Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, May 2014

…I must urge you to acquire this disc for the Fairouz work. You simply won’t believe how brilliant it is. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, May 2014

The KU Wind Ensemble has appeared on several other Naxos CDs. It is undoubtedly one of the top such ensembles in the United States, and the talent on display here is of professional quality. Conductor Paul W. Popiel leads crisp, precise, and idiomatic performances, drawing the best out of his young players. Thank goodness for conductors such as Popiel, who keep the wind ensemble repertoire growing, and who encourage innovation. In the Glass, soloist Ji Hye Jung…and Gwendolyn Burgett…are no less impressive. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Rob Haskins
American Record Guide, May 2014

The excellent musicians of the wind ensemble are led expertly by Mr Popiel; I’m heartened to see that the wind ensemble repertory continues to flourish. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, April 2014

For a first excursion by Fairouz into composing for wind band it is quite staggering. It will no doubt lead to queues of similar bands, to the wonderful University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, forming outside his door clamouring for him to compose a work for them. As indicated the UKWE, one of the USA’s finest and most highly esteemed concert bands, is utterly fabulous in their ability to interpret two works in which the lack of strings goes completely unnoticed. The three soloists are sublime in their given roles with the power demonstrated by the two percussionists in Glass’s concerto quite amazing. Paul Popiel as conductor had a formidable job in keeping all these disparate balls in the air but completed the task with huge aplomb.

This is a seriously fine disc and with Fairouz’s symphony here receiving its world première recording it should be flying off the shelves. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Laurence Vittes
Gramophone, April 2014

The eloquent, disciplined performances come across with stunning dynamic range and almost dimensional transparency. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

International Record Review, February 2014

By turns bombastic, tentative, absurd and genuinely moving, the piece [In the Shadow of No Towers] is an intriguing reflection of the complex implications this occurrence had for American society and the world in general…superbly rendered by the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble under Paul W. Popiel. © 2014 International Record Review

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

The two works are scored for wind ensemble, and played nicely by the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble under Paul W. Popiel.

I was captivated by both pieces and the performances. The final movements of both works have staying power for me. And that is not to denigrate the other movements but rather to recognize how each work has a sort of teleological funnel effect, each inexorably moving forward to its end, though in very different ways.

This is music very much of the present. And it is very good at that. For all that it is a disk that should be heard by those who live in the world of today. © 2014 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Jay Batzner, December 2013

The Naxos collection of “Wind Band Classics” has consistently delivered strong performances and this recording of two large-scale works by the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble under the direction of Paul W. Popiel is no exception…the performances on this disc are top notch.

Throughout the entire disc, the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble sounds fantastic. All the musical layers are clear and articulate… © 2013 Read complete review, December 2013

The world première Naxos recording of Mark Lortz’ transcription of the Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra by Philip Glass…shows this work to lie firmly within Glass’ minimalist and post-minimalist stylistic leanings as well as…within the concerto tradition as a whole. The large percussion section is played against as well as with the timpani solos, and the work’s very strong rhythmic emphases are crucial building blocks for music that ebbs and flows quite effectively. Its martial elements and strong insistence on percussive themes fit well into this wind-band version, which is handled quite well by the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble under Paul W. Popiel. The players also do a fine job with Symphony No 4, “In the Shadow of No Towers” by Mohammed Fairouz…both the Glass and Fairouz pieces merit considerable attention for the way they integrate elements of the past with ones of the present to produce impacts that…are…moving and well conveyed. © 2013 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2013

With Philip Glass’s encouragement, his double timpani Concerto Fantasy has been transcribed for Wind Band accompaniment by the percussionist, Mark Lortz. A technical challenge for the two soloists and a pure delight for the audience, it has a relationship with Glass as a Minimalist, but is essentially a tuneful piece in three movements, a long cadenza linking into the finale. Subtitled ‘In the Shadow of No Towers’ , Mohammed Fairouz’s Fourth Symphony is a reflection on the infamous September 11 terrorist attack on New York…The two female timpanists, Ji Hye Jung and Gwendolyn Burgett, are excellent, and the much acclaimed the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble plays with enthusiasm…Very good sound. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group