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Stephen Greenbank
MusicWeb International, June 2015

Throughout the Concerto, each of the soloists is given an opportunity to shine, both in terms of lyricism and virtuosity. Balada proves himself an extremely accomplished orchestrator. All concerned give a deeply committed performance.

Dedicated to the steel workers of the world, The Steel Symphony reflects the fascination the factories around Pittsburgh held for the composer. I would imagine it being great fun for orchestral players to perform, with motoric rhythms and instrumental flourishes, evoking an atmosphere of great industry, all set within a framework of polyrhythms and dissonance. The Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and Jesus Lopez-Cobos do it proud.

…I strongly urge you to give this music a try. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Paul Corfield Godfrey
MusicWeb International, May 2015

The recordings here, assembled from three different performances, are well matched with excellently clear sound and superlatively assured playing from everyone concerned. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Stephen Estep
American Record Guide, May 2015

The orchestras play well…the sonics are good, too. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, May 2015

Performance and recording are good… © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Ivan Moody
Gramophone, May 2015

Performances are absolutely outstanding and beautifully recorded. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



James H. North
Fanfare, May 2015

Balada’s Steel Symphony is impressive, not least in that it makes a convincing, often enthralling symphony without a hint of melody. …many details are captured more clearly by this Naxos recording. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review




Alain Steffen
Pizzicato, April 2015

Leonardo Balada is a great symphonist and his music is well served in these recommendable recordings. © 2015 Pizzicato



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, January 2015

All three symphonies have plenty of substance and vivid contrasts. The performances here are stirring and fully detailed.

The “Steel Symphony” alone is worth hearing. © 2015 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



Rad Bennett
RadsReferenceReviews, January 2015

All of the recordings are excellent yet have different perspectives, the symphonies being up close and resonant and the concerto more distant. © 2015 RadsReferenceReviews Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2014

Every new disc of music by Leonardo Balada is a journey of discovery, not knowing what style or content we are likely to find in this enigmatic composer. Having been born in Barcelona in 1933, his mature education took place in the United States, his inclination towards atonality in his younger years remaining through to his most recent scores, including his Sixth Symphony composed in memory of those who died in the Spanish Civil War. Juxtaposing the pleasures of childhood with the sudden blast of fighting and turmoil, the composer states that it is not to a specific programme, though the sections of the one-movement score are a chilling reminder of senseless conflict. The Concerto for Three Cellos, subtitled A German Concerto, is not a concerto in the usual sense, but a return to the same theme as the symphony, and uses as thematic material a song brought by German volunteers who fought in the war. As such it gives the solo trio moments of virtuosity, but their part is mainly a concertante role. Steel Symphony is an ingenious score created from instrumental sounds to picture a steel factory, and I can vouch for their authenticity. It must take a great deal of rehearsal, and the Barcelona Symphony are to be congratulated on the result. All three works come from ‘live’ performances over the period 2007 to 2012, the sound is exemplary, and the Galicia Symphony perfectly capturing the wide dynamic range. It provides a good starting point for those just coming to this highly prolific composer. © 2014 David’s Review Corner





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