The Arts Fuse reviews Kansas City Symphony’s recording of Jonathan Leshnoff Symphony No. 3 and Piano Concerto with Stephen Powell and Joyce Yang:
“The Concerto’s first movement alternates motoric and lyrical subjects, its constant shifts of phrases and harmonies keeping the ear from ever getting too comfortable. “Neshema,” the slow second movement, offers a beautiful, falling tune that’s gradually embellished. The Scherzo, with its frolicsome keyboard writing and nifty transformations of orchestral textures, charms throughout. … [Joyce] Yang dispatches the glittering Prokofiev-like solo line with dexterity and color. Just as striking is the KSC’s account of Leshnoff’s orchestral writing. It’s clear the ensemble and conductor Michael Stern have lived with the composer’s music for a while, given the rhythmic confidence, uniform attacks, and ear for balances they bring to their performance.
Their stylistic familiarity is also evident in the ensemble’s reading of Leshnoff’s Symphony no. 3 that fills out the disc. … Stephen Powell imbues those texts with plenty of warmth, as well as excellent diction and intonation. Stern and the KSC make the most of Leshnoff’s dreamlike, atmospheric instrumentation in the finale. In the earlier movements, Stern and his forces ably capture the Symphony’s metric and rhythmic intricacies. …played and sung with sweep and power. Reference Recording’s engineering is second-to-none. What more could one want?—Jonathan Blumhofer, The Arts Fuse