American Classics - Fuchs: Orchestral Works

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Kenneth Fuchs' An American Place is a bright, big-hearted, neo-romantic work in the style of John Adams' Harmonielehre. Adams' finale is an unmistakable influence as both works open with motor rhythms chugging along in the strings while woodwinds and high percussion chirp and tingle above as the music builds to a spirit-lifting sunrise. Fuchs pretty much goes his own way from there as the piece travels through a series of engaging episodes--some featuring wonderful brass writing--and closes in a similar atmosphere to its opening. Eventide is a concerto for English horn, harp, percussion, and strings inspired by Negro spirituals such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Mary Had a Baby", though Fuchs does not quote them directly, at least not in a manner that's easily recognizable. The work is reminiscent of the pastoral mood-music of Vaughan Williams, though the English horn writing occasionally brings to mind jazz saxophonist Kenny G--a tribute perhaps to the free spirited, highly virtuosic playing of soloist Thomas Stacy.

The pleasantries end with Out of the Dark, which is a set of three pieces based on works by expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler. Heart of November begins in thorny string paroxysms, while Out of the Dark moves somewhat away from the gnarly harmonies of the previous piece. Summer Banner gradually reintroduces consonance, and the work ends in a blissful, subdued atmosphere (with fine solo work by hornist Timothy Jones). Jo Ann Falletta leads first-rate performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, captured in excellent sound--another fine addition to Naxos' American Classics series.

--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com, ClassicsToday.com


Product Description:


  • Catalog Number: 8559224


  • UPC: 636943922422


  • Label: Naxos


  • Composer: Kenneth Fuchs


  • Conductor: JoAnn Falletta


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra


  • Performer: Thomas Stacy, Timothy Jones



Works:


  1. An American Place

    Composer: Kenneth Fuchs

    Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra

    Conductor: JoAnn Falletta


  2. Eventide

    Composer: Kenneth Fuchs

    Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra

    Performer: Thomas Stacy (English Horn)

    Conductor: JoAnn Falletta


  3. Out of the Dark

    Composer: Kenneth Fuchs

    Ensemble: London Symphony Orchestra

    Performer: Timothy Jones (French Horn)

    Conductor: JoAnn Falletta