String Quartet No.4 Op.103

"It's a remarkable piece. The mood is elegiacal and meditative, the melodic lines sinuous and searching, the harmonies rich and astonishingly beautiful. Liebernann works within the traditions of Western tonality, but that is a mansion with many rooms. Liebermann inhabits all of them as his expressive purposes require, and he doesn't mind knocking down a wall to create new harmonic spaces.

The Fourth Quartet doesn't exactly fit the "neoromantic" niche into which Liebermann is sometimes placed. Much of the music, especially near the beginning, is a highly advanced and fluid chromatic expressionism with modernist tendencies. Sometimes this roiling cloudscape breaks open to allow a patch of near-classical harmony and almost-resolution. Near the midpoint the clouds lift in leaping modulations.Several chordal passages recall Russian Orthodox chant. Suddenly, when you've begun to think the somber, deliberate pace has gone on a bit too long, Liebermann introduces a kind of hobbled, stilted jazz idiom. The piece dies in pensive quiet."

Mike Greenberg, incident light

The quartet should gain a career for itself, among listeners for its intriguingly lyrical substance developed masterfully and ranging from a mournful start to a jazz-infused, sardonic finish, among musicians for that rewarding content along with seductive technical challanges...He's a composer with a distinctive artistic personality, one that was arrestingly on exhibit in this single-movement quartet, played by the Orion, the group that commissioned it, with all possible vigor and conviction.

Peter Jacobi, Herald Times

Lowell Liebermann's String Quartet No.4...was all very skillfully done....there's a lot to love about the piece. Liebermann is a good judge of mood, steering the music away from complete despair at just the right moment for a spot of hope. Elsewhere he vacillates between two distinct ensemble sounds, moving from delicate to saturated and back again. Lovely."

Peter Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer

Chamber Concerto
No. 2 Op.98

"the piece probes ominous and tragic corners. The soloist shapes ardent and anguished phrases, with colleagues providing atmospheric underpinning and episodes of vibrant interplay."

Donald Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Piano Concerto
No. 3 Op.95

"The big crowd...cheered the world premiere of Lowell Liebermann's striking Piano Concerto No. 3...the orchestra played this challenging new scored with the conviction it deserves...Arresting effects abound...They work within a large alternation of ferocity and tenderness that grows more and more affecting as the music unfolds."

Tom Strini, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"New concerto highlight of SBSO concert: It takes a special piece of music to make Johannes Brahms' Symphony No.1 in C minor the secondary piece on a concert's program, but the South Bend Symphony Orchestra presented one Saturday night at the Morris Performing Arts Center. The symphony and guest pianist Jeffrey Biegel's vigorous and exciting performance of Lowell Liebermann's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No.3 introduced concertgoers to an intense but also entertaining new work. Under iegel's organization, the symphont and 17 other orchestras co-commissioned the concerto....Consider the orchestra'scontribution to Liebermann's fee money well spent."

Andrew S. Huges, South Bend Tribune

"Liebermann's Concerto was quite a departure. Although he'd said the work was very difficult and virtuosic with many notes, Biegel played them and the double-fisted octave runs effortlessly. He sang the haunting melodies that permeated the work with much feeling. The concerto has a lot of vigor, color and some dark harmonies with dissonance, but always Liebermann came back to the lyricism, which he created with a master's hand. He doesn't develop his material in predictable ways. The first movement moved right along with tons of chords and scales and then suddenly under the fire was delicacy....The slow second movement was haunting and magical and showed off Liebermann's skills at pacing and keeping the interest. The third was a blustering giant's dance in which he inserted a bit of melodic ragtime and an echo of the second movement before finishing with a splash."

Geraldine Freedman, The Daily Gazette (Glens Falls)

"Centerpiece of the agenda was the Colorado premiere of the Third Piano Concerto by the American composer Lowell Liebermann...this entertaining and not overly threatening work may very well stick around for a while...this three movement work nimbly juggles modern atonalities and clashing harmonies with unblushingly charming throw-back melodies. There's even a foot-tapping ragtime se3gment...Liebermann calls up memories of the 20th century's concerto masters...but the third is clearly a work of this century...Friday's crowd seemed to love it."

Marc Shulgold, Rocky Mountain News

"Liebermann's Concerto was first and foremost superb piano music written by a superb pianist...his Op.95 crackled with a Beethovenian economy of means. Each successive theme and gesture somehow related to a compact step-wise mlodic cell that pervaded (along with a rocketing chain of fourths the thinking and unfolding of the piece. Liebermann linked a montage of moods and kaleidoscope of colors in a musical conversation of urgent clarity and unabashed, audience-friendly lucidity. Once heard, Liebermann's music begs to be heard again. ..the Third Concerto should have a long life and a chance at eternity. It is surely the best piece of new music the SSO has presented in the last 20 years."

Clifton J. Noble Jr. The Massachusetts Republican

"this brand-new concerto elicited a standing ovation."

Rowland Blackley, The News Journall

"An appreciative audience was treated to the east-coast premiere of (Liebermann's) Piano Concerto No.3 Op.95. This is a work that exudes melody from its very pores. It is filled with melodic riffs that lead the listener into dark chase scenes, followed by ascending harmonies that lift us ever upward, only to drop before reaching their goal, and then start again...there are laugh out-loud moments that made me think of Poulenc and Charles Ives; and one particular ascending section that made me think of Japanese music. But, despite these various influences, the sound finally comes out like Lowell Liebermann."

