Classical CD Review
Robert Benson
October 1, 2018

Leon Kirchner (1919 - 2009) was totally American, a major figure for a half century. He was a respected teacher and won a number of awards for his music. A prolific composer, Kirchner wrote primarily chamber music, much of which has been recorded. His orchestral works will be new to most listeners, although they have been championed by major conductors. The New York Philharmonic premiered Sinfonia in Two Parts in 1952 (Dimitri Mitropoulos), Toccata premiered 1956 with Enrique Jordá and the San Francisco Symphony, Music for Orchestra premiered 1969 with the composer leading the New York Philharmonic, Orchestra Piece was premiered 1990 with the composer leading the New
England Conservatory Orchestra, and James Levine conducted the Boston Symphony in the premiere of The Forbidden in 2008. Now we have all of these works, most of which doubtless are first recordings, in sterling performances by the superb Boston Modern Orchestra Project under its dynamic conductor, Gil Rose. In spite of this, it seems Kirchner's
orchestral music has yet to develop a following. I've listened to his recoding three times, and there is nothing here that I would care to experience again. I'm sure Rose and his ensemble do what can be done, but limited interest here. Superb audio, as usual with BMOP.