Album Reviews

What They Say

  • “A young man’s extraordinary effort to say what needs to be said, feel what needs to be felt and demonstrate what needs to be demonstrated about the Israeli and Palestinian morass in the Middle East.” (in reference to Poems and Prayers by Mohammed Fairouz)

    Mark Swed Los Angeles Times
  • “Based on Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel of the same name, Fairouz’s four-movement piece features a powerful performance by the University of Kansas wind ensemble conducted by Paul W. Popiel of a composition that magnificently blends sharp commentary, satire, and deep-felt emotion over the course of 35 minutes. Beginning with a terrifyingly literal take on the event itself, Fariouz’s piece explores the complexities, contrasts, and contradictions of post 9-11 America, and further solidifies his reputation as one of the most exciting young composers in classical music today.” (in reference to In the Shadow of No Towers by Mohammed Fairouz)

    Christian Williams Utne Reader
  • “The title-piece, Native Informant, a 2011 sonata for solo violin (brilliantly rendered by Rachel Barton Pine), draws from sources as diverse as Arabic round dance and American cabaret. Chorale Fantasy…played here by the Borromeo Quartet, brilliantly marries Arabic maqam modality with the counterpoint of a Bach chorale. The songs, too, cover much ground, with texts ranging from Wayne Koestenbaum’s Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films in Fairouz’s Posh…to his rather elegiac Tahwidah…In both cases, from the aptly dubbed ‘baritenor’ Christopher Thompson to soprano Melissa Hughes, the respective vocalism is supremely nuanced…the Arab-American Fairouz succeeds…by emphasising the elements that resonate best around him.” (in reference to Native Informant by Mohammed Fairouz)

    Ken Smith Gramophone
  • “Mohammed Fairouz wrote Sumeida’s Song, a lushly scored chamber opera, when he was only 22. Its concerns with peace and communal healing place it in the humane tradition of such works as Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra and Don Carlos.” (in reference to Sumeida's Song by Mohammed Fairouz)

    Marion Lignana Rosenberg WQXR
  • “There’s an embarrassment of riches on Critical Models, the debut solo album by 20-something composer Mohammed Fairouz. And yet the chamber nature of the record’s six pieces lends an unshakable sense of intoxicating intimacy.” (in reference to Critical Models by Mohammed Fairouz)

    WQXR/Q2 Album of the Week
  • "Mohammed Fairouz alludes to Liberace and Tin Pan Alley in two of his three miniatures…Fairouz’s third miniature, “America never was America to me” reacts to the 50th anniversary of the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech filtered through the events of Trayvon Martin’s murder.” (in refernce to American Vernacular by Mohammed Fairouz)

    Jay Batzner Sequenza21
  • “This sixth of Fairouz’s series of piano miniatures is subtitled 'Addio.' I include it here in tribute to all the farewells that are said, in all the journeys of exile.” (in reference to Exiles' Cafe)

    Lara Downes Exiles' Cafe Liner Notes
  • “Mohammed Fairouz’s ‘Refugee Blues’ is an arresting, self-contained melting pot: it begins with Middle Eastern modal writing and moves decisively into Western melody, with driven rhythms that convey the shape (metrically and emotionally) of that dark Auden poem.” (in reference to Five Borough Songbook)

    Allan Kozinn The New York Times
  • “The Borromeo players achieve the special balancing act of patience and ferocity in Mohammed Fairouz’s Lamentation and Satire, an intensely felt score in which the instruments engage in compelling duos, a fugue of doleful urgency and a farewell utterly bereft of hope.” (in reference to As It Was, And Will Be)

    Donald Rosenberg Gramophone Magazine
  • “Mohammed Fairouz’s Bonsai Journal… It’s a technically difficult piece and the poetry seems deliberately separated from the music, as if the two are competing for air space, though there is an underlying dance. By including this piece by a ‘newer generation’ composer, we get a view into the world to come, which, as demonstrated here, seems serious, intense, complex.” (in reference to Boston Diary)

    David Wolman Fanfare Magazine

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