Listening Room

14 David FulmerDavid Fulmer – Sky’s Acetylene
New York Philharmonic; Jeffrey Milarsky
New Focus Recordings FRC306 (


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At 14 minutes, Sky’s Acetylene is either a short EP or a long single, featuring flute (bass, soprano and piccolo), harp, double bass, piano and percussion soloists. Composer David Fulmer has won an Academy Award, but don’t expect typical movie score tropes here; this is legitimately avant-garde, atmospheric and even spectral. Flutist Mindy Kaufman has the most notes to play, followed closely by harpist Nancy Allen. The other three (Eric Huebner, piano; percussionist Daniel Druckman; Max Zeugner on bass) provide support for the ravings and ramblings of the flute. Kaufman has formidable command of the broad range she navigates on all three pipes, huffing, bending and scurrying through her solos with conviction.

Commissioned to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the New York Philharmonic, it seems curious to present a chamber concerto as a landmark. Four of the players are principals with the Phil; conductor Jeffery Milarsky is a frequent guest. Worth hearing for the solid performances.

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