Fuchs: Atlantic Riband; American Rhapsody; Divinum Mysterium
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Fuchs: Atlantic Riband - American Rhapsody
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Kenneth Fuchs is one of America's leading composers and his latest collaboration with award-winning conductor JoAnn Falletta and the London Symphony Orchestra - the first volume of which (8.559224) was nominated for two GRAMMY-® awards - reveals the breadth of his achievement. Atlantic Riband evokes the struggle and ultimate victory of ocean-crossing immigrants to America in an orchestral showpiece of power and splendor. American Rhapsody is a lyrical romance for violin and orchestra, and Divinum Mysterium a single-movement viola concerto rich in expressive tapestry. Concerto Grosso shows Fuchs's sheer energy, and Discover the Wild is an orchestral overture of lyricism and color. A champion of American music, JoAnn Falletta has presented nearly five hundred works by American composers including over one hundred world premi+¨res. Her Naxos recordings include the double Grammy Award winning disc of works by John Corigliano and Grammy nominated discs of works of Tyberg, Dohn+¡nyi, Fuchs, Schubert, and Respighi.
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The American Rhapsody for violin and orchestra is a more substantial work. It's elegiac, unabashedly beautiful music. The solo violin part's not that difficult technically, but it requires real musicianship to pull it off. Michael Ludwig plays with a great deal of sensitivity and authentic expression, really bringing across the lyrical nature of the work to come across.
Also included is the Divinum Mysterium, an excellent showcase for the viola. Fuchs takes advantage of the lower register of the viola (as compared to the violin) and supports it with very warm harmonies. It's based on a hymn tune, and while Divinum Mysterium is a deeply spiritual work, it's not always serious. There's a mild hoedown section in the middle that give the work an American flavor.
The Concerto Grosso for string quartet and string orchestra has an interesting dynamic to it. The music goes back and forth between the string quartet, and it's larger counterpart, the string orchestra. Discover the Wild wraps up the program. It's a short travelogue style overture full of good-natured energy.
Strong performances by the London Symphony Orchestra and JoAnne Falletta. This isn't the first time Fuch and Falletta have collaborated, and the depth of understanding Falletta brings to this music benefits both he composer, and the listener. Thoroughly enjoyable for first note to last.