William Martin, Glens Falls Chronicle

 

Miss Lonelyhearts Op.93

"The Best of the New Operas: Lowell Liebermann and his accomplished librettist J. D. McClatchy…happily resisted the temptation to be literal and over-tell the story. Writing for the Juilliard School, which commissioned the work for its 100th anniversary, rather than an opera company that has to sell tickets to conservative subscribers, also seems to have freed them from the compulsion to sanitize unsavory subject matter.  Instead, they plunged into the sinister subtext of West's tale of an advice columnist who becomes so obsessed with the pathetic stories of his correspondents and his inability to help them that he develops a Christ complex and invites his own death.…The real world settings – the clattering frenzy of the newspaper office, the mockery and sadistic pranks of the reporters hanging out in the local speakeasy, the stratospheric high notes of the editor’s wife, with whom the columnist has a brief and sordid sexual encounter – are a series of musical nightmares, etched with astringent musical lines and insistent rhythms layered on top of each other. …Mr. McClatchy pulls no punches in the text, which abounds with racist language and sexual innuendo, to say nothing of religious mania.…The opera never sinks into sentimentality, even when Miss Lonelyhearts’ well-meaning girlfriend manages to drag him away to a healthy country retreat for a while. Instead, the instant of lyrical clarity acts as a momentary respite in this maelstrom of black comedy.…”Miss Lonelyhearts” may be just too dark for the average American opera company, but I hope that someone will take the chance on them, and other operas that have that same integrity, so that more audiences will be able to experience these compelling works. I wouldn’t mind hearing them again either.” 

Heidi Waleson The Wall Street Journal

“Miss Lonelyhearts’ world is a pained and ugly one…the only light let in coming from Miss Lonelyhearts’ euphoric messianic visions…and from Betty, his unappreciated true love. Composer Lowell Liebermann and librettist J.D. McClatchy limn this world in a wonderful new opera, Miss Lonelyhearts- not a pastiche, although other composers’ operas and other genres of music at times come to mind; not an imitation traditional opera, though melodic and full-bodied; nor relentlessly “modern”, though dissonant in places, but a work forging in a highly individual and compelling musical path…”

Bruce-Michael Gelbert TheaterScene.net

“On April 26 the Peter Sharp Theater’s savvy audience welcomed the latest commissioned creation: Lowell Liebermann’s Miss Lonelyhearts…skillfully set to a shrewdly constructed libretto by J.D. McClatchy based on Nathaniel West’s 1933 novel. Liebermann, a Juilliard graduate born in 1961, found operatic success with The Picture of Dorian Gray (Monte-Carlo, 1996)…One noted gratefully how much more fluid and emotionally resonant his new score emerged than many recent American operas hedging their bets on- and drawing most of their power from- established ‘literary properties’. The deft orchestration lends colouristic variety to a fluid arioso construction offset by (sometimes intertwined with) choral and spoken passages. Piano and Cello writing showed particular eloquence. Lessons have certainly been learned- from Berg, Britten, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich; perhaps even from Antheil, as a typewriter opens the score and telephones figure in it- but their application seems not so much derivative as aptly suited to the modernist ethos of the subject. Miss Lonelyhearts merits further staging by adventurous ensembles.”

David Shengold Opera

"An Absorbing Premiere: New York saw the premiere of anew opera on Wednesday night- “Miss Lonelhearts,” by Lowell Liebermann. Mr. Liebermann and his librettist, J.D. McClatchy, have achieved a success: an opera that is worth seeing, hearing, and absorbing.This is a nasty little story- filled with ever kind of depravity – and Messrs. Liebermann and McClatchy have fashioned a nasty little opera. The opera opens with the click-clack of a manual typewriter- that helps set the time. Then the orchestra commences a prelude, which is very, very American, as the whole opera proves to be: I thought, first, of Walter Piston, and some other giants of our mid-century. The score is well placed and well crafted. It has energy and tension (though that tension is relieved). It is neither too long nor too short. And it is almost never dull. Mr. Liebermann provides a nice balance between simple composition and complex. he does not write in a showoffy style. When only a few notes will do, he uses them. The piece has a couple of good arias- or aria-like sketches- and some good and rather unusual duets . A tenor-mezzo duet at the end of Act I is striking: he earnest and grave, she insouciant and vulgar. And Mr. Liebermann has no trouble panting what he needs to be painted. We hear a bustling newsroom, for example. And when the protagonist and his girl are out on a farm, the music is bucolic. Sometimes, Mr. Liebermann is obvious, but he’s conscious of being so. A character mentions Jews, and we get a Hebrew wail. And when he mentions a Protestant- a snatch of a hymn. For Buddhists, a dollop of Orientalism. And so on.Because this tale is full of madness, there must be madness in the score- and this is not easy to bring off. Composers often overdo it, perhaps going a little mad themselves. But Mr. Liebermann keeps his wits about him, as others are losing theirs, in part because it avoids sentimentalism. Many composers have difficulty ending a piece- especially a long piece, such as a symphony or an opera- but Mr. Liebermann’s denouement is fantastic: It builds excitingly, fearsomely, hitting you in the gut. And it remembers to conclude; it doesn’t linger a moment too long. Mr. Liebermann’s final notes, in this nightmarish show, are light- a creepy and effective touch.”

