Accolades for River Poem from The Washington Post

Can a new work on a classical program stand alongside the grand masters and thrive? It can and it did at this world premiere of Kluge and Kluge’s River Poem. Following a spirited performance of Mozart’s Concerto No. 4, I thought, how are they going to beat this? Conductor Kim Allen Kluge and his wife Kathryn Vassar Kluge, certainly rose to the challenge, using unusual orchestration – a hand bell ensemble, sometimes using the bells as Tibetan singing bowls — and a knowledge of the classical canon to compose for the Potomac River what Smetana did for the Moldau: a spiritual and stirring symbol of national pride. Why don’t more orchestras make use of hand bells? And especially their living talent? Mozart and Smetana would be pleased.

The Washington Post

I was at first conjuring images of landscape and seascape—most interestingly, some of the abstract sequences suggesting water from the films of Peter Hutton who has made a number of films of the Hudson River (!)—meditative, poetic compositions with no particular focus except to suggest the flow of time and water… I was also moved by the complexity of the Kluges’ work, its ambition (covering so much of history and nature) but especially by its beauty.

The Washington Post

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