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Kenneth Fuchs: String Quartet No. 5 "American"; Falling Canons; Falling Trio / Christopher O'Riley, piano

Album Summary

>Fuchs, Kenneth : Falling Canons (7), for piano
>Fuchs, Kenneth : Quartet for Strings no 5 ("American")
>Fuchs, Kenneth : Falling Trio, for violin, cello & piano in one movement
Performer Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Kenneth Fuchs is one of America's leading composers and his music is performed worldwide. After writing Falling Man, a work for baritone voice and orchestra based on the post-9/11 novel by Don DeLillo, Fuchs explored the principal theme in his rigorously developed Falling Canons for solo piano. Falling Trio grows out of the same theme, and from its ethereal opening presents a series of seven fantasy variations. String Quartet No. 5 is an exciting, large-scale work that explores the contrapuntal possibilities of a single 'American' theme

MusicWeb International, 30th September 2013
What we hear has the complete feeling of total authority, both technically and musically...The Delray Quartet were the commissioners and first performers. They clearly understand exactly what Fuchs' intentions are. No composer could want more.

American Record Guide, September/October 2013
Composers great and minor, old and new, have long been enthralled by the desire to make large, elaborate structures from the most limited and elemental of materials. This new Naxos offers two such endeavors by American Kenneth Fuchs (born 1956), both of them based on the same downward-moving chromatic motive: Falling Canons for piano and Falling Trio for piano trio. Falling Canons comprises seven canons, each easily identifiable as a variant of the same "falling" chromatic motive, the whole sequence lasting 17 minutes. Falling Trio adds the richer sonority of three instruments to the musical resources as well as a second, more lyrical idea ("reconciliation theme" as Fuchs calls it). Fuchs's Fifth Quartet, also a recent production, is subtitled American. At 27 minutes this is a substantial effort, and (as the title hints), more pastoral and optimistic in character. It's also, as you'd expect, more tonal in vocabulary, with singing folk-style melodies and graceful or celebratory string figurations that pulse, oscillate, dart, and trill with infectious vivacity. Most listeners will find this quartet open-hearted and immediately appealing - somewhere between Aaron Copland and John Adams in style. Falling Canons, expertly played and recorded in exceptionally clear, vivid sound, its high quality no doubt due in part to the guiding hand of veteran engineer and producer Judith Sherman, whose name on almost any recording pretty much guarantees that everything about its production will be first-class.


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Works Details

>Fuchs, Kenneth : Falling Canons (7), for piano
  • Performer: Christopher O'Riley (Piano)
  • Ensemble: Delray String Quartet
  • Running Time: 3 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 06/2009

>Fuchs, Kenneth : Quartet for Strings no 5 ("American")
  • Running Time: 26 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 01/2012

>Fuchs, Kenneth : Falling Trio, for violin, cello & piano in one movement
  • Ensemble: Trio21
  • Running Time: 13 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 12/2010