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“An orchestral craftsman of very high order”

Arthur Cohn, High Fidelity Magazine

“Here is a composer of excellent technical equipment, taste and considerable enterprise, his eyes are on the stars.”

Irving Kolodin, Saturday Review

(on Musica Antiqua)

“MUSICA ANTIQUA A GIANT SUCCESS:…last night’s Massey Hall audience will long remember the premier of Musica Antiqua by composer Lothar Klein. Titled an Allegory for Consort and Orchestra, the brilliantly composed and performed work, dedicated to the performers THE TORONTO CONSORT and the Toronto Symphony, deserved every one of the four curtain calls it received.”

Maria Topalovich, The Toronto Star Feb. 25, 1976

"The combination of the dedication of the members of The Toronto Consort singing and playing antique instruments, and Mr. Klein’s arrangements of medieval forms and melodies for these sounds and modern orchestra, makes for a more engaging musical experience than it’s always possible to expect…it deserves another hearing soon, and a permanent place in the repertoire.”

Sounds Classical CBC

“A work deserving to be heard again and again…”

CBC News


“...painted with vibrant brush strokes, this unusual work is one of the best things to come from the North American continent in recent years.”

E. Limmert, Hannoverische Allgemeine, Apr. 19, 1980

“a very evocative impression of some medieval myth”.

Eric McLean, Montreal Gazette

(on The Masque of Orianna)

“Full of inherent humor, a shimmering, enchanting score of color and melody…”

Ottawa Citizen

“A tribute to Elizabethan music making, full of inherent humour, a handshake across the ages…a shimmering, enchanting score.”

Michael Berton, Music Magazine

(on Canadiana Ballet Suite)

“Entertainment music of the highest order, thoroughly delightful…”

Robert Everett-Green, Toronto Globe & Mail

(on The Philosopher in the Kitchen for Contralto and Orchestra)

“a piece of intellectual gamesmanship ranging from Mahlerian portent to Bizet-like jollity”.

William Littler, Toronto Star

“Another masterpiece for Maureen Forrester, culinary or musical?”

John Kraglund, Toronto Globe & Mail

(on Paganini Collage for Violin and Orchestra)

“A violinistic tour de force”

John Kraglund, Toronto Globe & Mail

“A fascinating felony, the piece doesn’t suffer from academic stodginess, its mood is bright, cheerfully virtuosic and deft.”

William Littler, Toronto Star, Apr. 15, 1971

“One is immediately attracted to the brilliance of the score”

Wolfgang Streseman, Berlin Philharmonic, Nov. 10, 1971

(on Symphonic Etudes for Orchestral Winds)

“…it communicates surely, there are delights of colour, texture and rhythm – beautiful in and of themselves.”

Susan Mertens, Vancouver Sun, Nov. 1, 1976

(on Harmonic Symphonies of Celestial Revelation)

“The remarkable Harmonic Symphonies of Celestial Revelation is part song-cycle, part viola concerto highlighting Monica Whicher and viola virtuoso Max Mandell, it features coruscating percussion and exotic harps, it rewards the listener with a sublime apotheosis.”

WholeNote Magazine

(on Musique a Go-Go)

“a jocular virtuoso piece, an ingeniously devised multi-layer affair of modern jazz and lyricism.”

John Sherm, Minneapolis Star, Apr. 27, 1967

“Musique a Go-Go was the last on the program and first in the hearts of the audience, the orchestra was used in a sophisticated manner…the composer could be (or is) the present day Gershwin by keeping in touch with the times.”

Frank Hruby, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“a jazzy, sophisticated orchestral craftsman, an orchestral showpiece…”

William Littler, Toronto Star, Apr. 28, 1982

“the kind of piece that should go a long way in bridging the gap between the older and younger set of concert goers…”

San Antonio News

“The composer has succeeded in recording ‘fad music’ in a form palatable to concert audiences. That is no small achievement and may well help to broaden  the tastes of concert audiences.”

