"...This splendid program contains four recent orchestral pieces, two with string soloists, and a short overture and should delight conservative listeners and all sympathetic to the style. Everything is perfectly played by these British players. The music should certainly be played in this country as well."
Allen Gimbel - American Record Guide - January/February 2013
"...Divinum Mysterium ... may be worth the price of admission for those who want to hear what Fuchs is all about. The piece gives the violist a chance for virtuosic display, as well as for making some very pretty sounds, while thematically and architecturally, it’s satisfying. Bravo to Paul Silverthorne and to JoAnn Falletta and her orchestra. They certainly give as fine advocacy to this music as a composer has a right to expect. Excellent sound, too, from the Naxos engineers ... Divinum Mysterium is worth a listen, and the other pieces may be just right for when you want to unwind with lighter fare by a contemporary composer."
Lee Passarella - AudiophileAudition.com - December 2012
"A recent Naxos CD ... in their excellent American Classics series features performances by the London Symphony Orchestra under JoAnn Falletta of five works by Kenneth Fuchs ...This is actually the third Naxos album of Fuchs’ works by this team ... and it shows a lyrical composer with great imagination and a fine ear for orchestral colour. Two orchestral works—Atlantic Riband and the overture Discover the Wild—open and close the disc. Falletta is joined by her Buffalo Philharmonic concertmaster, the outstanding Michael Ludwig, for American Rhapsody ... and by the LSO’s Paul Silverthorne for Divinum Mysterium ... Both soloists are in top form, with Ludwig’s beautiful tone ... fully evident.
Terry Robins - The WholeNote - September 2012
"This is the third CD of Kenneth Fuchs’s orchestral music arising from the enthusiastic partnership of JoAnn Falletta and the LSO. United Artists on the second CD (3/08) was a tribute to that orchestra and now the viola concerto Divinum Mysterium has been written for the LSO’s lead viola, Paul Silverthorne. As with Fuchs’s Canticle to the Sun, for LSO horn player Timothy Jones, this concerto is based on a hymn-tune. This time it’s ‘Of the Father’s love begotten’, originally plainsong, and it’s interesting to trace the use of that fine melody, which emerges in full about two-thirds of the way through. The concerto, obviously rewarding to play, has cadenza material but is temperamentally more poetic than display. There’s a similar approach in American Rhapsody for violin and orchestra but the discourse is more meandering, as the title suggests. The opening of Atlantic Riband, celebrating the transcontinental shipping lines, recalls the triads of Vaughan Williams, while Copland has affected the melodic spacing as well as the brass-writing in the overture Discover the Wild. That lasts less than five minutes and there are five pieces on this CD lasting less than 60 minutes. So nothing is over-extended and the performances are hand-in-glove with the composer."
Peter Dickinson - Gramophone magazine - November 2012
"Kenneth Fuchs—born 1956, professor of composition at the University of Connecticut—writes in a mainstream tonal idiom. He’s a master of orchestral writing: resonantly built-up chords, scurrying string textures, lucid woodwind exchanges, telling interjections from brass and percussion. In this selection of works from the last five years, Atlantic Riband portrays the movement of a majestic transatlantic liner; American Rhapsody for violin and orchestra is would round a quasi-improvisatory solo line; Divinum Mysterium for viola and orchestra resourcefully explores the possibilities of a hymn tune; the Concerto Grosso makes imaginative use of the combination of string quartet and string orchestra; and Discover the Wild is a short, breezy overture. On Naxos’s third Fuchs recording, everything gets five-star treatment: violinist Michael Ludwig and viola player Paul Silverthorne make the solo parts their own, and the LSO under JoAnn Falletta sounds brilliant in a spacious Abbey Road recording." *****
Anthony Burton - BBC Music Magazine - September 2012
"Two works here, Atlantic Riband and American Rhapsody, are patriotic crowd-pleasers…Perhaps the album’s most effective work…is the Concerto Grosso, a sort of Mahlerian take on the Baroque form, setting a string quartet against a string orchestra in a pleasing variety of textures amplified by luscious harmonies. Conductor JoAnn Falletta, leading the London Symphony Orchestra, is an ideal ambassador…which anyone sitting at a free outdoor summer concert might enjoy, but which holds up to repeated hearings. Recommended, especially to symphonic programmers." ****½
James Manheim - Allmusic.com - September 2012
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