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Joel Frederiksen, Artistic Director
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CD Reviews:

Reviews of "Rose of Sharon"

Rose of Sharon: 100 Years of American Music 1770-1870

A brilliant program briliantly performed. 

**** Bufallo News, Jeff Simon
19. 10. 2011

Avant-garde & post-colonial America

Anyone hungering for an America purer and more innocent than surely it ever was could hardly do better than spinning The Rose of Sharon. Its presiding genius is Joel Frederiksen, an American-born and -trained lutenist and bass (singer) who has created his own performing group, Ensemble Phoenix Munich, in his adopted home city. This CD might be the best thing homesickness has produced since Dvorak crossed the Atlantic both ways.The instrumental playing, including a foot-tapping "Dixie Land" and some really wicked fiddling, is as bewitching as the singing, but it's the unfamiliar music that most fascinates. There are hymns aplenty, and ballads, including the ironically entitled "The Gentleman Soldier," which gives an earlier perspective on matters marital and military: "Two wives are allowed in the army, but one's too many for me." But all of this music sticks to your ribs and in your memory, and for an hour at least, you'll be amazed to be an American.

The Bay Area Reporter, Timothy Pfaff
18. 8. 2011

A Stunning Music Range

There’s actually a stunning musical range on Rose of Sharon, Rose of Sharon offers a unique historic perspective of the tunes some of our ancestors sung...Frederiksen and his ensemble take us back to the birth of a nation, but to its musical roots...the journey proves worthwhile.

18. 8. 2011

Complex Pleasures Rooted in Love, Delight and Song

 ...the real gem here is the disc from the Munich-based Ensemble Phoenix, directed by the American abroad Mr. Frederiksen: a widely varied collection of musical Americana rendered with consistent beauty and restraint. Mr. Frederiksen sets a soulful tone at the start with a solo rendering of the Shaker spiritual ‘Lay Me Low’ and later adds the sober ballads ‘The Death of General Wolfe’ and ‘Captain Kidd.’ This one is to treasure, from beginning to end.

New York Times , Jim Oestreich
28. 7. 2011

Rose of Sharon

...masterpiece... this current effort to bring this music to life has a genuine air of sincerity and reverence--and if nothing else, it's certainly enlivening and entertaining. Frederiksen is an amazing musician and a uniquely gifted singer, and for that reason alone you shouldn't miss this.”

1. 7. 2011

Rose of Sharon – 100 Years of American Music

This album is beautifully connected, taking on a large challenge across a hundred years, and succeeding at every turn.

**** Audiophile Audition, Steven Ritter
1. 6. 2011

A Fascinating Compendium of America's Early Music

Frederiksen has compiled a fascinating compendium of “America’s early music”. We hear works that sound like Victorian parlour songs; tunes from the old country’s folk styles; pieces that recall the West Gallery traditions of English country churches. Yet a more confident American identity emerges, trading on a certain directness of manner.

SUNDAY TIMES, Stephen Pettitt
22. 5. 2011

When was a truly American music born?

 ...a revelatory new recording ...a smartly programmed and beautifully performed album. Frederiksen is a terrific singer but also a generous leader and shares the solo opportunities with his fine ensemble. The instrumental selections scored for flute, violin, cello, guitar and drum are played with the ideal blend of polish and grit. Fans of vocal music, gospel, country and bluegrass will all have something to love here. It’s a rare album indeed that will attract fans of both Anonymous 4 and the Punch Brothers. It’s only May, but this one ranks very high on my best of the year list.

ARIAMA.COM, Craig Zeichner
3. 5. 2011