Jay Nordlinger The New York Sun

The latest installment in the Juilliard’s centenary celebrations definitely qualified as a Major Event: the world premiere on April 26 of “Miss Lonelyhearts” based on Nathaniel West’s famous 1933 novella, an opera with a libretto by J.D. McClatchy and music by Lowell Liebermann….Liebermann was a natural choice for such an important commission and he is a model advertisement for the school. Prolific, frequently performed and recorded, popular among musicians and with a well-received first opera to his credit (“The Picture of Dorian Gray” after Oscar Wilde), Liebermann is right now one of the country’s busiest and most visible composers.…he has extended himself impressively. McClatchy’s libretto assists the composer in every way, extracting the essence of West’s depressing tale with skill and a keen eye and ear for what works in the musical theater. The two acts are divided into 11 scenes that, for all the stylistic diversity Liebermann employs so artfully, fit together without a seam showing. Each sequence functions as a satisfyingly self-contained, closely worked-out entity that conveys its own musical character thanks in large part to the idiomatic vocal writing, music that not only flatters the singer but also tells us very clearly who these people are.”

Peter G. Davis MusicalAmerica.com

“The Juilliard School recently celebrated its 100th anniversary with 47 commissions, including a cello sonata by the 90-year-old Milton Babbitt, and struck gold with the Lowell Liebermann opera Miss Lonelyhearts. ”

Daivid Patrick Stearns The Philadelphia Inquirer

Miss Lonelyhearts, by Lowell Liebermann, was commissioned by The Juilliard School, for its centennial. It is a strong work, musically…This opera has half a chance to last, in my estimation.”

Jay Nordlinger The New Criterion

    

 

Cello Sonata No.3 Op.90

"The 18-minute work, performed as a single movement, was the evening's highlight.'

Punch Shaw, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano No.2 Op.87

"The Liebermann Trio, which was commissioned and premiered by this ensemble, was the centerpiece of the program. Tonal and full of wonderfully melodic writing, the piece is also quite moody and slightly theatrical. It moves quickly, yet convincingly, from quiet, introspective sections to absolutely glowing passages. '

Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Nocturne No.8
Op. 85

"The wonderful thing about all of Liebermann's music is that he writes beautifully yet unpredictably. The nocturne lulled us with quiet musical darkness while wandering into a wistful dissonance, and did not avoid the fitful storms that sometimes come after nightfall. His technical challanges were subtle, and required Ohlsson's deft skills..."

John Sutherland, The Seattle Times

"dreamy and suptuous, yet vaguely disturbing..."

Michael Huebner, The Birmingham News

Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano No.1
Op.83

"I can safely predict a brisk demand for the sheet music to Liebermann's four-part Trio 1, not only on account of its congenial mix of flute, cello, and piano but because the composer so deftly balances the contributions of these instruments.."

Perry Tannenbaum,American Record Guide

Piano Sonata No.3 Op.82

"There is no question, however, that Lowell Liebermann's Sonata No.3 Op.82 is of a very different magnitude to the other new works played in this recital. Its scale is breathtaking, its drama evocative and its lasting place in the repertoire imperishable. Liebermann's largest solo piano work to date, and his first piano sonata for 20 years, it has all the typical elements of lyrical brilliance and formidable virtuousity which were hallmarks of his two, incandescent piano concertos (recorded by Stephen Hough for Hyperion)...It is a magnificent work."

Marc Bridle, MusicWeb.UK

"Lowell Liebermann's Sonata No. 3 is a gritty pianistic challenge. Composed four years ago, it is driven by rhythmic impulse and tempered by soaring lyricism. "

Michael Huebner, The Birmingham News

 

 

Concerto for Orchestra Op.81

"Alternately rich and gritty in harmonic and melodic content, Liebermann's youthfully optimistic Concerto for Orchestra is a virtuoso piece from start to finish. The conceptual idea behind such a work is to treat every member, or at least every section, of the orchestra as a soloist. Liebermann accepted this challange with a vengeance. From the dark cello motif that opened the work, the score constantly pitted one section of the orchestra against another. Listening to the work develop, one felt as if some spectacular clash of wills was unfolding across the stage. Melodies - sometimes long, more often shattered into agitated fragments - broke across each other in clashing rhythms that reminded this listener of the Greek Furies."

Steven Cornelius in the Toledo Blade

 

On The Beach At Night Op.78

"...the uninhibited neo-romantic style of Lowell Liebermann goes down well with me because it is so unselfconscious and applied with such skill. And the melodically rich vocal line of his Whitman setting, On The Beach At Night, is a real gift to a singer."

Peter G. Davis, New York magazine

Trio No.2 for Violin, Cello and Piano Op.77

"Liebermann's Trio No.2 Op.77, written in 2001 with the richness so characteristic of the composer. Opening with terse, repeated figures for the violin and cello, filled out with marchlike block chords from the piano, the score offered a majestic quality the Beaux Arts (Trio) embraced with all due zeal."

