here. Gerard Schwarz finds the full quota of fun, though at the centre Taylor sends shivers through young listeners with his fearsome and slithery beast, Jabberwocky. The work lasts for over half an hour, the Looking Glass Insects forming a scherzo, before the romantic ending of The White Knight drifts away into wonderland. Originally released on Delos International in 1990, the sound is still in the upper league… © 2012 David’s Review Corner

Jeff Simon
The Buffalo News, August 2012

…the treasures here are the performances of Griffes’ Poem for Flute and Orchestra, “The White Peacock,” “Bacchanale” and “Pleasure Dome of Kublai Kahn,”… © 2012 The Buffalo News Read complete review

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