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David DeBoor Canfield
Fanfare, November 2016

Walter Saul’s music comes from the heart, and will touch the hearts of other listeners, as it did mine. His Violin Concerto is a 20th-century masterpiece, and will still be performed 100 years from now; his other works are first-rate as well, and leave a lasting and very positive impression. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review



David DeBoor Canfield
Fanfare, March 2016

Theodore Kuchar has brought considerable attention to the detail of these complex scores, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine brings them off in splendid fashion. This music, for all of its divergence in style, has real substance that will reward repeated hearings by anyone interested in the music of our time. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review



Ralph Graves
WTJU, December 2015

The album is warmly recorded, with the National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine under Theodore Kuchar delivering straight-forward no-nonsense performances. © 2015 WTJU Read complete review



Rad Bennett
RadsReferenceReviews, November 2015

…[Saul’s 1992 Christmas Symphony] is a charming enough work, using no familiar holiday tunes, but for my money the “hit” of this disc is the blazing Overture for the Jubilee from 1997. Its virtuoso trumpet fanfares would start any concert off with a convincing and satisfying bang. © 2015 RadsReferenceReviews Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2015

Walter Saul is one of today’s most prolific North American composers, his portfolio of scores stretching across all of the genres, though dominated by works for piano. He was born in 1954, his early music education concentrating on the keyboard, though from the 1980’s he found himself increasingly in demand as a composer. His symphonic output has been limited and appears to be contained on this one disc, their mission being to create windows of sonic light revealing to us a little of Gods heavenly glory. The disc opens in a world of strife in Kiev 2014, a rhapsody for oboe and orchestra reflecting the turbulent history of the Ukraine and its struggle to live in peace. The Violin Concerto, in two movements, asks us to reflect on the Lord, the work ending with the gathering of the multitudes in triumph. If by now you are beginning to think that these are works couched in church traditions, let me assure you that this is music composed in a modern view of tonality, often strong and weighty, and all very well orchestrated. The soloist, James Buswell, captures the spiritual intensity and those moments of peaceful solitude. A Christmas Symphony, is very much a festive work without entering into the commercial world of the Festive Season. Yet Saul was mindful that he had to write easily accessible music, and in that mode he was entirely successful. Metamorphosis features the composer as the piano soloist, and is meant to reflect his transformation as a follower of Jesus Christ. Overture for the Jubilee takes us back in time to joyous sounds of the early 20th century, while From Life to Greater Life paints Saul’s religious conviction in music. Throughout we have an orchestra and conductor, Theodore Kucher, who gives excellent support to Saul’s musical world, and is captured in very punchy sound. © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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