"Liebermann's usual ingratiating qualities are present, but arrive hard won in the wake of considerable angst. The music is full of questions without answers, posed in ways that allow all three instruments to have extended solo moments. In effect, the composer all but wrote a series of solo sonatas, each wrought with extraordinary love and sympathy for the instruments"

David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Again we were impressed by Liebermann's effective writing for instrumental ensemble. This work generates considerable rhythmic interest, yet always has expressive values pleasing to the ear, mind and emotions. There was a lovely section where violin and piano playey sotto voce, expressionless and without vibrato in a dialogue against the piano that created a wonderful magical moment. THere was also a section where violin and cello shared rhapsodic melodies against an effective, repeated-chord motive in the piano. It was an impressive piece in an impressive performance."

Lyn Bronson, Peninsula Reviews

 

Three Lullabies for Two Pianos Op.76

"No one would fall asleep during American composer Lowell Liebermann's Three Lullabies for Two Pianos...Liebermann here seems inspired by Chopin's Nocturnes, with gentle melodies morphing into stormy passions.

Wayne Lee Gay, Ft. Worth Star Telegram

Variations on a Theme of Mozart Op.75

"...Variations on a Theme of Mozart, which opened the DSO's concert Thursday night, is a delight. Originally composed in 1993 for two pianos, orchestrated and expanded in 2001, it's witty, technically sophisticated and flashily scored... Dr. Liebermann works in a couple of nifty fugues, one busy and flashy, the other more lyrical. All told, it's quite a showpiece, 20 minute's worth, and music director Andrew Litton led a brilliant performance."

 

Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News

 

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Op.74

"Canadian violinist Chantal Juillet gave a glowing performance of Lowell Liebermann's new Violin Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Thursday night. The orchestration is rich, colorful and exotic, the violin passages, both haunting and virtuosic, were gorgeously performed by Juillet."

Bill Rice, The Albany Gazette-Reporter

"...this combination of qualities may even lift Liebermann's new concerto to a popularity not enjoyed by any other violin concerto since the Barber"

Peter Dobrin, The Philadelphia Inquirer

"The real highlight of the concert for me, though, was the Lowell Liebermann Violin Concerto...It's not just that the whole piece was lush and gorgeous, or even that the violin part was tremendously melodic, but that Liebermann uses those melodies and lush orchestrations to viscerally, emotionally, directly grab the audience. "

publicradio.org

"...the work is shrewdly writtten for the solo violin, aimed at exploiting the instrument's beauty of tone and it's predilection for lyrical flights. Despite the growl from the lower woodwinds that opens the piece, the work is very lyrical but hardly simple, as is the case with much of Liebermann's music. ..Surely this is a work that will live on. "

Michael Anthony, The Star Tribune (Minneapolis)lp

 

 

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Op.72

"The performances were all great fun, especially Liebermann's acerbic take on Paganini."

Andrew Adler, The Louisville Courier-Journal

"One of the finest pieces I've heard among American concertos."

The Indianapolis Star

 

Pegasus Op.71

"It is highly atmospheric, often exciting, and never stays in one place too long."

Punch Shaw, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

 

Dorian Gray: A Symphonic Portrait Op.70

"...this is just the sort of piece that restores the public's confidence in 20th century music and gives us hope. It was full of rich melodies, fresh musical ideas and soaring grandeur."

Punch Shaw, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

Nocturne-Fantasy Op.69

"...an appealing score rich in contrapuntal dialogues and lush harmonies...."

Allan Kozinn, New York Times

Three Impromptus Op.68

"...this work shows that inventiveness and genius can still inhabit classical structures and forms."

Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Clavier

"That quality of extroverting essentially introverted ideas made for a delicious performance of Liebermann's Three Impromptus. Liebermann...has been a darling of audiences as well as artists such as flautist James Galway for writing modern music that sounds like music. His Three Impromptus are tonal but not banal, covering every shade of dynamic from loud to soft while using practically every note on the piano, top to bottom. Against the sometimes dreamy, melodic lines that seemed to suspend laws governing the passage of time, Pompa-Baldi worked the propulsive accompaniments to create an engaging performance."

Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk, The Grand Rapids Press

 

 

 

Symphony No.2 Op.67

"...the first nighters earlier this month jumped to their feet and shouted with understandable delight. Now brazen and glittering, now radiantly visionary, the Liebermann Second, a resplendent choral symphony based on the poetry of Walt Whitman, is the work of a composer unafraid of grand gestures and open-hearted lyricism."

Terry Teachout, Time magazine

"...music alternating between sensuous dreaminess and sonorous affirmation...The audience in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center gave the composer a standing ovation."

Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News

"Although he has just turned 40 Lowell Liebermann has already established a reputation as one of America's most performed and admired young composers. Hearing this magnificent Symphony it is easy to understand why....this is a symphony which more than retains its own identity and 'voice', a work of consummate craftsmanship which more than repays repeated listening."

Marc Bridle, Music Web UK

"Liebermann displays a talent for soaring melody that takes one's breath away...it achieves a sweeping grandeur that is hard to resist."

Robert R. Reilly, Crisis Magazine

 

Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra Op.64

"Liebermann has succeeded in... balancing bravura and a wealth of attractive musical ideas to create a score that invites repeated listening. He is a masterful orchestrator, and just from that standpoint the new concerto is immediately arresting. (It) brought down the house."

Barrymore Lawrence Scherer, The Wall Street Journal

"...a wonderfully well-made study in neo-romanticism with a darkly lyrical slow movement and a raucously witty finale...The audience ate it up, as did I, and my guess is that it will enter the standard repertoire very quickly, and with good reason."

