Reviews - press
Audio Clips

"Vincent", Bernard Rands, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, USA
The orchestra, conducted by Arthur Fagen, played with sonorous beauty, delicate and powerful by turns .... So impressed was I by the opera and its production that I returned for a second performance. This is an opera that should be taken up by the operatic establishment. .... Dramatic and accessible, it is an opera from the heart to the heart.

Charles H. Parsons, American Record Guide, June 2011

.....the impeccably prepared cast on opening night (lead roles alternate) .....performed admirably. Best to characterize the performances as being of high quality; things in the pit were even more impressive, as Arthur Fagen guided the Philharmonic Orchestra through Rands’s peaks and valleys, so eloquently crafted to match Vincent’s own.

Susan Elliott,, April 14, 2011

.... under the spirited baton of Arthur Fagen, manifest the excellence that is the signature of the renowned program at the Jacobs School .....

Benjamin Barber, Huffington Post, April 10, 2011

The production opened with a real-time “drawing in light” of Vincent’s signature on the proscenium curtain, as the orchestra played insinuating solo gestures under the compelling baton of Arthur Fagen, matching the gentle curves of the letters on stage.

Carmen Helena Tellez, Contemporary Classical, April 12, 2011
Bohuslav Martinů Piano Concertos Vol. 2 Giorgio Koukl (Piano) Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, Zlin/Arthur Fagen
The Piano Concerto No. 1, written by the 35-year-old Martinů two years after he’d left his native land for Paris, is a neoclassical piece dressed in a sort of neobaroque style that he may have absorbed from Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Prokofiev’s “Classical” Symphony, and music he’d possibly heard by one or another of Les Six in some of the Parisian cabarets. Breezy, brisk, and a bit cockeyed, Martinů’s score delights in bending the ear with tuneful bitonality. But the piece also recalls the composer’s not-so-distant homeland and romantic roots, as it does in the meltingly beautiful, Czech-tinged Andante movement.
Martinů was well into his Parisian period when he wrote his Piano Concerto No. 2. The bitonality and French cabaret elements seem largely gone, as the music takes on a more serious, almost Brahmsian, cast. It’s as if Martinů is returning to his romantic roots. The Poco Andante confirms as much with a movement which, according to the note authors “seems to be an unabashedly romantic homage to Brahms.” If you’re just beginning to explore the music of Martinů and/or you’re on a budget, this fine Naxos release can be recommended without reservation. Once again, there is much to enjoy on this new Naxos recording. Certainly if you acquired the first volume, you’ll want this one. And though I may have expressed a slight preference for one or another version of these works, Koukl and Fagen do not disappoint. Fine performances and a well-engineered recording make for a positive recommendation.

Jerry Dubins, Fanfare, May 2011

Fagen and the Orchestra respond with stunningly articulated clarity, and the close-up recorded sound is as fine as one could wish for. If we add to this the informative notes, this becomes a must purchase.
Alan Becker, The American Record Guide, March / April 2011

Arthur Fagen and his Orchestra accompany with a fine sense of ensemble....

Jan Smaczny, BBC Music Magazine, February 2011

Brilliantly captures Martinů’s coloristic effects and eclectic nature. Arthur Fagen draws excellent playing from the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra, and Naxos provides vivid sound. Listeners willing to give the five Martinů concertos a chance should find most of them quite rewarding and well worth their attention.

Robert Cummings, International Musicweb, February 2011

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