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Huntley Dent
Fanfare, July 2016

…the appeal of melody is unquenchable, and Fairouz has a genuine melodic gift, which he exploits without embarrassment. He also benefits from intensely committed performances. Mezzo Kate Lindsey commissioned a song cycle based on Alma Mahler’s diaries, Jeder Mensch (2011), which she sings with the same riveting passion she brings to Refugee Blues. Lindsey also stands out for her subdued, moving rendition of No Orpheus, and there’s equal artistry, too, from soprano Kiera Duffy and baritone Christopher Burchett. All are remarkably expressive and musical. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Joshua Rosenblum
Opera News, July 2016

Mezzo Kate Lindsey, a frequent artistic partner of Fairouz’s, navigates every stylistic and tonal twist in perfect tandem with the composer.

The versatile, sweet-voiced soprano Kiera Duffy…gives a masterful performance.

Burchett navigates this complex emotional landscape [We are Seven] with musical and dramatic skill. …Burchett is clear-voiced and suitably tortured. © 2016 Opera News Read complete review

Laurence Vittes
Gramophone, June 2016

The most memorable music is the title track, in which mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey, who recorded Fairouz’s Follow Poet last year for DG, sings three simple, moving poems by Lloyd Schwartz accompanied exquisitely by cellist Adrian Daurov.

The most addictive music is the Three Fragments by the 11th-century poet Ibn Khafajah, sung—in Arabic, since ‘the beauty of the original cannot be translated’—hypnotically by Kiera Duffy backed by violin, cello, flute and guitar, traditional instruments in Arabic music, the guitar allowing Fairouz ‘to evoke the plucked tenderness of Andalusian lovedreams’. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

George Adams
American Record Guide, May 2016

[Mohammed Fairouz’s] style remains modern but not prohibitively so; dissonance and fragmentation continue to have a place in his writing alongside feeling, clarity, and depth. He is also unafraid to engage in current political topics. …Where so many modern composers shy away from straightforward expression, Fairouz embraces it and excels in producing nuanced music that is capable of reaching a wide audience. …there is no wasted time or space in the poetry or Fairouz’s settings. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Michael Wilkinson
MusicWeb International, March 2016

Christopher Burchett has a lovely baritone for the…songs, perhaps the most instantly attractive on the recording. His articulation is impeccable.

Recording quality is excellent throughout. For any lover of song, this is a disc to explore. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Adam Scime
The WholeNote, March 2016

Mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey, soprano Kiera Duffy and baritone Christopher Burchett bring a strong sense of musicality and drama to this recording and are able to interpret this music with a calming sense of ease and intuitiveness. …This recording provides a light, pleasing listening experience that doesn’t pin the listener down with any type of heavy material. © 2016 The WholeNote Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2016

The American-born composer, Mohammed Fairouz, has been described as “a post-millennial Schubert”, a description validated by this disc of his song output. Certainly American in character, but deeply indebted to the world of German lieder, he is, in this guise, a lyricist, with only a nodding acquaintance of the atonality that still holds the balance of power in Western Europe. If I have a reservation—and this goes for too many of today’s composers—he does, at times, take his female singers too high in their comfort zone. That is particularly so for the mezzo, Kate Lindsey, who has the larger share of the disc. That said, I admire his choice of poems—Auden for Refugee Blues; Alma Mahler in Jeder Mensch and Wordsworth’s familiar We Are Seven—and maybe room should have been found in the booklet for the words that are rather lost in vocalising, though you can download them from the Naxos website. Through part of the disc, starting in Refugee Blues, there is a commentary on the present world troubles, with a wide spectrum of moods, from the happiness of love, to the ultimate sadness of death. Those dispositions are also reflected in the use of the cello in the three songs of No Orpheus, and a quartet of flute, violin, cello and guitar for the Arabic love poems by Ibn Khafajah. Finally to the four English poems for baritone and piano that close the disc. Sill only thirty, the songs cover the last ten years and offer the pleasing thought that there will be many more to come. The studio recording is generally pleasing. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

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