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James H. North
Fanfare, November 2015

John Knowles Paine’s symphonies and tone poems are long-underrated treasures—as fine as American music would get before Charles Ives. JoAnn Falletta has a relaxed yet vigorous way with them that makes her performances more enjoyable than those by Zubin Mehta’s crack New York Philharmonic. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, September 2015

…Paine’s music is not to be missed, and…this is an urgently recommended, indispensable release. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

James H. North
Fanfare, September 2015

Falletta creates beauty and excitement…her players sound committed and involved in the music. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Julian Haylock
BBC Music Magazine, September 2015

Far more than an American footnote in Romanticism, desperately playing catch-up with the European mainstream, John Knowles Paine emerges in these devoted performances as a gifted master in his own right. © 2015 BBC Music Magazine

Donald Rosenberg
Gramophone, July 2015

Falletta shapes each score with a fine sense of pacing and balance, making sure that the intimate aspects of Paine’s art receive as much attention as its majestic sonorities. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Paul L. Althouse
American Record Guide, July 2015

The performances by the Ulster Orchestra are quite good—convincing and enjoyable. The recording itself is clear and well balanced… © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, May 2015

Ms. Falletta once again shows an excellent feel for this kind of music and the Ulster Orchestra responds accordingly.

Falletta gives us performances worthy of Paine’s music. It is a very pleasant experience hearing it all. If it sets the stage for things to come it also has charm that makes the experience of it rewarding and of course historically illuminating. © 2015 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Remy Frank
Pizzicato, May 2015

JoAnn Falletta and the Ulster Orchestra perform three works by American composer John Knowles Paine: the longish but not unpleasant Spring symphony as well as two shorter pieces, the dramatic prelude to Oedipus Tyrannus and the Ocean Fantasy Poseidon and Amphitrite which, until now, had never been recorded. The music is well constructed and orchestrated… © 2015 Pizzicato

Steven A. Kennedy
Cinemusical, May 2015

…this release is simply excellently performed. The interpretations work very well…[and this] should do much to revisit, and hopefully rekindle, interest in our own musical heritage. The winds are highlighted well and the strings bring great warmth to Paine’s melodies. The result is a superb rendition of the symphony and excellent readings of two smaller pieces. The recording is well-engineered with rich sound coming from the orchestra. As with the first release, this is a must have for any serious fan of American symphonic music. © 2015 Cinemusical Read complete review

David Hurwitz, April 2015

…JoAnn Falletta and the Ulster Orchestra…project the music with plenty of confidence and affection.

The sonics are good… © 2015 Read complete review

Gary Lemco
Audiophile Audition, April 2015

Falletta and her Ulster players certainly convince us…through some lush sonics…that the [Symphony] warrants several hearings. © 2015 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2015

Someone strongly influenced by Dvoƙák would be my way of recommending the Second Symphony of the 19th century American composer, John Knowles Paine. Born in 1839 to a family involved in music, he was sent to Germany to complete his musical studies, and from therein all of his output was indebted to Central European traditions. If his orchestral output was limited, the disc’s two tone poems show that he was a gifted orchestrator well versed in creating tone colours, though his quality as a composer comes in the four-movement symphony. There he displays his ability to create instantly likeable and memorable thematic material, the mercurial scherzo being a particular delight. Not far short of fifty minutes, its programme, regarding four views of Spring, reminds one of Raff’s pictorial symphonies, that composer also having influences on Paine while in Germany. That it could hardly have wished for a finer performance than this from the Ulster Orchestra is paramount in the disc’s undoubted success. If it had come from the Berlin Philharmonic I would be commenting on the outstanding horn solo in Poseidon and Amphitrite; the silky smooth strings in the symphony’s slow movement, and the sparkling woodwind in the scherzo. Yes, the playing of the Ulster Orchestra deserves such a high level comparison. How much JoAnn Falletta achieved in such a short time as its Music Director was remarkable. To that must be added the fabulous sound quality achieved by Naxos’s recording team, and though Paine will be best remembered as the most inspired 19th century American educationalist, this release is a fitting testimony to his gifts as a composer. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

Robert Benson, April 2015

Falletta and the Ulster Orchestra do a fine presentation of this music, excellent audio. © 2015 Read complete review, March 2015

…JoAnn Falletta and the Ulster Orchestra bring forth as much originality and clever construction as the music possesses. If Paine’s Symphony No. 2 is not great music, it is very good music indeed, and stands as an example of where American music was soon to go… © 2015 Read complete review

WQXR (New York), March 2015

…there’s a freshness to [Paine’s] orchestrations and plenty of melodic ingenuity to recommend this music on its own terms. © 2015 WQXR (New York) Read complete review

Colin Anderson, March 2015

conductor and orchestra…fashion a committed performance, Paine done proud… © 2015 Read complete review

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