Let's be clear - much of the music on this disc is sheer silliness. Oh, there may be some merit to the 5 Poems, if you like the sounds a countertenor makes. I personally can't tolerate it for an instant. But my reason for posting a review of this disc is for the magnificent Piano Concerto - more on that below.
But moving on to Glacier, for electric guitar and orchestra (uh-huh), we're treated to 22 minutes of some richly colorful orchestration, with the electric guitar seemingly thrown in as an afterthought. I'm sure this electric guitar player is competent, but there just isn't much to the solo part. The piece ends up being a completely forgettable, silly novelty.
Rush, for alto sax and orchestra, is okay (to be kind), but here we have 15 minutes of nothing much happening. No compositional inspiration or creativity, just a jumble of meaningless motifs and not much musical substance. Rush? Not hardly.
But then there's the Piano Concerto, which comes first on this disc, which is simply magnificent. This piece should surely put Mr. Fuchs on the musical map. But if he keeps inundating the public with utter silliness like the other works on this disc, I'm afraid his Piano Concerto will simply get overlooked from lack of interest in this composer. Indeed, I may never have gotten to it had it come last on this disc.
So, if you can find this Naxos on the cheap (when did Naxos become so expensive, by the way?), do pick it up for the fabulous Piano Concerto. It is richly creative, colorfully scored and truly musically enriching. But don't expect much from the rest of this program - despite fine leadership (as always) from JoAnn Falletta, accomplished sight-reading from the LSO and excellent Naxos sound.
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