Kenneth Frazelle – Reviews

Kenneth Frazelle



about “Carolina Portrait: Songs and Piano Works of Kenneth Frazelle”

Kathryn Findlen, mezzo-soprano; Eric Rowley, piano         Raleigh, NC                                                           May 3, 2015

“Kenneth Frazelle is a state treasure…This is music that, in its social and cultural allusions – and, alternately, its human drama, poignancy, emotion, acceptance, melancholy, sadness, despair, and resignation – can, and on this occasion often did, speak to its listeners directly…”

— John W. Lambert,


about Trio: A Book of Days

Strata Trio                                               World Premiere, Winston-Salem, NC                                           March 21, 2013

After intermission, there was the rare treat of a world premiere – the Trio: A Book of Days by Kenneth Frazelle…The work, in five movements, is inspired by images from an extended poem by the late A.R. Ammons (1926-2001), a native of North Carolina. The harmonic vocabulary of the work is modern but at the same time relatively diatonic. The first two movements are active, reflections on the ephemerality of things…The third movement is a sort of nocturne that begins spare, slow, and simple, and gradually develops to a beautiful lyricism…Some dance gestures, with irregular rhythms evolving to a sort of waltz, shape the fourth movement, and the fifth movement returns to the tranquility of motion of the third. As it became evident that the movement was drawing to a close, I was astounded to hear that Frazelle had the courage to write a root position tonic for the piano, clearly the final arrival…This music, and that of the third movement, was simply sublime, in the deepest sense of the word, a sublimity that one rarely experiences in concert. Indeed, I think the word “masterpiece” is not too strong for this work. It was beautifully and sensitively rendered by Strata. I hope they will soon record and release it on CD. It deserves to join the core repertoire of the chamber literature.

— Tom Moore, CVNC Online Arts Journal in North Carolina


about Concerto for Chamber Orchestra

“Frazelle’s piece mingles academic composition with bits of twist and shout, barrel-house piano and boombox favorites…The work won the favor of the audience…”

Richard Dyer, – Boston Globe (March 8, 2003)


“It may be music for these fragile, hopeful times.”

Josef Woodard – Los Angeles Times (May 13, 2002)


about From the Air…

“There is definitely a lot of heart in Frazelle’s music, and a spiritual, if not physical, upliftment.”

Diane Peterson – Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, CA, (Oct. 16, 2002)


about The Four Winds…

“The Frazelle work…had verve and polish. ”

Kenneth LaFave – Arizona Republic (Feb. 2, 2002)


about The Motion of Stone…

“The final movement swelled to a great dance of enlightenment and bliss, causing the audience to rise… in a standing ovation.”

Susan Larson – Boston Globe (Sept. 29, 1998)


about Shivaree…

“With its fractious rhythms and jazz-inspired licks…Shivaree takes you along for the ride, clunking and clattering and occasionally soaring-but never crashing. The piece can’t help but make you smile.”

Diane Peterson – Press Democrat (Oct.13, 1997)


about Blue Ridge Airs I…

“The composer paced his ideas skillfully and managed to create a wealth of variety-rhythmic, textual and timbral-without rambling.”

Terry McQuilkin – Los Angeles Times (Oct. 9, 1989)