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Carla Maria Verdino-Süllwold
Fanfare, July 2016

Jeffrey Biegel’s artistry is beautifully showcased on this recording. His fleet fingering, eloquent phrasing, and opulent tone are truly impressive, as is his identification with these modern hybrid works. Paul Phillips conducts the Brown University Orchestra ably, and first chair clarinetist Benjamin Wesner makes a fine contribution to the Ellington and Gerswhin pieces. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review

Sean Martinfield
The Huffington Post, May 2016

[This] recording is a rare musical confluence. It is brightened by Jeffrey Biegel’s performance history of the Gershwin and Ellington and fueled by his up-close-and-personal interactions with Keith Emerson and Neil Sedaka. The Brown University Orchestra and its Music Director, Paul Phillips supply snappy elegance and smooth rapture to works spanning more than eight decades. © 2016 The Huffington Post Read complete review

Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, May 2016

It is to the credit of Steinway artist Jeffrey Biegel and his collaborator Paul Philips, at the podium of the Brown University Orchestra, that they approach this program with the excitement of having discovered something vital and unsuspected rather than just a collection of scholarly exercises. Their enthusiasm carries over to the listener in no uncertain terms. Biegel’s demon technique and Phillips’ wicked point-making help make this CD one of the undiscovered gems of the year. © 2016 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review

Bruce Reader
The Classical Reviewer, March 2016

This is a thoroughly enjoyable release with pianist Jeffrey Biegel and the Brown University Orchestra conducted by Paul Phillips delivering first rate performances. © 2016 The Classical Reviewer Read complete review

William J. Zick
AfriClassical, March 2016

The four works on the program are well matched, and the orchestra members, pianist Jeffrey Biegel and conductor Paul Phillips have produced an impressive recording which is consistent with the reputation of the Brown University Orchestra as a leading ensemble among American college orchestras. © 2016 AfriClassical Read complete review

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor, March 2016

…the title tune Manhattan Intermezzo, comes to us via the first of two perhaps surprising sources: Neil Sedaka. …very melodic, lush, and rhapsodic. …Biegel plays the music with a careful abandon, a measured but enthusiastic approach that keeps Sedaka’s tunes from becoming too romanticized. While it’s undoubtedly lightweight, perhaps sounding fluffy to some ears, it is undeniably relaxing and enjoyable, too. © 2016 Classical Candor Read complete review, February 2016

Jeffrey Biegel and the Brown University Orchestra under Paul Phillips proffer a performance in which the jazz elements of the music predominate and the rhythmic verve of the music carries it through from start to finish. This may be a student orchestra, but it is a well-trained and well-rehearsed one that has considerable polish and does not seem to be struggling with any of the material. © 2016 Read complete review

Thomas Kiefner
Film Music: The Neglected Art, February 2016

The Brown University Orchestra under the direction of Paul Phillips performs as well as many orchestral recordings I’ve heard in many years of listening.

This is a fine CD and I applaud Naxos for offering this material to us. Recommended. © 2016 Film Music: The Neglected Art Read complete review

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, February 2016

A catchy program, brilliantly performed. © 2016 Pizzicato

James Manheim, February 2016

Worthy of special notice is the work of the Brown University Symphony Orchestra under Paul Phillips, one of the fine university ensembles that give the lie to perceptions that classical music is undersupported in the United States. Recommended. © 2016 Read complete review

John Montanari
Stay Tuned…, February 2016

…[Jeffrey Biegel’s] got all the technical firepower anyone could want, and has all the tone color and suppleness of phrasing these works demand. What really stands out, however, and what unfortunately cannot be assumed of pianists with similar gifts, is the absolutely impeccable timing with which Jeffrey intereprets the vernacular rhythms when things get jazzy or start to rock. …Bravo! © 2016 Stay Tuned Read complete review

Midwest Tape, February 2016

This program brings together four works for piano and orchestra by composers best known from the fields of jazz, popular song, and progressive rock. Neil Sedaka, Duke Ellington, and prog-rock legend Keith Emerson, all performed by legendary pianist Jeffrey Biegel. © 2016 Midwest Tape

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2016

Four works from composers working in New York’s world of jazz, popular song and progressive rock brought together in this new release titled, Manhatten Intermezzo. The disc’s linking factor is the much acclaimed Jeffrey Biegel, a pianist who has done much to promote American composers, and here finds the perfect blend to fulfil the demands of four disparate musical voices. Opening with Neil Sedaka’s “journey through the musical diversity of Manhattan”, a score he completed in 2008 with the name Manhatten Intermezzo. A product of the Juilliard School of Music, he had originally intended to be a concert pianist, but instead become a prolific song writer, the present score falling quite happily into that world we know as ‘crossover’ music. Born in England in 1944, Keith Emerson was part of the famous group, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and he too had started out as a classical pianist, here offering a concerto in a likeable modern ‘classical’ mould.  In three contrasting movements, it sounds rather French in its skittish helter-skelter opening allegro, the finale becoming a jazzy fugue. The third track is Duke Ellington’s New World a-Comin, completed in 1943 and flicking between sentimental song and a style of improvised jazz. Finally Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in a performance that the booklet describes as a ‘restored edition of the original manuscript’. I recall many years ago reviewing a performance of the ‘original score’, from Michael Tilson Thomas, and it sounded nothing like this. Moments of edgy intonation tells us that this is a university student orchestra, and not a professional outfit, but they show plenty of enthusiasm, and it is good to have three seldom performed works available on this budget priced release. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

David Hurwitz, February 2016

Pianist Jeffrey Biegel sounds entirely at one with Gershwin’s style—he knows how to inflect a phrase without turning mannered or self-conscious, and the whole performance full of character.

…a disc that truly adds up to more than the sum of its parts. The sonics are good… The uniqueness of the program and the vitality of the performances triumph over all other factors. © 2016 Read complete review

Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), January 2016

This program brings together works for piano and orchestra by composers best known from the fields of jazz, popular song and rock. Neil Sedaka’s Manhattan Intermezzo explores the New York of today and yesterday. Keith Emerson is best known as a founding member of Emerson Lake & Palmer. His Piano Concerto No 1 fuses his classical training with jazz. Duke Ellington’s New World a-Comin’ is a visualization of improved conditions for blacks in America, while the original version of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue represents the quintessential style of New York in the Roaring Twenties. © 2016 WFMT (Chicago)

Norman Lebrecht
La Scena Musicale, January 2016

Let your ear be the guide. There’s no mistaking the Duke’s irresistible swing or the unfiltered breakfast syrup of Sedaka. Go on, ignore the calories and indulge. © 2016 La Scena Musicale Read complete review

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