Terry Teachout, The Washington Post

 

Sonata No.2 for Cello and Piano Op.61

"...an engaging new Cello Sonata by Lowell Liebermann, which drew the warmest reception for any premiere I've witnessed at the Wigmore Hall."

Michael White, The Independent on Sunday (UK)

"...beuatiful writing for both instruments...The middle section of this work evoked a soothing serenity, although there was restrained tension always below the surfacwe that tended to erupt at climactic moments. The final section was frenzied, with the cello and piano parts often tangled and intertwined, and there was a lovely coda that returned us to the lyrical mood of the beginning."

Lyn Bronson, Peninsula Reviews

 

Loss of Breath Op.58

"The Long Beach Symphony treated a Saturday night full house to a romantic, 20th century evening kicked off by a heart-stopping world premiere. Lowell Liebermann's "Loss of Breath" thrilled and chilled the audience. "Loss of Breath" took listeners on a roller coaster through pounding chases. Those intense, percussion-driven passages were punctuated by often humorous breathers as the orchestra and the story's central character tried to catch their wind. The work was met by giggles and gasps, creating a huge buzz of discussion after lengthy applause for the 36-year-old composer."

 

Sonata For Flute and Harp Op.56

"...this sonata's musical ideas are so well thought out, varied and combined that they create an exquisite, unified piece of music."

Suzanne L. Moulton-Gertig, MLA Notes

 

Nocturne No.5 Op.55

"Nocturne No. 5 by Lowell Liebermann is a beautiful piece... Beautiful counter-melodies, right-hand runs, and double-thirds develop with each return of the main theme. This is an excellent piece for any advanced student or pianist to play for recitals or competitions."

Clavier Magazine

 

Appalachian Liebeslieder, Op.54

"There is no other song cycle in the world quite like Lowell Liebermann's "Appalachian Lieberslieder," which had its Washington premiere Monday night...Faced with a text that was, to say the least, challenging, Liebermann produced music of wit, anger, bewilderment and soaring, ecstatic lyricism - not to mention a parody of the German lieder tradition."

The Washington Post

 

Kontrapunktus for Five Japanese Drums and Orchestra, Op.52

"The Liebermann piece is a fascinating work, both new sounding and yet accesible and almost familiar in its contrapuntal interplay of Eastern and Western sound and in the embroidery of orchestra against the gradually intensifying bass line provided by the drumming...the Liebermann work was the evening's highlight."

Kalamazoo Gazette

 

Concerto for Piccolo and Orchestra, Op.50

"...an audience of some 2,500 other flutists...recognizing a sure-fire crowd pleaser, gave the performance a cheering standing ovation."

The New York Times

"This delightful work was full of eerie beauty and rollicking good humor; it certainly confirmed his status as one of his generation's finest composers."

Lindsay Koob, Charleston Post and Courier

 

Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra, Op.48

Its appeal rests in its deft, rather French-style orchestration and its beguiling tunes...Liebermann joined the the musicians onstage after the performance to share in the audience's enthusiastic response.

American Record Guide

...an uncommonly beautiful and inspired work; it is so full of extraordinary musical events that by midway listeners could become exhausted. Like a good novel, however, this concerto makes as audience eager to remain with it to the end. Seldom is such excitement found in music of this genre. At the end of the millennium, it is a privilege to hear a composition that may truly come to be considered the finest flute and harp concerto of the twentieth century.

Suzanne L. Moulton-Gertig, MLA Notes

Best of all was Lowell Liebermann's Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra.

Chris Pasles, LA Times

 

Revelry, Op.47

"An energetic orchestral showpiece with flashes of brilliance, it put the orchestra through its paces."

Gannett Newspapers

Sonata for Violin and Piano Op.46

"The patiently unfolded melodies in the opening and riotous finale demonstrated why Lieberman is the only composer on the program who doesn't hold an academic post and earns his whole living by writing music."

The Newark Star Ledger

 

The Picture of Dorian Gray Op.45

"Musically and dramatically, Mr. Liebermann's work is effective; as a first opera, it is remarkable. Mr. Liebermann's handling of the orchestra is masterly, summoning great power at times without in most cases swamping the voices. And his setting of English was natural enough to carry at least to one choice seat with little need for the supertitles."

James R. Oestreich, The New York Times

"The Picture of Dorian Gray is an astonishing operatic debut. Like Britten, whose first opera was "Peter Grimes," Mr. Liebermann has burst forth fully formed as a theatrical composer. In the end the drama is so compelling and the structure so taut that the question of influence pales in significance. The libretto, which Mr. Liebermann produced himself, leans heavily on the vividly theatrical dialogue of Wilde's novel. The 12 scenes are clearly defined, each focusing on a single dramatic event. And Mr. Liebermann has an intuitive sense of pacing that enables him to build inexorably to the shattering climax."

K. Robert Schwarz, The New York Times

"...the 90's have seen a considerable number of high-profile premieres, ...but to date, only one, Lowell Liebermann's The Picture of Dorian Gray, has been both musically distinguished and dramatically effective."

Terry Teachout, Commentary

 

Album for the Young, Op.44

"Lowell Liebermann is on the right track in Album for the Young. He has the intellectual, emotional, and musical instincts to penetrate the child's world."

