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Lukas Foss – Symphony No. 1

‘Lukas Foss combined his strong classical training, his love of complex rhythm, his dancelike energy and his unfailing optimism into a compositional legacy that mark him as one of the great composers of the 20th century.

Foss’s early First Symphony reflects his love of his adopted country in a work that is one of the greatest 20th-century symphonies. That enthusiasm for America also shines in his Three American Pieces, combining country fiddling and ragtime, with blues thrown in for good measure. The Renaissance Concerto is a “handshake across the centuries”, blending Monteverdi and Rameau with Foss’s great sense of musical humour. Ode, which Foss composed after D-Day to honour those who would not return, is a deeply moving landscape of crisis, war and ultimately hope.’

JoAnn Falletta

Lukas FOSS (1922–2009)
Symphony No. 1
Renaissance Concerto
Three American Pieces • Ode

Amy Porter, Flute • Nikki Chooi, Violin
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta

Berlin-born Lukas Foss studied music in Paris before settling in Philadelphia in 1937. Though he freely explored diverse compositional styles, three of the works in this recording fall into his early neo-Classical period and exemplify his dictum that “to have a big foot in the future, you’ve got to have a big foot in the past.” Symphony No. 1 in G major is lyrical, bucolic and subtly jazz-influenced, while the Three American Pieces show Aaron Copland’s “open air” influence. Foss’s Ode expresses his feelings about the loss of American lives during the Second World War, and Renaissance Concerto is a “handshake across the centuries” ingeniously spiced with unexpected harmonic twists.

Listen to an extract from Symphony No. 1:
I. Andantino – Un poco Allegretto
About the Artists

Multiple GRAMMY-winning conductor JoAnn Falletta serves as music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and music director laureate of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. She has guest conducted many of the most prominent orchestras in America, Canada, Europe, Asia and South America. She has a discography of over 125 titles, and is a leading recording artist for Naxos. She is also the recipient of many of the most prestigious conducting awards and was named Performance Today’s Classical Woman of the Year 2019 and one of the 50 great conductors of all time by Gramophone magazine.

Flautist Amy Porter has been praised by critics both for her exceptional musical talent and her passion for scholarship. Through a versatile and distinguished career as a concert performer, she has become a skilful and creative muse for composers of our time, and given numerous performances at Carnegie Hall. Winner of the Third Kobe International Flute Competition, she is also a noted recording artist and chamber musician, and a professor of music at the University of Michigan.

Violinist Nikki Chooi is concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and was previously concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. A laureate of the Queen Elisabeth, Tchaikovsky and Michael Hill International Violin Competitions, Chooi has performed as soloist with prominent international orchestras, including the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia and the Belgian National Orchestra.

Founded in 1935, the GRAMMY award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) is Buffalo’s leading cultural ambassador, presenting more than 120 classics, pops and youth concerts each year. During the tenure of music director JoAnn Falletta, the BPO has rekindled its distinguished history of radio broadcasts and recordings, including the release of over 60 albums of diverse repertoire on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve Records labels.
More recordings by JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic
The Poem of Ecstasy • Symphony No. 2

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra • Falletta
‘JoAnn Falletta’s interpretation brilliantly showcases the music’s strengths. …The Buffalo Philharmonic players respond with a virtuoso panache that avoids any trace of brashness.’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★
‘It’d be hard to imagine a better introduction to Schmitt’s music than this. The performances are outstanding. Platts’s singing in Salome and Chooi’s playing in Legende are exemplary. Falletta’s conducting is first rate ... The Buffalo Phil sounds radiant.’
American Record Guide
The Passion of Yeshua

Plitmann • Worth • Overton • Bridges • Fallon • Bass
UCLA Chamber Singers
Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra
‘JoAnn Falletta is a forceful champion of the score, which she shapes with sensitive and potent authority. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus and UCLA Chamber Singers are splendid collaborators.’
Violin Concerto ‘The Red Violin’

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra • Falletta
‘JoAnn Falletta and her Buffalo players also put on a virtuosic display, clearly relishing the many opportunities that Corigliano gives them to strut their stuff ... The whole production is engineered with vivid but unobtrusive naturalness. A total winner.’

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