American Record Guide

Thomas Fortmann seems like someone whose mind is constantly moving, sponta­neous and agile. Indeed, he is unable to sit still musically, ranging from the blues to 12-tone in the same piece. This stylistic mobility is never distracting, though; instead, a certain opti­mism and joy shines through —a kind of inno­cence in the appreciation of every genre he writes in. Because of the wide palette he draws from, the main difference between individual works is the instrumentation. There isn’t much variety on this record—just chamber music for piano and strings. But I think his strength as a composer comes out, as does his affection for music of the American south. His is certainly an unusual approach—and a somewhat refreshing one. I’m not sure it has much stay­ing power, but it’s worth hearing.

—George Adams