Denes Agay, Clavier

Soliloquy for Solo Flute Op.43

"It is exquisitly lyrical, and after repeated listening ranks at the very top of my personal list for solo flute."

Classical Music Web

Variations on a Theme of Mozart Op.42

"...a major contribution to the piano duet repertoire. "

William T. Spiller, Notes

 

 

A Poet To His Beloved Op.40

"The best of the song cycles presented Sunday is a collection of six poems by Yeats set to music by Lowell Liebermann, titled "A Poet To His Beloved." Colorfully orchestrated for flute, piano and string quartet, Liebermann's work carefully mirrors Yeats' vivid verbal imagery through tonal sonorities of the instruments, while his expressive writing captures the pervasive solemnity that permeates the poems."

David Abrams, Syracuse Herald-Journal

 

Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, Op.39

"If you stopped paying attention to classical music after Britten and Shostakovitch died, it's time to tune in again. The famous flautist has put his weight behind one of America's most gifted "new tonalist" composers, with electifying results. Liebermann's three concertos are custom-made for listeners who find 12-tone music ugly and minimalism simple-minded. The harmonies are savory, the scoring luminous -- and, yes, you can hum the tunes."

Terry Teachout, TIME

"The remarkable American composer Lowell Liebermann has made quite a reputation for himself among flute players. This wonderful new recording shows the rest of us why. The three concertos on it are beautiful -- it's the kind of music you want to replay immediately after hearing it for the fist time."

Olin Chisolm, The Dallas Morning News

"With a popular Flute Sonata tucked under his belt, New Yorker Lowell Liebermann, at the instigation of James Galway, moved swiftly into concerto territory. Here Galway gives the recording premiere of these works, and true to Liebermann's audience-friendly style, they burst with optimistic, tuneful melodies and glittering, dramatic climaxes. Liebermann is a flautist's dream composer."

Kate Sherriff, BBC Music Magazine (5 stars)

"The music of Lowell Liebermann manages to be both accessibly neo-Romantic and intellectually engaging, a winning combination; anyone who dismisses contemporary music out of hand hasn't been listening to his compositions."

Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"For me, this is the most substantial and significant flute concerto of recent years."

Winds

"The orchestra's principal flutist...next joined the orchestra...in Lowell Liebermann's incredible flute concerto. This composer definitely deserves to be heard and recorded more often; his piece was very well received by the audience. It is no wonder this young American composer has garnered so much acclaim and so many awards. This piece leaves one yearning for more."

Canton Repository

"Liebermann's piece was superbly written for both soloist and orchestra, with the flute holding its own whether in dialogue with the upper strings, or topping a crescendo on the timps."

Cumberland News

"...the stunning piece on the program was Concerto for Flute and Orchestra,, Op.39, by Lowell Liebermann."

Wisconsin State Journal

"...a substantial and rewarding score that its fans are increasingly convinced is one of the best such works of the 20th century."

John W. Lambert, Classical Voice of North Carolina

 

 

Piano Concerto No.2, Op.36

"The Liebermann Second is a brainy barn-burner of a super-showpiece, undoubtedly the best piano concerto by an American composer since Samuel Barber wrote his in 1962...the audience responded fervently. What a treat to hear a new piece of American music that makes people feel like cheering!"

Terry Teachout, The Washington Post

"As Stephen Hough's sparkling Hyperion coupling of his Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 readily demonstrated, the music of Lowell Liebermann communicates warmly and vividly. For all the lyrical fervour of Liebermann's beguiling idiom, it rarely cloys, thanks in no small measure to the formidable craft he so abundantly possesses."

Andrew Achenbach, Gramaphone

"... what these works have in common is a phenomenal skill, technique, confidence and, I use the word not lightly, genius, in the 2nd concerto at least. "

Gary Higginson, Classical Music Web (UK)

"For me there are few things more exhilarating than discovering a new piece of music that bowls you over. That happened Friday at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra's third summer concert. Conductor Andrew Litton joined pianist Stephen Hough for the Dallas premiere of Lowell Liebermann's Second Piano Concerto. It is more than a knockout. It is among the best works of its kind in this century."

John Ardoin, The Dallas Morning News

"... perhaps the best piece in the genre since Samuel Barber's Concerto 30 years ago. The composer was Lowell Liebermann, and his Piano Concerto No.2...brought a knowledgeable audience of 2,000 music professionals from the league convention to its feet in cheers. The whole piece struck with the force of a superbly constructed narrative. The writing for the piano is terrific throughout, much of it - like the prestissimo duet between the soloist and contrabasoonist that brings the second movement to an end or the magnificent peroration of the concerto's conclusion - is breathtaking."

Baltimore Sun

"... it's fascinating, bold and fresh; we'll be hearing more from him in due course."

Michael White, The Independent on Sunday (UK)

" ... his strong melodic sense and rythmic drive give his music a structural power that makes these works both stimulating and satisfying. The First Concerto is an exciting and brilliantly-written tour-de-force....The Second Concerto...offers further evidence of Liebermann's brilliant command of orchestral colour. An outstanding release that can be warmly recommended."

John Kersey, Hi-Fi News & Record Review (UK)

"Extravagant in expression ... rigorous structural unity ... the performances are brilliant." (Four stars)

Jay Harvey, The Indianapolis Star

"This is the most thrilling set of new piano-and-orchestra works to pop up in a long time ... would keep even the most jaded concertgoer snapping in the aisle."

