Gallagher’s Symphony No. 2 Released on Naxos
Recording by the London Symphony Orchestra takes place at London’s Blackheath Halls
WOOSTER, Ohio — A new CD featuring the recorded premieres of "Symphony No. 2 'Ascendant' " and "Quiet Reflections" by Jack Gallagher, the Olive Williams Kettering Professor of Music at The College of Wooster, has just been released internationally on the Naxos "American Classics" label. Recorded at London's Blackheath Halls by the London Symphony Orchestra, directed by Grammy®-winning conductor JoAnn Falletta, the disc was produced and edited by Grammy®-winning producer Tim Handley.
Gallagher's previous Naxos release was awarded five stars by both BBC Music Magazine and classical review site Audiophile Audition, which described his Symphony in One Movement: Threnody as "truly a work of genius." Hailed as "fresh and exuberant" by Gramophone magazine, which noted its "explosions of sound and colour," Gallagher's music was described as "brilliantly orchestrated" and "lustrous" by National Public Radio's "Deceptive Cadence." The disc has been broadcast widely over NPR, more than 100 fine arts stations in the U.S., and abroad, over Sirius XM Radio's "Symphony Hall," and during in-flight broadcasts on Continental, AirTran, Jet Blue and Frontier Airlines.
Fanfare proclaimed the new release of Symphony No. 2 "a major contribution to the 21st-century symphonic literature" and described Gallagher's music as "uplifting, even ennobling," adding that "The LSO...plays spectacularly well and beautifully for JoAnn Falletta" and recommended that listeners "put this new Naxos release right at the top of your shopping list."
A second Fanfare reviewer described "Quiet Reflections," the companion work on the new recording, as "an absolutely exquisite gem" and noted "the rich, characterful playing of the LSO under the direction of JoAnn Falletta." Classical review site Records International found the new symphony "a bold, opulently orchestrated tonal work" and noted its "passionate confrontations between contrasting material(s) before ending in a blaze of affirmation."
"Quiet Reflections," dedicated to the Wooster Symphony Orchestra (WSO), was composed for the orchestra's 80th anniversary season. It was first performed in February 1996 at The College of Wooster by the WSO, directed by Jeffrey Lindberg, with the composer as guest conductor.
Gallagher, a member of the Wooster faculty since 1977, has composed more than 45 works for orchestra, chorus, symphonic band, chamber ensembles, and solo instruments. His compositions are included on 16 published compact discs on the Musical Heritage Society, Capstone, Vienna Modern Masters, Summit Records, Altissimo, Beauport Classical, Promuse, Naxos and ERM labels. His "Berceuse" has been broadcast more than 100 times by Colorado Public Radio and more than 50 times over Radio Stephansdom Klassiksender, 107.3 FM, Vienna, Austria.
As a producer, Gallagher's recording for TNC Records of Messiaen's "Oiseaux exotiques" with pianist Angelin Chang, conductor John McLaughlin Williams, and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, won a 2006 Grammy Award in the classical category "Best Instrumental Soloist Performance with Orchestra." Gallagher's "Sinfonietta" was performed recently by the Omaha Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Wilkins, music director, at Omaha's Joslyn Art Museum. Symphony No. 2 'Ascendant,' on Naxos 8.559768, has been broadcast in its entirety over WCLV-FM, Cleveland's classical music station. It is available through Amazon.com and Naxos.com.