Symphony Nº 2 (1901)
III. Adagio cantabile
(ph: Ansel Adams)
One of the most salient facts about Ives’ music is its diversity. There are marches for band and symphonies for orchestra, popular songs and art songs, sincere sentimental songs and wildly satirical ones, serious sonatas and musical jokes, programmatic tone poems and purely abstract compositions, winningly attractive melodies and shocking dissonances, pieces that use common-practice harmony and pieces that invent new harmonic systems … His background gave him the capacity to speak many native languages as a composer. Rather than renounce any of them, he developed the flexibility to use any idiom or combination of idioms that was appropriate to the particular audience and purpose for each piece.
- J. Peter Burkholder
Symphony Nº. 1, A Sea Symphony (1903-1909)
on texts by Walt Whitman
I. A Song for All Seas, All Ships
II. On the Beach at Night, Alone
III. Scherzo: The Waves
IV. Finale: The Explorers
Felicity Lott, Jonathan Summers
London Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus
"He is the only one of my students who does not try to write like me."
- Maurice Ravel
"He was aware of the common aspirations of generations of ordinary men and women with whom he felt a deep, contemplative sympathy. And so there is in his work a fundamental tension between traditional concepts of belief and morality and a modern spiritual anguish which is also visionary.”
- Ursula Vaughan Williams
Introduction / Chant d’amour 1 / Turangalîla 1 / Chant d’amour 2 / Joie du sang des étoiles / Jardin du sommeil d’amour / Turangalîla 2 / Développement d’amour / Turangalîla 3 / Final
Frankfurt Radio Orchestra
Fantasy for piano and orchestra (1890)
I. Andante ma non troppo — Allegro giusto
Budapest Festival Orch.
Debussy’s Fantasy — a three-movement piano concerto or concertino in all but name — was an early work which the composer completed, scheduled for premiere, and then summarily withdrew after a dispute with d’Indy, who had been scheduled to conduct. It was not performed until 1918 (by Cortot) and has been scarcely revived since then.
This is not mature Debussy: the piano figuration perhaps approaches brainless bravura at times, and the work reads much like a Franck-inspired pièce de concours. But it certainly has its merits, probably deserves to be heard more often, and offers interesting insight into the tradition of which its composer was inextricably a part.
Composer: Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976)
Work: Sea Interlude - Sunday Morning (Allegro spiritoso) from Peter Grimes (1945)
Performer: Boston Symphony Orchestra; conducted by Leonard Bernstein
"Then, with an extended, falling glissando of disgust, the whole string section, plus flutes and piccolo, surged toward the brass, leaving the music critic and his deed - an early evening frites and mayonnaise on Oude Hoogstraat - illuminated under a lonely chandelier."
This 1986 photo shows the Orchestra during a summer concert in the Flats under the direction of Jahja Ling. Maestro Ling first conducted the Orchestra in 1984 and has held the positions of Associate and Resident Conductor, Blossom Festival Director, and Music Director of The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.
Variaciones concertantes (1953)
Israel Chamber Orch.
At a time when Ginastera was in conflict with the Perón government, his Variaciones concertantes represents some of the composer’s best-developed essays in Argentine folk music. E, A, D, G, and B, the open pitches of the guitar in standard tuning, are heavily used; this work, after featuring a variety of orchestral instruments in each of nine variations, closes with a tenth for the full ensemble which is a form of malambo, a competitive gaucho dance.