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Kenneth Fuchs

Movements

  • Adagio semplice - Allegro giocoso - Poco agitato (l'istesso tempo) - Adagio misterioso
  • Allegro agitato - Presto agitato
  • Elegia: Lento cantabile - Allegro satirico (alla valzer) - Lento - Allegro satirico, poco agitato - Adagio lamentoso
  • Allegro giocoso - Larghetto, poco misterioso - Allegro giocoso

Recorded at the Hit Factory, Miami, Florida, USA, on 23rd January, 2013. Producer: Judith Sherman. Engineer: Gustave Celis. Editor: Jeanne Velonis.

​ 

String Quartet No. 5

"String Quartet No. 5 ("American") embraces in sound and spirit the stylistic influences of the American symphonic school that dominate my orchestral scores. A broad and angular "American" melodic theme unifies the entire four-movement composition; the voicing of the contrapuntal lines and resultant harmonies is open, suggesting space and distance. The music is alternately lyrical and playful, sometimes brusque and muscular, at times elegiac, and it is meant to suggest the resilience and brash optimism of the American spirit. Rigorous contrapuntal procedure is paramount in all of my musical compositions, perhaps no more so in the purity of the string quartet medium for which some of the most enduring music of the Western tradition has been composed. String Quartet No. 5 is an in-depth exploration of the contrapuntal possibilities inherent in the single "American" melodic theme that is exposed by the first violin at the beginning of the work." -


Kenneth Fuchs

Kenneth Fuchs

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“The work was written for the Delray String Quartet whose members... play it magnificently on this disc.”

Fanfare Magazine

Reviews

The Claremont Institute by Robert R. Reilly, Dec. 2013

Review of Kenneth Fuchs CD


The Fifth is one of the finest quartets of the past several decades—American or otherwise.


There is little in contemporary music that is as directly expressive as the music of Kenneth Fuchs. It goes right to the heart and stays there. If you think America's song has already been sung, you need to listen to this.


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Classical Net: Brian Wigman, Nov. 2013

Review of Kenneth Fuchs CD


The "American" String Quartet was commissioned by the Delray musicians, who are based in southern Florida... There's a little bit of everything here, fun, nobility, and above all great art. The Delray play this work as anyone who has a work written for them should, with great care and obvious affection... I suggest you try this disc. It's very good, and deserves your time, both for the excellence of the music on display, and for the commitment and obvious depth that the performers bring.


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Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review: Grego Applegate Edwards, May 2013

Review of Kenneth Fuchs CD


This is the sort of album that seems to well epitomize what a composer is about. And Fuchs’ music is singular enough that what is going on in his music stands out with a kind of hard-drawn clarity…The Debray String Quartet sounds great in their performance of what is a very pleasing, moving piece ….Fuchs delivers an extremely powerful punch with these three works sequenced as they are on the CD. The triumvirate of sounds acts as a kind of monumental remembrance in musical terms. This is a high form of discourse indeed. Recommended! © 2013 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review  


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American Record Guide Review: Mark L. Lehman, Oct. 2013

Review of Kenneth Fuchs CD


Fuchs’s Fifth Quartet, also a recent production, is subtitled American. At 27 minutes this is a substantial effort,…more pastoral and optimistic in character …than the other works here… 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…The piano trio and quartet are, like 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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Grammophone Review: Ken Smith, Sept. 2013

Review of Kenneth Fuchs CD 


…few composers have gained as much mileage – or found greater range – that Fuch’s ‘Falling’ works……Fuch’s American String Quartet, by far the longest of the three pieces here, though its relative freedom in structure establishes a clear emotional space between the ‘Falling’ works. Likewise, the exhilarating momentum of the Delray String Quartet offers a welcome change from the intellectual rigour of O’Riley and the emotionally contemplative playing of Trio21.


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MusicWeb International: Gary Higginson, Sept. 2013

Review of Kenneth Fuchs CD


The writing is always attractive and idiomatic. As a whole there is an individuality about this music which makes one want to return to the work … and to hear the other four quartets. This is the highlight of the CD. The Delray Quartet were the commissioners and first performers. They clearly understand exactly what Fuchs’ intentions are. No composer could want more. 


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David’s Review Corner: David Denton, May 2013

Review of Kenneth Fuchs CD 


The Fifth String Quartet was completed in 2011, and though he subtitles it ‘American’, its roots are in Europe, not least of all in the UK. Basically a melodic and lyric work, that is most readily attractive, even to conservative ears… Commissioned by the performers on the disc, the Delray String Quartet, the score is in four movements taking us through contrasts in tempo and mood. Though little known outside of North America, the performers are obviously a fine ensemble who produce a well-balanced and beautiful tonal quality…Much recommended. © David’s Review Corner


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Fanfare Magazine Review: Phillip Scott, Sept. 2013

Review of Kenneth Fuchs CD 


Fuchs is certainly…a musical discovery I have been delighted to make. As to the performances, they are without exception marvelous…Both the American and the Delray Quartets play with commitment and insight;…All three discs are confidently recommended to lovers of new music that has got something to say and does not go out of its way to be alienating. © 2013 Fanfare


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Fanfare Magazine Review: Jerry Dubins, Sept. 2013

Review of Kenneth Fuchs CD


Of Fuchs’s “American” String Quartet…the opening movement may be one of the most drop-dead gorgeous things I’ve ever heard, and that I can’t think of another composer since Shostakovich who has drawn such sonorities from a string quartet. This is a masterpiece and, in my opinion, makes Fuchs the greatest living American composer. The work was written for the Delray String Quartet whose members…play it magnificently on this disc. © 2013 Fanfare


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Fanfare Magazine Review: David DeBoor Canfield, Sept. 2013

Review of Kenneth Fuchs CD


Fuchs’s “American” Quartet was commissioned by the Delray String Quartet, which performs it exceedingly well here. Its subtitle derives from the stylistic influences of the American symphonic school that have dominated the composer’s recent music, and a broad angular “American” theme ties together the four movements of the work. Beyond that, I also hear a fair number of “American” open fifths, and some lively quasi-folk fiddling in the final movement. All of it does an excellent job in meeting the composer’s goal of portraying the brash optimism of the American spirit.


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Classical Lost and Found: Bob McQuiston, May 2013

Review of Kenneth Fuchs CD


All of the works here were composed specifically for the artists playing them, and the performances are accordingly totally committed…the Florida-based Delray Quartet play Fuch’s most recent effort in the genre with great panache. © 2013 Classical Lost and Found 


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