"...a CD that goes to the top of my list of desirable Gershwin albums. JoAnn Falletta truly is a gift to American music. In her hands, Gershwin’s stature as a great composer is unchallengeable."
Dave Saemann - Fanfare - November/December 2013
"...On this second Gershwin disc from Falletta, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and Orion Weiss is a very personal performance of Rhapsody in Blue that completes the works forpiano and orchestra... Every piece here is arranged for orchestra by others.... One of the most enjoyable tracks is the well-known ’Promenade’ from Shall We Dance’ arranged for clarinet and orchestra (with some nice piano solos) by Sol Berkowitz. It is these orchestral pieces that will bring me back to this disc."
James Harrington - American Record Guide - November/December 2013
Performance *** Recording ****
"... The orchestral contribution is lively and idiomatic, with jazzy clarinet and trumpet. The solo playing is clean and clear ... Recommendable..."
Anthony Burton - BBC Music magazine - September 2013
"Weiss, who has established himself as a concerto soloist of prodigious skill, shines in the Rhapsody in Blue, by far the most celebrated selection here and obviously the selling point of the CD, considering the brilliance of this young artist and his vigorous performance. Fullam’s turn in Promenade is a small, jaunty solo, but the piece is a charmer with its tripping melody and it serves as a good-natured interlude for the program. The orchestra delivers the overture to the musical Strike Up the Band with more than a little of the excitement of Broadway, but its real showpiece is Catfish Row: Suite from Porgy and Bess, which presents highlights of the opera in a condensed but effective form." ****
Blair Sanderson - Allmusic.com - June 2013
Album of the Week
"The Buffalo Philharmonic, conducted by the tireless Joann Falletta, present the second volume of a series of Gershwin recordings, this with pianist Orion Weiss taking on the solo part in the ultimate orchestral party piece: Rhapsody in Blue. The collection also includes some of Gershwin’s shorter razzle-dazzle, and the Catfish Row from Porgy and Bess. This fine orchestra, which recently appeared at the Spring for Music festival at Carnegie Hall is in fine form here."
WQXR (New York) - June 2013
"The second volume of Falletta and the BPO’s series of Gershwin records finds young pianist Orion Weiss doing a bang-up job on what is probably the greatest Philharmonic Orchestra pops concert piece ever written in America…It’s an idiomatic recording of arrangements of music so much in the American bloodstream that it makes you laugh when your pulse rides along with it. The BPO’s soloists in the gorgeous solo parts are splendid." ***
Jeff Simon - The Buffalo News -June 2013
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