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Mel Martin
Audiophile Audition, December 2015

The works, challenging as they are, are played flawlessly by The Nashville and Pacific Symphonies under the batons of Giancarlo Guerrero and Carl St. Clair respectively. Ms. Plitmann is also a major asset.

The compositions are emotional, and epic in quality. Highly recommended for audiophiles and those of us who love contemporary music. © 2015 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, November 2015

…Danielpour is a fine enough composer that his music is interesting in spite of its political overtones…[he] always seems conscious of what he is doing regarding melodic development and rhythm, yet it seems as if he purposely sets out to create a musical environment that will appeal to the widest possible audience.

…[disc] is highly attractive…Recommended. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

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

Both works are stirring and at times somber, at times impassioned, at times reflective.

There is rhythmic vitality, melodic singularity and excellent use of orchestra and choral forces. Danielpour has become a voice unto himself.

It is extraordinarily well performed and masterfully scored and conceived. © 2015 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2015

Two works from Richard Danielpour, written in the past five years, show a change in his style that is building a bridge with the ‘New Romanticism’ school of music. Born in 1956, and educated first as a pianist, he then studied composition at The Julliard School with Vincent Perischetti and Peter Mennin. He describes himself as “an American composer with a Middle Eastern memory”, a fact made clear by his five movement symphony, Darkness in the Ancient Valley, where Rimsky-Korsakov’s love of the orient is often the motivating influence. It is shaped as a series of pictures reflecting the movement’s title, often hard-hitting with the use of timpani and percussion pounding out cruel repetitive patterns that reflect the oppression of women in that part of the world. It is certainly not pretty music, but it hammers home its message. After the same incessant rhythms that had opened the score—Towards a Season of Peace—carries messages of mixed emotions, where conflict had originated because different religions, but also brings hope for the future that they will bring nations together. Scored for soprano soloist, chorus and large orchestra, it contains passages of tenderness as we move towards the compassion heard in words from Christianity, and a final Apotheosis derived from mainstream American music of the late 20th century, Poulenc’s Gloria at times coming to the surface. Maybe, in summation Danielpour does not break new ground in his works, but they have a commercialism that can speak directly to his audience, and as such will offer a thought-provoking message. They come from ‘live’ performances in 2011 and 2012, the recorded sound of outstanding quality, while both performances carry a weight of conviction that testify to detailed rehearsal of two very good orchestras. The celebrated soprano, Hila Plitmann, has an ideal voice for the music of clemency, while the Pacific Chorale sing their highly pressurised role in the second work as if their lives depended upon it. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

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