American Pioneers: Music for String Orchestra
This despatch estimate is based on information from both our own stock and the UK supplier's stock.
If ordering multiple items, we will aim to send everything together so the longest despatch estimate will apply to the complete order.
If you would rather receive certain items more quickly, please place them on a separate order.
If any unexpected delays occur, we will keep you informed of progress via email and not allow other items on the order to be held up.
If you would prefer to receive everything together regardless of any delay, please let us know via email.
Pre-orders will be despatched as close as possible to the release date.
Label: Brilliant Classics
Cat No: 96086
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 4th December 2020
Appalachian Spring: Suite
Suite in E major, op.63
Hymn for Strings
ConductorDick van Gasteren
Arthur Foote (1853-1937) numbered among the first generation of classical composers to be educated primarily in the US, and in the arching phrases, transparent textures and rich harmonies of his Suite in E major can be heard the Romantic heritage of Brahms and Wagner which exercised a dominant influence over American conservatoires in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, before pioneers such as Ives and Antheil loosed the cultural bonds between the two continents.
The Hymn is the second of ‘A Set of Three Short Pieces for String Orchestra’ written by Ives in 1904: way ahead of its time, we might now think (and composed three years before Foote’s Suite), in its probing harmony which ventures deep into and even beyond the expressionist world of Arnold Schoenberg, while retaining a solemn, devotional quality in the slow-moving textures and the passionate viola melody at its heart.
In contrast to the darkness and uncertainty of Ives’s Hymn, the Shaker music quoted by Aaron Copland in Appalachian Spring radiates quiet content and security. The Ciconia Consort are joined here by Dutch colleagues to present the final version of Copland’s ballet, originally written in 1944 to a commission by Martha Graham for a piece with a distinctively American theme. An orchestral suite followed, thanks to the ballet’s instant popularity, then a complete orchestral version, and finally a version of the suite for the 13 instruments of the original score. The book of the ballet tells the story of the 19th-century American pioneers celebrating spring, marriage, and the building of a new house.
The album’s final work dates from 1948, but you would be hard pressed to guess that its composer was once known as ‘the bad boy of American music’. Born in New Jersey but trained in Paris, George Antheil knocked about with the likes of Joyce and Pound and outraged conservative sensibilities with his Ballet mécanique, featuring an orchestra of pianos, percussion, electric buzzers and aeroplane propellers. By 1941, however, having moved back over the Atlantic and suffered several badly received performances, he labelled himself ‘a complete failure’. He reinvented himself as a film and then a concert composer, writing in a more conservative idiom that nonetheless sprang from the tonal modernism of 1920s and 30s Europe, the world of Bartók and Shostakovich. This is also the world of the String Serenade: a three-movement work with a troubled nocturne at its heart.
Error on this page? Let us know here
Need more information on this product? Click here