Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

John J, Puccio
Classical Candor, February 2020

The program concludes with the Concertina for Flute and Chamber Orchestra (2003), which contains elements of lyricism, nostalgia, jazz, and march in a mostly playful display. It has the distinctions of incorporating the best of Harris’s playful, upbeat style with maybe the best sound on the disc. © 2020 Classical Candor Read complete review

Jem Condliffe
Review Corner, August 2019

This is a jolly album of bassoon-led pieces.

This album features six works and the bassoon and flute (the former played on some tracks by Harris, an orchestral bassoonist) feature a lot.

The Eclipse Chamber Orchestra/Sylvia Alimena play. Recommended for when you want something entertaining and easy, but not anodyne. And if you like the bassoon, obviously. © 2019 Review Corner Read complete review

Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), August 2019

The chamber music of contemporary American composer Truman Harris is informed by his experience as an orchestral musician; it is idiomatic, exciting, and frequently cast for unusual combinations of instruments. One such example is the unique Sonata for Two Bassoons and Piano, flavored with jazz, romance, and waltz-like elegance. … Vibrant colors and a sense of vivid fantasy suffuse the radiant Aulos Triptych. The Eclipse Chamber Orchestra is well-known for its exceptional performances and diverse repertoire. © 2019 WFMT (Chicago) Read complete review

Jack Sullivan
American Record Guide, July 2019

This a music of disarming charm and insouciance, written between 2001 and 2015. American composer Truman Harris writes attractive, idiomatic music inspired by his experience as an orchestral musician. He was assistant principal bassoonist of the National Symphony and played with the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra (drawn from the NSO.) The colors and combinations are idiosyncratic and wonderfully eccentric—a sonata for two bassoons and piano, another for four flutes and piano. Some are jazzy, others ironic or pastoral. ‘Flowers’ consists of incisive miniatures, mostly a minute or so in length. Rosemoor Suite is an imaginative “story without words”. Aulos Triptych is a wistful piece for four flutes and piano in three movements : ‘Light and Color’, ‘Dreams of Fancy Places’ and ‘A Warm Day in Winter’. The concertino for horn and chamber orchestra has an amiable lyricism. The wind soloists are from the National Symphony. Harris plays here as well. The playing is lively and loving, as one would expect. I had never heard of Harris before and am very happy with this discovery. © 2019 American Record Guide

Richard Whitehouse
Gramophone, June 2019

The concerttinos receive admirable performances by Laurel Bennert Ohlson and Alice Kogan Weinreb, while all the other players confirm the respect and regard in which Harris is held. Indeed, the appeal of this music to wind musicians everywhere can hardly be doubted. © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Michael Wilkinson
MusicWeb International, May 2019

Performances are as committed as we might hope—the wind soloists are drawn exclusively from the National Symphony Orchestra, with several playing also with the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, and one senses the feeling of music-making among friends. Useful notes on the performances are provided by the composer, and recording quality is very fine—each line emerges clearly, as it should. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Records International, April 2019

The piece is neo-Romantic, with some lively jazzy episodes insisted on by the piano in the outer movements. The Flute Concertino is classical in structure and Romantic in mood; sonata form, a nostalgic slow movement, playful rondo-finale. The six movements of Flowers attribute character and even drama to flowering plants, from resilient pansies and clover to the miniature military march of invading kudzu. The Triptych explores the atmospheric, descriptive colors available to an ensemble of flutes. © 2019 Records International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2019

Now in his Indian Summer as a composer, Truman Harris has enjoyed a busy career as an orchestral bassoonist and as the member of a number of chamber groups. Born in 1945, the present disc is dedicated to the music he has composed in the Twenty-first century, and though it has its roots in the post-Copland era, it avoids today’s experimentalist  American music in its likeable disposition. Just occasionally, as in the Aulos Triptych for four flutes and piano, he has a brief flirtation with atonality, though it is in the two Concertinos that we have a long look at Harris, both works being in three movements. His innate knowledge of both instruments has been invested in a solo role that explores the whole gamut while remaining in their traditional values. The Horn Concertino often has the soloist and orchestra in contrasting roles, though the outcome found an easy path into my memory, the finale a rather naughty romp in the form of a Rondo. A very similar formula is used in the Flute Concertino composed two years later in 2003, though here we have the orchestral part shaped by other solo roles, particularly for bassoon and horn. For the Flute it is not an extrovert score, but rather a smooth singing role, the slow movement containing duets for the flute with other wind instruments. In a short first movement cadenza, it is time to strut the soloist’s credentials. Flowers are six descriptive cameos as they have affected the composer, the disc completed by the Sonata for two bassoons and piano, jazz influences and a hint of the Second Viennese School the major elements. Most of the soloists come from the National Symphony Orchestra, of which he had been a member, the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra also formed from members of the NSO. With the composer involved as a performer, we must take these as benchmark interpretations. I presume the performances come from concerts given over a period of ten years beginning in 2006, but are well matched. © 2019 David’s Review Corner

Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, February 2019

…An interesting disc with many interesting and fun moments and a really great sonata for bassoons and piano. © 2019 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group