Classical CD Reviews

BUCKLEY MILLS: Piano Sonata in C Major; Symphony No.1; Piano Lullaby – Steve Kummer, p./ Nashville String Machine /Chris McDonald – BYM Music

BUCKLEY MILLS - Not for the musically sophisticated.

Published on September 15, 2013

BUCKLEY MILLS: Piano Sonata in C Major; Symphony No.1; Piano Lullaby – Steve Kummer, p./ Nashville String Machine /Chris McDonald – BYM Music

BUCKLEY MILLS: Piano Sonata in C Major; Symphony No.1; Piano Lullaby – Steve Kummer, p./ Nashville String Machine /Chris McDonald – BYM Music Phoenix Classical PHX84061, 34:07 – [Distr. by Phoenix Records, Canada] **:

Looking up Buckley Mills on the Internet, it appears that he is a rather shameless self-promoter. To quote his biography: “From child prodigy to mainstream jazz violinist, Buckley Mills is quickly raising the already high standards set by such legends as Joe Venuti and Stephane Grapelli.”

According to the Internet literature, Mills has perfect pitch, became the youngest member of the Sioux City Symphony at the age of 14 (he was raised in Sioux City), played violin with bands of all genres—from country and rock to classical and jazz, performed with or on the same bill as Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell, among others, and collects vintage Fender guitars.

Reasonably well recorded, Mills’ own music is something else. The two piano pieces are of minor interest. The symphony has a lot of strings sawing away on a bunch of musical cliches from the last four centuries. Initially, I was not sure whether this was a parody as in P.D.Q. Bach. Apparently not.  I would skip this effort.

—Zan Furtwangler




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