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Ronald E. Grames
Fanfare, March 2017

Conductor and ensemble do it up proud, with superb solo work from cellist Zuill Bailey and organist Paul Jacobs. The live recordings from Schermerhorn Symphony Center are first-rate, capturing the proceedings in sound as big and bold as the music itself. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, January 2017

This might sound strange to old-timers, but if there is a better orchestra than Nashville’s these days I can’t wait to hear them. Engineering is fantastic. © 2016 American Record Guide

Rebecca Franks
BBC Music Magazine, December 2016

Colourful and characterful works inspired by 20th-century American culture, from Hemingway to Hearst Castle. Vivid performances, particularly by the excellent soloists. © 2016 BBC Music Magazine

Paul E. Robinson
Classical Voice North America, November 2016

…it is certainly clear that Zuill Bailey is an eloquent soloist and that Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony give an excellent account of the orchestral material. © 2016 Classical Voice North America Read complete review

Nick Barnard
MusicWeb International, November 2016

…for live performances, these are remarkably sophisticated and impressive and certainly the sound is ideally balanced—evocative and dynamic as required with plenty of detail and the potentially awkward solo organ part effectively present but never overwhelming. The Nashville Symphony are on tip-top form with all sections rising to the considerable challenges Daugherty throws at them. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Nigel Harris
MusicWeb International, October 2016

On this disc [Daugherty] is eminently well served by his musicians and by his engineers. The Nashville Symphony and both of its soloists are superb; Giancarlo Guerrero conducts with obvious passion as well as idiomatic expertise, and the recording is beyond reproach. Well worth investigating. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Daniel Coombs
Audiophile Audition, October 2016

Ample compliments, yet again, to the Nashville Symphony and maestro Giancarlo Guerrero for stunning performances as well as their ongoing commitment to American contemporary music. This ensemble is becoming one of my favorite American symphony orchestras for these reasons.

If Daugherty’s intent in these works was to simultaneously illustrate the vast array of creative genius in America’s art history and to hold up the culture that allows it; this album is a resounding success. If his intent was simply to create three unusual but highly captivating pieces of music that speak to a wide audience, it succeeds even more. © 2016 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

David Hurwitz, October 2016

…the performances, excellently recorded live before a very courteous audience, bring the music vividly to life. The Nashville Symphony really is a fine ensemble. Giancarlo Guerrero conducts with evident enthusiasm, and as already suggested the soloists, cellist Zuill Bailey and organist Paul Jacobs, couldn’t be better. © 2016 Read complete review

Donald Rosenberg
Gramophone, October 2016

Michael Daugherty has always revelled in the rainbow of hues and swashbuckling gestures a symphony orchestra can conjure up. He is in grand, inventive form in the three works the Nashville Symphony and music director Giancarlo Guerrero perform here with handsome assurance.

Tales of Hemingway for cello and orchestra (2015) portrays four of the novelist’s stories in music of sweeping drama and poetry. Daugherty sends the cello soaring and singing with the orchestra as he summons key moments in the Hemingway books. The solo writing calls for an artist of eloquent persuasion, and Zuill Bailey more than meets the score’s demands with playing that combines fervour and poetry.

The music [American Gothic], at once whimsical and warm, gives animated impetus to Wood’s creations. It’s a vibrant orchestral showpiece, with charismatic solo parts for many instruments (the tuba is especially excellent here).

Hearst’s extravagant abode in San Simeon comes to brilliant life in Once Upon a Castle (2015), whose four movements receive an extra sonic kick with the presence of a pipe organ, played to the glowing hilt by Paul Jacobs. Guerrero and the orchestra sound as if they’re savouring every fresh Daugherty detail. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, September 2016

…Jacobs receives superb support from the Nashville Symphony Orchestra (NSO) under its Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero. They extend the same to American cellist Zuill Bailey in Hemingway…, where he delivers a stunning, committed rendition of the concerto. He plays with a sincerity that emphasizes the music’s absolute, down-to-earth aspects over its flashy programmatic ones. Many may find it Daugherty’s finest creation to date.

Maestro Guerrero and the NSO go on to give an equally accomplished account of American Gothic. © 2016 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review

James Manheim, September 2016

The three works here, all inspired by icons of American culture, make a satisfyingly coherent whole, but are varied in technique. The strongest work may be the last [Once Upon a Castle]. …this music is the bread and butter of the Nashville Symphony, which has established itself in the forefront of American music that is both populist and contemporary. Recommended. © 2016 Read complete review, September 2016

Tales of Hemingway (2015) is a very symphonic cello concerto that gets a bang-up reading from Zuill Bailey and wonderful accompaniment from the Nashville Symphony under Giancarlo Guerrero. The percussion alone, requiring two players, is remarkable… Paul Jacobs, who gives a wonderful performance throughout, offers especially sonorous material here [in Neptune Pool]. …All of Daugherty’s music on this disc is very American, very contemporary, and at the same time very personal: Daugherty is one composer who has developed, maintained and over time expanded a musical vocabulary all his own. © 2016 Read complete review

Jeff Simon
The Buffalo News, September 2016

This is instantly communicative music—in no danger of competing in cultural bandwidth with its inspirations but very appealing at its best. And very well-performed by all, especially cellist Zuill Bailey. © 2016 The Buffalo News Read complete review

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