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Donald Rosenberg
Gramophone, February 2016

The members of 5HE, as they call themselves for short, give each piece vivid treatment. Everything is freshly considered and shaped with expressive finesse. In Excelsior, soprano Martha Cluver renders the text with ethereal beauty. © 2016 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, January 2016

…a most rewarding program of new and interesting works played with ultra-musical subtlety and rejuvenating clarity. …essential listening for the newest in the new tonal music being spawned today. It rewards your concentration with sounds that refresh and renew the possibilities in a most artful way. Lend this album your ears, definitely. © 2016 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



Joe Milicia
Enjoy the Music, March 2015

Performance:
Enjoyment:
Sound Quality:

In all these pieces the players of [Fifth House Ensemble] give committed, rhythmically incisive, beautiful-toned performances. Cedille’s engineers capture the massive volume of parts of Excelsior with no distortion, while the most delicate blowings and clickings of Air are nicely pinpointed as well. © 2015 Enjoy the Music Read complete review



Maria Nockin
Fanfare, January 2015

The Fifth House Ensemble…plays with absolute glee.

The sound is clear and the recording presents each instrument as separately as necessary for the integrity of each piece. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review




Kraig Lamper
American Record Guide, January 2015

Excelsior, by Caleb Burhans, is most of the program…and it earns its place. The 31-minute piece is a multimedia extrapolation of a four-minute, high altitude parachute test. The movement of each instrument multiplies with excitement as the parachute tester gets closer to pulling the cord and all trepidation falls away to a metered bliss. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




Joshua Kosman
San Francisco Chronicle, September 2014

The repertoire includes a beguiling range of inventive post-minimalist music and all of it is executed with a combination of tenderness and vivacious energy. The big headliner, Caleb Burhans’ “Excelsior,” unfolds in 30 minutes’ worth of patiently static harmonies and keening vocals… The whole undertaking is marked by spirited music-making of the finest kind. © 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Read complete review



Daniel Stephen Johnson
WQXR (New York), August 2014

Burhans’ Excelsior…draws the simple transparency and loveliness of its surface straight from the musical vernacular. Burhans has always had an ear for melody, but this effortlessly sustained work is also one of his most appealing.

It helps that Martha Cluver takes the vocal duties here…Cluver gives a strong, clean, pure performance, her precisely matched to the ensemble—and vice versa. She soars, weightlessly, into the upper atmosphere. © 2014 WQXR (New York) Read complete review



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

The Fifth House Ensemble gives us a most fascinating, widely open window on the newer music being written today by the younger generation of composers. There is plenty of substance yet it also is a program that has accessibility. For this reason the album may find its way to those not especially looking for high modernism, who either have been attracted to minimalist tonality or are just stepping into the modern compositional world and need something reassuring. At the same time the musical levels are high, so that someone well-versed in the times will find plenty to like.

Nicely done! © 2014 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review





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