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William Kreindler
MusicWeb International, December 2016

David Alan Miller seems to have saved most of his energy for the Corigliano symphony. While some of his tempi in the second and fourth movements are tepid, he basically keeps things moving and highlights the instrumental solos very competently. Miller has complete control of the orchestra in the sprawling third movement and also brings great intensity to the last movement. He also gets a good deal of both finesse and power from the young people of the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic. They play with a great deal of professionalism and with the enthusiasm unique to musicians at this early stage of their career. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, October 2016

We have at hand three brilliant orchestral works played with spirit by the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic under David Alan Miller. All three works hail from last century and embrace a modern tonal approach but without anything formulaic about them.

The inclusion of three important modern scores well played gives this album an edge and satisfying fullness that should make of it a very attractive listen for those who would like something moving in the modern tonal zone. The orchestra and Miller give everything an excellent spin. © 2016 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review




Marie Langrishe
BBC Music Magazine, October 2016

The raw emotional power of Corigliano’s Symphony is counterbalanced by naive and joyful Torke and Copland. © 2016 BBC Music Magazine



Andrew Farach-Colton
Gramophone, October 2016

…such a polished, expressively pointed performance as this [Symphony No 1] was made in a single day in June 2015 by an ad hoc orchestra of pre-professional players is mightily impressive.

Michael Torke’s euphoric Bright Blue Music—another American score from the 1980s—is also expertly done and provides a clever foil for the Corigliano. Torke plays with the idea that harmonies derive meaning from their usage and creates all his material from the two most common chords: tonic and dominant.

Copland’s Appalachian Spring might seem out of place here but David Alan Miller’s audaciously unsentimental view of the well-worn ballet suite is so refreshing it hardly matters. Copland’s debt to neo-classicism is unmistakable in Miller’s hands, yet, for all its razor-sharp edges, the music still has the grace to delight—thanks in large part to the NOI Philharmonic’s collective virtuosity. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Nick Barnard
MusicWeb International, September 2016

David Alan Miller is an impressive guide to this work and to the entire disc.

Miller’s interpretation is satisfying and sane…

…this is a pretty remarkable achievement for a group of young players who had been together for barely a month and by that measure alone well-worth hearing and applauding. © 2016 Musicweb International Read complete review




Robert Moon
Audiophile Audition, August 2016

Conductor David Alan Miller’s tempos are broad, letting the music breathe and allowing the composer’s clear textures and melodic warmth to be fully revealed. The NOIP plays magnificently and recording engineer Antonino D’Urzo provides a luxuriant but transparent soundstage.

This is a magnificent recording of significant 20th century American orchestral works. © 2016 Audiophile Audition Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, August 2016

…the passionate music is evolving between furious outbursts and tenderness, symbolizing desperate anger and great sadness. …It is a compelling symphonic score, that will never lose its importance… © 2016 Pizzicato Read complete review



Tim Smith
The Baltimore Sun, August 2016

Already well served on disc, the symphony gets another persuasive performance here from an ensemble of advanced students at the National Orchestra Institute, held at the University of Maryland, College Park. They also respond strongly to David Allan Miller’s sensitive conducting in Michael Torke’s buoyant “Bright Blue Music” and Aaron Copland’s evergreen “Appalachian Spring.” © 2016 The Baltimore Sun Read complete review



The Sunday Times, London, July 2016

Large-limbed, vivid, and intense, John Corigliano’s 1989 Symphony No 1 commemorates the Aids crisis, memorialising some of the composer’s friends who succumbed at a time when diagnosis meant death. It has also stood the test of time simply as good music, here performed superbly, as are Michael Torke’s breezy if shallow Bright Blue Music and Copland’s Appalachian Spring. © 2016 The Sunday Times, London




Infodad.com, July 2016

Corigliano uses an orchestra large even by Mahlerian standards…Corigliano goes for all-out intensity and noise time and again, seeking an epic scale by piling on climax after climax at insistently high volume. The symphony is filled with personal references, not personal to Corigliano himself…but references to three specific people who died of AIDS and were meaningful to the composer. Listeners need to know the references to get the full effect of the music – one reason this rather bloated symphony has not aged very well, even when played as effectively as it is on a new Naxos recording by the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic conducted by David Alan Miller…Michael Torke’s Bright Blue Music (1985)…offers a much more downplayed form of Romantic-style communication through its lyricism and beauty. And the simplicity of the suite from Copland’s well-known Appalachian Spring (1945) trumps both the newer works precisely because of its simplicity: the music is actually constructed with great skill, but it does not constantly call attention to itself and its message, instead unfolding with balletic warmth and a deliberately naïve but nevertheless heartfelt style of communication that shows one effective direction composers were able to use when going beyond Romanticism while not abandoning some of its precepts, such as tonality. © 2016 Infodad.com Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2016

John Corigliano was already fifty, and a much acclaimed composer, when the spread of the AIDS epidemic brought his response in an angry First Symphony. It is an extended work in four movements, each conveying his feelings from the rage engendered by the loss of loved ones, interspersed with memories of the happy times they had shared together as young musicians. At times the opening movement becomes intentionally hysterical and calls for playing that combines ferocity with virtuosity. In the following tarantella—the Italian dance that follows a fatal bite of the tarantula—the tempo becomes increasingly crazed as it pictures his friend’s developing madness. Corigliano relates in his programme note that it was a prophetic event, as he had dedicated a tarantella to him in his Gazebo Dances composed eighteen years earlier. The following Chaconne is both dark and sombre to reflect the loss of the cellist, Giulio, a college friend of the composer, the music’s sadness eventually growing into a Mahlerian death march. That in turn leads to a short poignant and heart-breaking Epilogue as it evaporates into a solitary cello note. At that point the disc should have ended, but in the most dreadful and inappropriate piece of programme planning I have ever seen on disc or in the concert hall, a few seconds later we have Michael Torke’s vivacious and happy Bright Blue Music. The release then concludes with Copland’s suite from his ballet, Appalachian Spring. Conceived in 1988, the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic gathers together, on an annual basis, young international musicians of outstanding quality as a stepping stone in their career. 2015 must have been a particularly good year, the quality of their playing, both in solos and ensemble work is outstanding by any standard, their conductor, David Alan Miller, recognized as one of today’s finest exponents of American music. Though the disc does not make clear, I gather these are concert performances in good sound quality. © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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