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Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, March 2019

Mr Biegel is impressive. This is a must-have for anyone still wondering where the best composers are in our country today. This is a joy.

The Piano Concerto is the main event—very much worth your time. I loved it, as I do most of this composer’s work these days. Don’t miss this. Brilliant performances, good sound, notes by the composer. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Joshua Rosenblum
Opera News, February 2019

Fuchs has arranged twelve of Wolf’s poems into five movements. The flow from one poem to the next within each movement is seamless, both musically and thematically. Collectively, Wolf’s poems traverse an emotional arc from the death of a loved one to spiritual transcendence. Fuchs shapes the cycle skillfully, starting with solo voice, then adding incrementally to the instrumentation. The countertenor, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, begins “Ethereal” with a pleasantly arching a cappella melody, a good depiction of the opening phrase (“A wisp of thought”). A solo cello answers the vocal line, then voice and cello counterpoint continues into the second poem, “Time Slips Away.” Nussbaum Cohen’s attractive, gently pulsating countertenor intertwines beautifully with Tim Hugh’s rich, singing cello tone.

Timothy McAllister delivers unusually pure and sweet tone in the cadenzas of Rush, the alto saxophone concerto. Pianist Jeffrey Biegel and guitarist D. J. Sparr also provide expert performances in their respective solo pieces. Faletta shows a clear affinity throughout for Fuchs’s warm, spacious, neo-Romantic idiom, and the LSO responds with lush yet pristine playing. © 2019 Opera News Read complete review

Karl F. Miller
Fanfare, January 2019

Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen has a remarkable voice. He makes the most out of the music. His singing is amazingly controlled and expressive. While the guitar part in Glacier does not sound particularly challenging, D. J. Sparr plays with great sensitivity. Timothy McAllister is a first-rate saxophone player. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Jens F Laurson
Ionarts, December 2018

Best Recordings of 2018 (New Releases)

The performances easily do enough to reveal the music’s beauty and clever fun. © 2018 Ionarts Read complete review

BBC Music Magazine, December 2018

This latest Fuchs/Naxos disc, marking 15 years of his recording with conductor Falletta, bears real gems. The animated piano concerto is a delightful flight of fancy. © 2018 BBC Music Magazine

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, November 2018

What a blithe spirited work is Fuchs’ Piano Concerto. The first movement bears the same name as the work as a whole. It breathes joy and does so slowly. This is alternated with passages of intoxicating and breathless zest. Bringing an “innocent ear” to the listening room, I found the music freewheelingly enjoyable. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Steven A Kennedy
Cinemusical, October 2018

…it is all a fabulous recording of new music excellently performed by the respective soloists with equally fine support from the London Symphony as one would suspect. © 2018 Cinemusical Read complete review

Guy Rickards
Gramophone, October 2018

The song-cycle Poems of Life (2017) is the heart of this well-played, sumptuously scored programme. It is a beautifully conceived cycle, the music tender and rich, the solo cellist and cor anglais (the wonderful Tim Hugh and Christine Pendrill) amplifying respectively the persona of the countertenor in the songs and his lost beloved. Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen sang the premiere in Virginia and has the work fully under his skin; the accompaniment by the LSO is first-rate.

Glacier (2015) is a suite in five picturesque movements for electric guitar inspired by Montana’s national parks, while Rush is a rather Bernsteinian diptych for alto saxophone with a punchy, roof-raising final passacaglia. Both soloists are exemplary. Naxos’s sound is terrific. © 2018 Gramophone

iClassical, September 2018

Records of the Year – 2018: Bargain Choice

This is an outstanding recording both in terms of the excellent Naxos engineering and the the quality of the soloists, orchestra and conductor. JoAnn Falletta and the London Symphony Orchestra seem to gain a closer affinity with the music of Kenneth Fuchs with each new release. All music lovers should give this album a try – Kenneth Fuchs is a master of orchestration and he writes tonal music of great imagination, some of which is not too far removed from film music. © 2018 iClassical Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, September 2018

The Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra, entitled “Glacier” (2015), makes beautiful use of the electric instrument in idiomatic ways, with even a nod to Metal stylistics. The overall feeling for the music is a kind of majestic pointedness. The orchestral part is resonant with color and melodic punch. © 2018 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review, September 2018

Poems of Life (2017) makes its points somewhat more clearly, simply because its five sections include 12 short poems by Judith G. Wolf that are sung with considerable beauty by countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen. Just listening to Cohen’s voice, even without paying significant attention to the words, provides a meaningful listening experience.

Falletta’s enthusiasm for all the music is evident throughout, and the London Symphony Orchestra’s first-rate playing gives all the pieces a sheen that serves them well. © 2018 Read complete review

Records International, September 2018

Poems of Life has in common with Spiritualist the clear, uncluttered imagery of its inspiration, here Judith G. Wolf’s poetry. In simple, unaffected language a cycle of death, grief and enlightenment is presented, set to warmly nurturing, neo-romantic music. © 2018 Records International Read complete review

John J Puccio
Classical Candor, September 2018

You don’t get many (any?) classical concertos for electric guitar, but this one [Glacier] seems to do it justice. It may be a good crossover piece for fans of pop-rock guitar to hear just how versatile the instrument can be. Again, wonderfully entertaining and well executed, with elements of Rodrigo along the way, and probably my favorite complete work on the disc.

While it’s fun… it does prove the considerable and multiple talents of Ms. Falletta, Mr. McAllister, and the LSO. © 2018 Classical Candor Read complete review

James Jolly
Gramophone, August 2018

The latest volume, out today, includes a piano concerto but also a lovely work for electric guitar and orchestra, Glacier—it’s atmospheric, written and performed with great flair in a highly approachable idiom. Fuchs writes music that LSO plays with total grasp of the idiom (it’s not a million miles away from film music in colour, and JoAnn Falletta understands the style perfectly.) © 2018 The Listening Room by Gramophone Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2018

Now stretching back over the past fifteen years, JoAnn Falletta and the London Symphony Orchestra have been recording the major works of Kenneth Fuchs. As I have related before, he is an American composer reconnecting new symphonic music to an audience who had began to lose touch with the modernity that took over the middle part of the last century. He has brought them melody, disowned atonality, though he has dressed it in new and innovative sonorities. All of the present disc comes from the past six years, the most recent, Poems of Life, completed last year. Opening with a Piano Concerto in the conventional three movements, it relates to the impact that three paintings of Helen Frankenthaler has brought to Fuchs, his musical canvas being wide both in dynamic range and colours. It was composed at the request of Jeffrey Biegel, who is the soloist on this disc. Often testing his technical virtuosity, the finale calls for prodigious dexterity in the fast flowing finale. Poems of Life come from the writing of Judith G Wolf and are scored for countertenor and orchestra, the five ‘movements’ containing twelve short poems whose theme relates those moments when the onlooker sees death approach. It features the young Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, one of the most gorgeous countertenor voices I have encountered, and well suited to the words he sings. Glacier is the title of a Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra its five movements reflecting the awesome sight of those ice monsters, while Rush is a two movement Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra. Your response to both will reflect a personal attitude towards the solo instruments. We can admire the London Symphony for the multitude of colours they provide, just as if the play the music regularly, and our gratitude to the conductor, JoAnn Falletta, the composer’s unstinting champion. The excellent sound comes from London’s famous Abbey Road Studio 1. © 2018 David’s Review Corner

Jean-Yves Duperron
Classical Music Sentinel, August 2018

The two commissioned works, Glacier - Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra and Rush - Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, offer interesting excursions into different soundscapes, most particularly the electric guitar concerto, in which guitarist D.J. Sparr either melds and blends within the orchestral fabric, or glitters at times like a rock guitar wizard. © 2018 Classical Music Sentinel Read complete review

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