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Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, January 2014

…we have three very different works that give us a broad picture of Leonardo Balada the composer, a master in his own right. These are fine performances and the disk is much recommended as a vehicle to introduce you to his music or a reaffirmation if you know his work already. The disk holds its own in making a substantive case for the merits of Balada and the need for wider recognition. © 2014 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Steven A. Kennedy
Cinemusical, January 2014

The music of Leonardo Balada…has appeared before on the label rather frequently and this new release may be an excellent way to explore the composer’s music.

The Malaga orchestra has this material down quite well and Edmon Colomer proves to be an apt interpreter. Textures are crystal clear and intonation, so very important in works of this type, is spot on throughout. Every section of the orchestra manages to show off their skill very well. Balada’s music is worth the attention of contemporary music lovers. These are more accessible works perhaps as well which makes this an added bonus. They are also distinct enough that they pair very well together. Easily recommended as an important addition to the Balada discography. © 2014 Cinemusical Read complete review

Nicholas Sheffo
Fulvue Drive-in, January 2014

An interesting release all around. © 2014 Fulvue Drive-in Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2013

With its fourteenth release, Naxos continue championing the Spanish-American composer, Leonardo Balada, otherwise little known on the international disc scene. Composed in the form of a four movement symphony with the titles, Oppression, Chains, Vision and Triumph, it pictures in music the journey of the black people of America from slavery to the world that King set out for them in his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech. Balada, however, modifies it so as to paint vivid musical pictures, the finale pointing to the day of black supremacy. Twenty-three years later he was to write the opera, Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus), by which time he had largely moved away from atonality. From that score he has taken four Images for Orchestra, each given a title that represents the journey. Even without knowledge of the story, they are pleasing examples of orchestral colours. Between these two extended scores is the Double Concerto…In two continuous movements, and using two Mexican folk melodies as its melodic inspiration, it has the two soloists intertwining against a largely passive orchestral backdrop, the second half becoming more proactive. The two soloists, Emamuel Abbuhl, and Joan Enric Lluna, are very good, while the much experienced conductor, Edmon Colomer, obtains the type of committed playing that makes the most of Balada’s challenging scores. Very good sound. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

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