KENNETH FUCHS (b. 1956): Orchestral Works, Volume 1 (première recordings) Cloud Slant (2020 – 21) after Three Paintings by Helen Frankenthaler. Concerto for Orchestra "For John Wilson and Sinfonia of London, in warm friendship." ; Solitary the Thrush (2019 – 20)* Concerto for C and Alto Flute and Orchestra "For Peg Luke, whose generous support made the composition of this work possible" ; Pacific Visions (2016) in One Movement, for String Orchestra. Commissioned by Dennis and Suzanne Poulsen and composed for Musique Sur La Mer Orchestras, Long Beach, California. Quiet in the Land (2017) Poem for Orchestra. Composed for the Phoenix Symphony, with the generous support of the Phoenix Symphony Commissioning Club. Adam Walker flute* Sinfonia of London, cond. John Wilson.
Catalogue Number: 07Z021
Reference: CHSA 5296
Description: Grammy-Award-winning Kenneth Fuchs (born 1956) is without doubt one of American music’s leading orchestral composers. His orchestral output has grown and developed to encompass a wide range of genres, from overtures and tone poems to suites and concertos (ten to date, including ones for string quartet, electric guitar, and piano, the last entitled Spiritualist), inspired by a diverse range of subjects, testimony to his wide sympathies and fields of knowledge. His output includes chamber music (including five string quartets), solos and duos, vocal and choral music, and four chamber musicals. Cloud Slant is a virtuoso orchestral concerto based on three of Helen Frankenthaler’s canvasses: Blue Fall (1966), Flood (1967), and Cloud Slant (1968) –not just musical depictions of them but also the composer’s reactions to their artistic sweep and power. The flute was Fuchs’ first instrument, so it was inevitable that he would compose a flute concerto. However, it was not until 2019 that he set about the task – for the flautist Peg Luke, to whom the concerto is dedicated. As is customary of compositions by this composer, the concerto carries a descriptive title, Solitary the Thrush, a reference to lines from Whitman’s elegy for Abraham Lincoln, 'When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d': "Solitary the thrush, The hermit withdrawn to himself, avoiding the settlements, Sings by himself a song. Song of the bleeding throat, Death’s outlet song of life, (for well dear brother I know, If thou wast not granted to sing thou would’st surely die)." Commissioned by the Californian Musique Sur La Mer Orchestras, Pacific Visions is scored for string orchestra, and is a single, dynamic movement sub-divided into five sections. Quiet in the Land, a Poem for Orchestra is a revision of a chamber work Fuchs composed in 2003, inspired by the rolling prairie of the Midwestern United States and the ‘immense arching sky’ under which it sits, cast against the impact of the Second Gulf War which had then recently broken out. The orchestral version heard here was composed in 2017 for the Phoenix Symphony. The album was recorded in Surround Sound, and is available as a Hybrid SACD and in Spatial Audio.