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String Quartets 2 3 4


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Audio CD, October 30, 2001
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Editorial Reviews


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. String Quartet No. 2, Where Have You Been: Heart of Darkness 4:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. String Quartet No. 2, Where Have You Been: The Other Side 4:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. String Quartet No. 2, Where Have You Been: The Marriage 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. String Quartet No. 2, Where Have You Been: They Are Not Heard at All 7:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. String Quartet No. 2, Where Have You Been: Where Have You Been? 5:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. String Quartet No. 3, Whispers of Heavenly Death: Allegro agitato 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. String Quartet No. 3, Whispers of Heavenly Death: Largo misterioso 9:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. String Quartet No. 3, Whispers of Heavenly Death: Gioioso 6:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. String Quartet, No. 4, Bergonzi10:40Album Only

Product Details

  • Performer: The American String Quartet
  • Composer: Kenneth Fuchs
  • Audio CD (October 30, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Albany Records
  • Run Time: 55 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005R8FQ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #286,749 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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American Rhapsody (Romance for Violin and Orchestra); Michael Ludwig, violin; Sewanee Summer Music Festival Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta, conductor.

Biography

Kenneth Fuchs has composed music for orchestra, band, chorus, and various chamber ensembles. With Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson, Fuchs created three chamber musicals, The Great Nebula in Orion, A Betrothal, and Brontosaurus, which were originally presented by Circle Repertory Company in New York City. His music is regularly performed in the United States, Europe, and ... Read more in Amazon's Kenneth Fuchs Store

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 11, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
String quartet writing is alive and well in America. Before I bought this CD I had never heard of Kenneth Fuchs. But members of the American String Quartet are old friends and I typically buy their new releases. I'm glad I did.
Fuchs, Director of the School of Music at the University of Oklahoma, and formerly Dean of Students and Academics at the Manhattan School of Music, is a real composer. On the basis of these three quartets, one can say that he has a genuine lyrical gift, as well as a masterful sense of form, expert counterpoint, rhythmic verve, and drama.
The Second Quartet has five movements inspired by five different pieces of Robert Motherwell, whose collages the composer had first seen in New York in 1984. Full-color photographs of the five collages are included in the liner notes and it was helpful to look at them while listening to the music. Fuchs's style is generally tonal, but with enough spicy dissonance to make the harmonies interesting, and there are even some serial sections which, however, are still tonal-sounding. If I had to compare his sound to any other composer's, I'd probably have to mention that of Shostakovich; what composer writing quartets in the second half of the 20th century could avoid his influence? Shostakovich's hollow-eyed terror, however, is missing. And occasionally, as in the second movement, there is a melismatic ecstasy reminiscent of Vaughan Williams's 'The Lark Ascending.' The third movement combines elements of the first two, while responding to 'The Marriage', one of Motherwell's pieces, and, in the composer's wry comment, 'it ends badly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 6, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
J. Scott Morrison's review of this album is very thorough, and I have little to add, except that I, too, am pleased with this accessible group of quartets with a strong American flavor. These rich works are complex in their energy and flow, of both emotion and intellect, and are highly engrossing. Kenneth Fuchs is largely conservative or traditional in his classical compositions. There is no wild experimentation, pulsing, or bombast. Instead, there is much melodic depth here. Quartets pose significant challenge for the composer in providing full interplay of the instruments; he accomplished this task remarkably well, and I warrant that the musicians truly enjoyed performing the works, that their smiles on the cover do indeed reflect the artistic and poetic spirit that inspired the music. As for me, there too is a smile on my face as I listen to these fine pieces. Encore! Encore!
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Format: Audio CD
American Record Guide, July/August 2002
KENNETH FUCHS: STRING QUARTETS 2, 3, 4
American String Quartet
Albany Records TROY 480

These quartets from the 1990s by composer-conductor Kenneth Fuchs, Director of the School of Music at the University of Oklahoma, have a lyrical spareness reminiscent of Copland. Open harmonies and disarmingly simple melodies abound, but the structures are sophisticated and satisfying, yielding a distinctly American sound. The American Quartet plays with vividness and obvious affection.

The 1993 Quartet No. 2 has an American impressionism inspired by Robert Motherwell's collages. No. 3 is a Whitmanian mediation on the poet's "Whispers of Heavenly Death," No. 4 an abstract, non-programmatic work in one movement. No. 4 is the most lyrical, tightly structured, and immediately appealing of these quartets. More ambitious is the 1999 Whitman work, a recent addition to the huge literature of musical Whitmania that began during the poet's lifetime in England with composers like Stanford and gradually spread back to his homeland, where it continues to flourish. Composers from Vaughan Williams to Robert Starer have written vocal settings of these strangely ecstatic death poems, but Fuchs's is a purely instrumental piece, with the poems acting as inspirations. It begins with a stark Allegro agitato, moves into a pensive and mysterious variation set, and concludes with an exuberant, grandiose finale, a splendid affirmation of Whitmanian optimism in the face of death.

Recorded at the Purchase Recital Hall, a superb venue that enhances many Albany releases, the recording is warm and spacious, making the best possible case for this attractive music.
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