The first review is in for the Kansas City Symphony, Michael Stern, Stephen Powell, and Joyce Yang’s Leshnoff World Premiere Recordings!
“Thanks to various CD’s released by Reference Recordings, I have become an admirer of the music of American composer Jonathan Leshnoff. … The impressive lineup of soloists and the sterling work of the Kansas musicians numbers immense artistic rewards in this treasure of a recording, impeccably engineered and produced by Dirk Sobatka of Soundmirror. … The concerto – a 2019 composition dedicated to Joyce Yang is, as so much of Leshnoff music a spiritual work, deeply anchored in Jewish mysticism.… the composition is technically challenging, and it affords the soloist numerous opportunities to display her virtuosity. Her sensitivity, when the music calls for a cantabile approach, reminds the listener of the immensity of Joyce Yang’s pianistic gifts. The Symphony no. 3 is a riveting composition that incorporates into its third movement the texts of two letters unearthed by the composer in the archives of the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas. … The texts are both touching and noble, with the composer allowing the words to be up front and center. Baritone Stephen Powell was chosen for the task and he delivers a wonderful performance with utmost vocal ease and flawless diction. The Kansas City Symphony, led by Michael Stern provides first class support to the soloists and a deeply committed approach to the music of Jonathan Leshnoff.”—Rafael de Acha, Rafael’s Music Notes