Tom Nickell, San Antonio News, Dec. 4, 1967

(on Design for Orchestra)

“rhythmically imaginative, ranging from Stravinksian neo-primitivism to American symphonic jazz…a piece of taste and talent.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dec. 11, 1971

“An inventive, handsome piece…”

Toronto Star

“A brilliantly written work, it is colorful and temperamentful.”

Witold Lutoslawski

(on España for Cello and Orchestra)

"I have marked his passing with repeated listenings to the 1977 cello concerto España as performed by Gisela Depkat...I find España to be a significant contribution to the Romantic cello repertoire, and a worthy continuation of the tradition of tributes to the music of Spain by non-Spaniards such as Bizet and Ravel."

David Olds, Wholenote, Feb. 1, 2004

(on Voices of Earth for Children’s Choir and Orchestra)

“An exceptional work for school choir with a shimmering orchestral background…the instrumentation is full of rhythmic impulsive figures…wonderfully lush sensuous scoring.”

Peterborough Examiner, Apr. 27, 1977

(on Symmetries for Orchestra)

“extremely subtle use of the orchestra: his effects flow into one another. This is the work of a serious craftsman who has interiorized his emotion...The second program of the 1964 Contemporary Music Festival held last Friday evening in the Bellas Artes was the most exciting; it began with a very intriguing work, Symmetries for Orchestra by the 30-year old American composer Lothar Klein. The work is, in the composer’s words, “a musical mobile.” Undulating melodies, fleeting harmonies and sharply etched telegraphic rhythms are the substance of the Symmetries’ two movements. The title points out the formal structure of the work; both movements seem variations of another. Whereas the first movement seems to be a series of instrumental monologues, the second brings a sense of resolution by using the full orchestra in a more extended manner. Klein’s use of the orchestra is extremely subtle; his effects seem to flow into one another. While the work is wholly modern in spirit, it does not strive for obvious or garish sensationalism. This is the work of a serene craftsman who has interiorized his emotion.”

Marina Lopez, Mexico City El Tiempo, July 28, 1967

“Symmetries for Orchestra by Lothar Klein displays a unique parallel with modern architecture. The texture of Klein’s music is sleek and colorful.  However. like with modern architecture, there is a certain coldness of style and, finally, the chief appeal of the music lies in its orchestral effects. The scoring is brilliant and the piece reveals an amazing variety of timbres –but shouldn’t music, like architecture be a bit more comfortable??

La Nacion, Buenos Aires

(on Cantata II for actress and six soloists after Epigrams of Sappho)

“Cantata II is a highly concentrated, sharply defined chamber work…The piece derives its tension from the interplay of the spoken text and brief instrumental episodes. The irony, wit and wisdom of Sappho’s Epigrams are reflected in mocking instrumental asides of a pointillistic nature which eventually give way to eloquently extended solos. The musical and literary basis of the Cantata are subtle and their combined effect is very attractive indeed.”

Die Welt (Hamburg), 1962

“In his Cantata II, the young American composer Lothar Klein has set himself the difficult task of reconciling music with the spoken word, and he has dealt with the task successfully. Sappho’s sly and somber epigrams are recited against a gossamer curtain of instrumental color and vibrating percussion effects. Music and text fuse into a mood which is moving and sensitive.”

Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin), 1962

“Lothar Klein’s Cantata II for Actress and Six Solo Instruments is a work of philosophic meditation. The music seems a quiet, reserved commentary regarding Sappho’s remarks on spring, love, and death. Rather than compete with Sappho’s caustic insights, the music wisely – and uniquely – follows it’s own path. The small ensemble suggests an astonishing array of color and rhythm. The resultant sounds are beautiful.”

Der Kurier (Frankfurt), 1962

“While the Schoenberg Serenade was easily the most irritating work of the evening, Lothar Klein’s Cantata II ran a close second. The title is misleading for nothing is sung – rather the classic texts of Sappho were recitated to the accompaniment of hardware store utensils. While the actress prattled on, percussion instruments hissed, chirped, scrapped and jangled. The result was a hideous insult. The next macabre work was the soggy harpsichord concerto of de Falla…”

Berliner Morgenpost, 1962

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