Spirit of the American Range (2014)

Piston, Antheil, Copland

Oregon Symphony Orchestra

Carlos Kalmar

George Antheil, the self-described “bad boy of music,” made a splash wherever he went. Before his better- known contemporaries George Gershwin and Darius Milhaud followed suit, Antheil incorporated the sounds and styles of jazz into classical music as early as 1922 with his first symphony “Zingaresca.” That year, Antheil announced that jazz was “one of the greatest artistic landmarks of modern art.”

In 1938, conductor Arthur Fiedler asked Walter Piston to collaborate on a ballet for the Boston Symphony, with choreographer Hans Wiener (better known as Jan Veen, the name Wiener took in 1942 to protest Hitler’s annexation of his home country, Austria). Piston, eager to work with both men, told Wiener afterwards, “Your approach to the Modern Dance gives such stimulating possibilities that it has been a great pleasure to collaborate with you in writing ‘The Incredible Flutist.’”

In 1922, composition teacher Nadia Boulanger introduced conductor Serge Koussevitzky to one of her young American students. From that moment, Koussevitzky and Aaron Copland forged a reciprocal collaboration that lasted until Koussevitzky’s death in 1951. Koussevitzky championed Copland’s music and taught him the nuances of conducting; in turn, Copland encouraged Koussevitzky to program American composers. 

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Oregon Symphony Orchestra

Since the Oregon Symphony was established more than 100 years ago, it has been recognized for its internationally acclaimed music directors, skilled performers, diverse programs and outstanding community services in education and regional touring. The Oregon Symphony now ranks among the largest orchestras in the nation and as one of the largest arts organizations in the Northwest, with an attendance of more than 225,000 people annually and 76 full-time musicians.

Carlos Kalmar

In May, 2011 he made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall with the Oregon Symphony as part of the inaugural Spring for Music festival. Both his imaginative program Music for a Time of War and the performance itself were hailed by critics in the New York Times, New Yorker magazine and Musical America, and the concert was recorded and released on the PentaTone label, subsequently earning two Grammy nominations (Best Orchestral Performance and Best Engineered). Under Kalmar’s guidance the orchestra recorded a second CD on the PentaTone label – “This England,” featuring works by Britten, Vaughan Williams, and Elgar.Carlos Kalmar is in his twelfth season as music director of the Oregon Symphony. He is also chief conductor and artistic director of the Spanish Radio/Television Orchestra and Choir in Madrid, and artistic director and principal conductor of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago.

 

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Spirit of the American Range (2014)

Piston, Antheil, Copland

Oregon Symphony Orchestra

    MusicWeb International

[...] It’s a tall ask to expect the new recording to match up to these predecessors, but it does so to such an extent that I would be very happy to have just the new PentaTone. Though not usually regarded as in the first rank of world orchestras, the Oregon players are well up to the challenge of the LSO (Everest) and NYPO (Sony and DG). I don’t know if any splicings were made from rehearsals, but these are live recordings and very good they are, with no allowance needing to be made. It would hardly be surprising if Kalmar had studied the earlier recordings which I’ve mentioned. Certainly his interpretation is broadly in line with Bernstein in particular: he’s a shade faster than the DG, but so was Bernstein on CBS, as was Copland himself. Every facet of this multi-faceted work is well captured on this new recording. The PentaTone recording is excellent, especially in 24-bit form, and there’s a very useful set of notes in the booklet. [...]

Dan Morgan for MusicWeb International[read full review]

    "strikingly realistic presence and ideal instrumental clarity"

This new release is, without doubt, amongst the finest orchestral recordings I have heard for quite some time. The DSD 5.0 Multichannel recording of this album engineered by the Soundmirror team (John Newton, Blanton Alspaugh and Mark Donahue) is of the highest quality. It has a strikingly realistic presence and ideal instrumental clarity whilst also marvellously capturing the ambience of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall where these public performances were recorded in April 2013 (Piston and Antheil) and January 2014 (Copland). This is an unmissable SACD that I have no hesitation in recommending unreservedly. 5-Stars for Performance, Stereo and Multichannel Sonics.

Graham Williams[read full review]

    'Pristinely captured in vivid sonics'

Walter Piston's most popular work, the masterful and highly entertaining suite from his 1938 ballet The Incredible Flutist opens this fine recording with panache. A Jazz Symphony by George Antheil, was first performed at Carnegie Hall by the African-American Harlem Symphonietta directed by W.C. Handy. The orchestra responds to this swaggering score with great gusto, with notable contributions from a very tight brass section. Kalmar’s interpretation (of Aaron Copeland's Third Symphony) eschews the tub-thumping often brought to this symphony with a highly sensitive and fluid reading which illuminates the complex thematic relationships between the four movements of this mighty work. Pristinely captured in vivid sonics, these are live performances unmarred by any extraneous noises. This is a recording you’ll surely enjoy listening to repeatedly.

Daniel Foley - The Whole Note[read full review]

Spirit of the American Range (2014)

Piston, Antheil, Copland

Oregon Symphony Orchestra

Mastering Engineer: Soundmirror, Boston USA
Producer: Blanton Alspaugh
Recording Engineer: John Newton, Blanton Alspaugh
Recording location: Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland Oregon USA
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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This album is available as ST+MCH download (Stereo + Multichannel)
Included in any DSD purchase is access to the base DSD64 resolution. All DSD capable units will be able to play DSD64.
Album Download duration price
PTC5186481: Spirit of the American Range
01:05:25   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Piston- Suite from The Incredible Flutist
Piston
00:17:18   Select quality & channels above
2.
Antheil- A Jazz Symphony
Antheil
00:07:07   Select quality & channels above
3.
Copland- Symphony No. 3 - Molto Moderato, with simple expression
Copland
00:09:55   Select quality & channels above
4.
Copland- Symphony No. 3 - Allegro molto
Copland
00:07:54   Select quality & channels above
5.
Copland- Symphony No. 3 - Andantino quasi allegretto
Copland
00:10:13   Select quality & channels above
6.
Copland- Symphony No. 3 - Molto deliberato
Copland
00:12:58   Select quality & channels above

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