Recording Industry Reviews

“Here there’s formidable competition from Barry Kolman, who really makes the music soar—a better choice than Stankovsky, who sounds like he’s just going through the motions.”

American Record Guide, March/April 2004

 “From Centaur comes a CD of suites from two scores by Max Steiner, richly recorded and conducted with stunning intensity (and boy, do these scores generate a lot of intensity) and commitment by Barry Kolman with the Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra.  Kolman and the Slovak State Philharmonic make maximum musical and dramatic sense out of it all.”

Fanfare November/December 1998

 (Steiner)  “The excitement of the score is very well captured.  The playing is most impressive with splendid brass choruses, soaring strings and solid timpani.  The battle scene is exceptionally thrilling with vivid evocations of thundering canon, galloping hooves and flashing sabers.  The players of Slovak State orchestra, especially the brass section must be congratulated on their skill and stamina and they do outplay their Brandenburg rivals on Marco Polo in this sequence.”

Film Music on the Web August 1998

 (Antheil)  “The Slovak Philharmonic is in top form on this new recording.  American conductor Barry Kolman is obviously much at home in and inspired by the Spanish idiom of the music, and conveys the score’s changing moods beautifully.”

Fi November 1996

 (Antheil) “Barry Kolman, the Orchestra, and the sound engineers have done it all proud.  Don’t overlook this disk; you might find yourself going back to it more often than you imagine.”

Richard Freed, WETA-FM Virginia Public Radio, August 13, 1996

 “This winning program of late-period Antheil, as deliciously interpreted by a well rehearsed Czech orchestra under a talented young American conductor. Recommended.”

Fanfare Sept/Oct 1996

 “All this music is very attractive and well worth hearing.”

American Record Guide/October 1996

“More impressive is the suite of four movements that makes up Music for Prague 1968.  There is a percussion interlude ending in a terrifying crescendo which leads to a finale…  A simple scheme, but one which has the effect of putting Husa’s gifts to effective use.  There are fervent performances from the Slovak Radio Symphony and Barry Kolman.”

Grammophone May 1995

 (Husa:  Music for Prague 1968)  “This is a superb performance and an excellent recording, a double improvement over a Louisville Orchestra LP… Barry Kolman is an American conductor who has performed often in the Slavic world; he has a fine feeling for all of his music…  The central movement of the slow-fast-slow sequence (in Reflections) is a lovely tour de force for all sections, brilliantly realized by the best orchestral playing I have heard from Bratislava.  This is a most successful disc, and I recommend it to all.”

Fanfare March/April 1995

 “Karel Husa’s Music for Prague 1968 retains its shattering power.  Barry Kolman leads the Slovak Radio Symphony effectively.” **** (four stars out of five)

Classical Pulse! April 1995

 “Husa’s music is quite serious, intense, and sure-footed. Recommended.”

American Record Guide July/August 1995

 (A comparison of Stankovsky’s recording (Marco Polo) of Rubenstein’s Third Symphony with Kolman’s) “On the face of it, one might assume that this latest in Marco Polo’s series with the powerful Bratislava orchestra would have it all over Kolman’s plucky Slovak Ensemble;  yet this is one case  where an earnest if decidedly unpolished performance under a conductor who obviously loves this music belongs on top… One is left with the impression that Stankovsky merely assembled his men and went through the motions, as against Kolman’s more dedicated involvement;  this is evident from the very opening bars… Kolman fully captures the heroic spirit of the music, taking the listener right along with him to the glorious peroration.”

American Record Guide January/February 1995

 “It’s a beautiful job, a very handsome sounding symphony (Rubinstein’s No. 3). These are nice performances… delicious.  The Third is a wonderful discovery.”

Richard Freed, Record Critic, WETA Public Radio, Washington DC, 1994

“This new version (of the Fifth Symphony) improves on the Romanian reading in several respects, and the American conductor Barry H. Kolman takes the measure of this boisterous, tuneful, and large limbed work more impressively than his Marco Polo counterpart.  Kolman pays particular attention to the woodwind and brass writing with which the Fifth is richly endowed, much to its coloristic benefit.”

Fanfare, July/August 1994

 “The Centaur disc gives us much to admire in (Symphony No. 3).  I have no hesitation in recommending Kolman’s performance.”

American Record Guide, July/August 1994

 “In his annotation as well as his performance, the American conductor Barry H. Kolman conveys real enthusiasm for the work (Fifth Symphony).  It (the Third Symphony) is handsomely presented and makes an intriguing companion piece.”

Stereo Review, October 1994

 “A special treat…”  (Regarding Kolman’s recording of Rubenstein Symphonies)

Chuck Slott, Music Director, WMRA Virginia Public Radio, 1994 


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