Robert Hilferty, Out Magazine (UK)

"Rachmaninoff could have used an orchestrator of Mr. Liebermann's skill."

The New York Times

"... the four-movement score is crafted with much skill. Even when he uses a tone-row, Liebermann invests it with lyricism, and there are moments of pure Rachmaninoff. If audience reaction is anything to go by, the work will not lack for further performances."

American Record Guide

"Lowell Liebermann (b.1961) is not yet as well known in this country (despite the endorsement of James Galway and Steuart Bedford) as in his native America. This magnificent disc may well change that. He is a major figure in the making. Approach the Concertos with caution -- the first has enough energy to knock you to the ground, the second will make sure you don't get up again. But you'll come back for more! The matchless Hough/Hyperion partnership are powerful advocates of powerful music. More Please!"

Michael Quinn, Tower Classical News (UK)

"I predict a special future for this piece."

The Review

"...a beautiful work that balanced solo virtuosity with solid musical values. Liebermann writes in an idiom of extended tonality....it is original music with stick-to-the-ribs themes. Look out for more of his music; he may become the hottest American composer in the next few years."

Albert H. Cohen, The Bergen County Record

 

 

Nocturne No.3, Op.35

"The piece is exquisite."

San Antonio Light

"...unutterably lovely."

San Antonio Express-News

 

Quintet for Piano and Strings, Op.34

"...it was music to be savored, and its performance received an enthusiastic standing ovation."

Judith White, The Saratogian

"For all of Mr. Liebermann's obvious technical gifts, he has something far more valuable: emotional honesty. There is rich sentiment and genuine feeling to his music."

Greenville News

"...this piece has the potential to become part of the standard repertoire. This is an emotional piece; it has something to say, and says it with great force and character."

Nashua Telegraph

 

The Domain of Arnheim, Op.33

"Lowell Liebermann's 'Domain of Arnheim'...proved immediately likable. It is a superbly crafted 18-minute Straussian tone-poem, colorful and richly-textured despite its spare orchestration."

The New York Times

 

Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano, Op.32

"Of greatest interest to this listener was Lowell Liebermann's one movement Trio Op32...the work was impressive...and sufficiently melodic and harmonic to make us think that there is, indeed, a future in art music composition. Bravo, Mr. Liebermann, may you live to write many more pieces."

The Montclair Times

"...his Piano Trio in one movement carried a forceful personality. Liebermann's grasp of polytonality is sure and gripping, and the 10-minute piece was well-received."

San Francisco Chronicle

 

Nocturne No.2, Op.31

"This plaintive, mournful excursus into neo-Romanticism...is half-Scriabin, half-Chopin, and wholly Liebermann. It unfolds like a flower, petal by petal, into full-blown complexity and exquisite beauty...Its seven minutes of remarkably affecting music are certain to find a place in other recitals quickly. Most deservedly so, too."

Musical America

 

Gargoyles, Op.29

"...filled the hall with almost magical sounds of great beauty and color."

Somerset Herald

"The recital seemed to reach its highest point during "Gargoyles," an amazing composition by Lowell Liebermann."

The Daily World (Arkansas)

"Lowell Liebermann's final piece from his GARGOYLES (a dazzling neo-romantic Toccata) produced an audience response close to hysteria."

The Musical Times

 

Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet, Op.28

"...a significant addition to the chamber music repertoire. It is brilliant, melodious, heartwarming music that soars and shimmers, rises to frenzies and engages in moments of intense dialogue."

The Washington Post

"...a score that is likely to become a staple of the chamber music repertoire."

The State (Columbia, SC)

"The audience exploded with tumultuous applause. Lowell Liebermann is one of America's most gifted young composers."

Evening Post (Charleston, SC)

"Lowell Liebermann's "Concerto for Violin, Piano and String Quartet" is simply smashing...its expansiveness is in its depth, its matching of spiritual intent to heroic expression and architectural solidity. This special melding of soul, body and mind is the hallmark of great music."

The Star-Ledger (NJ)

"Once again we observed how idiomatically and effectively Liebermann writes for violin and piano, and also for string quartet, whose contributions added considerable substance to the ensemble. Some of the memorable moments were a cello solo over plodding chords in the piano suggesting a chorale and lovely violin and piano cadenzas over tremolos from the string quartet. The final section, with its interesting rhythms, acheived a lovely intensity."

Lyn Bronson, Peninsula Reviews

 

 

Fantasy on a Fugue by J.S.Bach, Op.27

"Liebermann is only 29, but this piece shows a brilliance of his own in masterful ways. It's the kind of piece you want to hear again, right away."

Sacramento Bee

Sonata for Flute and Guitar Op.25

"...a most musically rewarding pairing...Lowell Liebermann's Sonata for Flute opens with a blissfully ruminative Nocturne, an atmosphere that dissipates immediately with the start of the nervously dancing Allegro finale."

ClassicsToday.com

 

Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op.23

"Lowell Liebermann is one of America's hottest compositional talents and a formidable pianist as well. He makes mega-demands on his instrumental interpreters. This was made manifest by his recently composed Flute and Piano Sonata. Neither instrument was subservient nor did either player dominate the scene. The two-movement masterwork ran the gamut from intimacy to raw passion, from simple notes to Faustian demands. The second movement, a tour de force tanentella, stung listeners with its venom."

