Film & TV
Symphony No. 2 (1953)
Kurka's SECOND SYMPHONY is an interesting case in point: composed during the period when the American symphonic school was at its height, it falls right into the mainstream style of the genre: conventionally Classical in form, brash and assertive in attitude, propelled by energetic rhythmic syncopations, which are offset by more subdued, nostalgic passages. Fresh and exuberant, the influence of Prokofiev weighs heavily. Yet, from the moment I first heard it, I was struck by both the authenticity of its expression and the strength of its unmistakable personality, marked by an almost mischievous fondness for major-minor vacillations. Once one becomes familiar with it, one can never fail to recognize Kurka's music again. Thoroughly unpretentious, the symphony nevertheless maintains a consistent and quite mature sense of clarity as to its aesthetic intentions. Enthusiasts of the American symphonic school not yet familiar with Kurka's music will surely want to make its acquaintance.
Walter Simmons, Fanfare,1/1/0001
I first heard the SYMPHONY NO. 2 of Robert Kurka in 1961 via a Louisville Orchestra subscription recording. The music has not left my head since...The music of Robert Kurka is virile, no nonsense, heavily syncopated with long lean soaring melodic lines...There are wonderful dissonances playing against Harris-like uniquely American melodies. The music is classically organized yet fresh and inventive. It is fixating. After more than 60 minutes of this CD you hope for more. Kurka's music is beautifully shaped, so that each melodic line is well balanced between the various instrumental choirs...If you are interested in exciting, beautifully crafted music by a fine American composer whose career was meteoric, this CD is most highly recommended.
Ronald Legum, Audiophile Audition,1/1/0001