The Salt Lake Tribune

"The standing-room only audience gave the composer, who was present for the premiere, a tremendous ovation. The two-movement work is a tour de force for both pianist and flutist."

Charleston News and Courier

"Lowell Liebermann's recent (1988) Sonata is already becoming part of the standard flute repertory. It demands formidable virtuousity but repays both player and listener with it's first movement's ingenious unification of variety and the expressive urgency as well as the headlong energy of its finale."

Michael Oliver, Gramophone

"...a breathtaking new Sonata by Lowell Liebermann. Don't miss this one."

Classical Pulse!

"The Sonata is beautifully constructed and imaginatively written, and it has been taken up by many fine flautists."

John W. Lambert, The Spectator Online

"Mr. Liebermann has his own technique and doesn't sound like he's a slave to any style, cult or theory. His music has color, warmth, beauty and strength, and it manages to sound lovely without being vapid. It's worth hearing, and it's worth thinking about...This is a composer to be watched."

Charleston News and Courier

"...a work of amazing beauty that created a mini-sensation with the audience."

Post-Standard

"... commissioned by Spoleto for Miss Robison. The festival - and the audience- got its money's worth."

The State (Columbia, SC)

"... a multi-textured, beautifully crafted sonata."

San Antonio Light

"... a transparent, ingratiating, mordantly melodic piece that sported a keen sense of acoustic color. When flute and piano busied themselves covertly adding overtones to each other's timbres, it took on something of the aspect of black magic."

Boston Globe

"The Lowell Liebermann and Bohuslav Martinu sonatas are (deservedly) played and recorded so much these days that they've established themselves as classics in the modern flute-and-piano recital literature along with the works in the same genre by Poulenc, Dutilleux, Prokofieff, Hindemith Piston, and perhaps two or three more."

American Record Guide

"...a brilliant work in two parts. The work is modern, colorful, intense. Throughout, it hearkens 'The Rite of Spring' with the churning piano laying foundation for the soaring melodies of the flute. The first movement begins with an introspective melody that twice explodes dramatically into a rash of frenetic energy before recapitulating to the original theme at the end. The second movement is short and virtuosic - quickly becoming a staple of the flute literature. That status is certainly deserved, as it is simply a marvelous work.."1

Classical Music Web

"... an intelligent and beautiful work."

Jay Nordlinger, The New York Sun

 

 

Final Songs Op. 21 & Dream Songs Op. 22

"Lowell Liebermann's "The Farewell Symphony" and "A Variation On To Say To Go To Sleep," on the other hand, represented high hopes for substance and sensitive word setting."

Daniel Cariaga, LA Times

"The delicacy of Lowell Liebermann's setting of "A Variation On To Say To Go To Sleep" by Randall Jarrell was captivating as sung with exquisite beauty by Ms. [Susan] Graham."

Anthony Tommasini, New York Times

Variations on a Theme by Anton Bruckner, Op.19

"Liebermann's set of variations displays a large array of 20th century compositional techniques and is as intellectually stimulating to follow as it is exciting to hear. One left it wishing for a second chance to hear the music."

Charleston News and Courier

 

Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op.13

"From a program of amiably unexceptional Americana, there leapt (almost literally) a Viola Sonata by the young American composer Lowell Liebermann, striking for its muscle, character and unexpected Russophilia."

The Independent (London)

"The word 'genius' is overexploited these days, but to find someone that young who can so masterfully express warmth, passion, tenderness, anxiety and loneliness without self-consciousness, without overstating and sentimentalizing, and with a simplicity of means that is deceptive, brings the term immediately to mind."

Ottawa Citizen

"Liebermann's Sonata is an attention-grabber."

Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare

"... a major composition rich in musical content and extremely rewarding for its performers. This work is recommended very highly to all violists."

The Violexchange

 

Piano Concerto No.1, Op.12

"...it fully deserved the standing ovation it received."

Pioneer Press (Lake Forest)

"...an extremely successful work and a remarkable acheivement for a twenty-two-year-old composer...Liebermann's grasp of bravura keyboard writing permeates this showpiece, inwhich brilliant technical demands mix with varieties of touch and coloristic effects..Tthe tremendous propulsive drive...as well as the constant variation of dynamics and articulation, create a technical tour de force. "

William T. Spiller, Notes)

"Kudos to Lowell Liebermann, who wrote an amazing contemporary score."

Roberta E. Zlokower, ExploreDance.com

 

 

Piano Sonata No.2, Op.10

"...most attractive in its expert use of pianistic colors and canny sense of working to a well-timed climax."

New York Daily News

 

Symphony No.1, Op.9

"Mr. Liebermann's First Symphony speaks with a distinctive voice and uses the orchestra's traditional formats with confidence."

Bernard Holland, The New York Times

 

Sonata No.1 for Cello and Piano Op.3

"It is a youthful ambitious piece that shows his emerging remarkable talent."

Bob Edgerton, www.cello.org

Piano Sonata No.1 Op. 1

"This vigorous and appealing work (which is tonal, but with harmonic bite) show's Liebermann's early fondness for lyricism, virtuosity, and formal balance....an excellent work, well worthy of study and performance..."

William T. Spiller, Notes