BN.com Gift Guide

Barber: Knoxville - Summer of 1915; Essays for Orchestra Nos. 2 & 3

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Hearing Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin sing "Knoxville: Summer of 1915" is almost like hearing it for the first time. She and Marin Alsop, leading the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, manage to wipe the cobwebs off an exquisite piece that's in danger of being perceived as a warhorse, given the frequency with which it's programmed and the number of undistinguished performances it receives. Gauvin sings with absolutely pure tone and unmannered simplicity. She tends to slightly drop the ends of her phrases so that her delivery sounds conversational and intimate, just right for James Agee's evocative prose poem. Her attention to the details of the text and to their place ...
See more details below
CD
$9.49
BN.com price
(Save 5%)$9.99 List Price
Other sellers (CD)
  • All (5) from $3.29   
  • New (4) from $5.19   
  • Used (1) from $3.29   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Hearing Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin sing "Knoxville: Summer of 1915" is almost like hearing it for the first time. She and Marin Alsop, leading the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, manage to wipe the cobwebs off an exquisite piece that's in danger of being perceived as a warhorse, given the frequency with which it's programmed and the number of undistinguished performances it receives. Gauvin sings with absolutely pure tone and unmannered simplicity. She tends to slightly drop the ends of her phrases so that her delivery sounds conversational and intimate, just right for James Agee's evocative prose poem. Her attention to the details of the text and to their place in the architecture of the whole work is practically miraculous; every word is meaningfully but naturally and unselfconsciously placed. The right sense of timing and linking its many sectional shifts is crucial in this delicate score, which passes through a wide range of moods in its brief span, and Alsop seamlessly brings it together. Alsop's tempos tend to be more leisurely than is usual for the piece, especially when compared to the snappy premiere recording with Eleanor Steber and William Strickland, but they feel just right. An altogether revelatory performance. Barber wrote three "Essays for Orchestra," in 1937, 1942, and 1978, and the Second and Third are included here. The Second is the rightfully the best known and most frequently performed, and Alsop leads the orchestra in an impassioned reading of the emotionally mercurial score. The Third, in spite of a gap of 35 years, shows little stylistic change from the Second, but its tone is generally more lyrical and melancholy, with little of the white-hot intensity of its predecessor. "Toccata Festiva" is essentially a brief concerto for organ and orchestra. Thomas Trotter plays with virtuoso part with ease and panache, but the organ sounds distant and lacks the prominence it should have. The sound in the other three works is clean, warm, and well-balanced.
Gramophone - Andrew Farach-Colton
[June 2004 CD of the Month] With deeply expressive playing from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the result is ravishing.... This is one of the finest versions of Knoxville to date. Alsop's taughtly argued Second Essay is equally satisfying.... Strongly recommended.
Birmingham Post - David Hart
Barber's lusciously evocative setting of childhood reminiscences [Knoxville: Summer of 1915] is beautifully sung by Karina Gauvin, who brings to James Agee's words a beautifully lustrous, clear tone (if not perfect diction) while Marin Alsop's conducting reveals many felicitous touches.... Much more satisfying, both musically and interpretatively, are the two Essays for Orchestra, which Alsop and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra deliver with glowing panache, delicacy and obvious affection.

Barber's lusciously evocative setting of childhood reminiscences [Knoxville: Summer of 1915] is beautifully sung by Karina Gauvin, who brings to James Agee's words a beautifully lustrous, clear tone (if not perfect diction) while Marin Alsop's conducting reveals many felicitous touches.... Much more satisfying, both musically and interpretatively, are the two Essays for Orchestra, which Alsop and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra deliver with glowing panache, delicacy and obvious affection.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/18/2004
  • Label: Naxos American
  • UPC: 636943913420
  • Catalog Number: 8559134
  • Sales rank: 249,035

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Knoxville: Summer of 1915, for high voice & orchestra (rev. for voice & chamber orchestra), Op. 24 - Samuel Barber & James Agee (16:51)
  2. 2 Second Essay, for orchestra, Op. 17 - Samuel Barber & Marin Alsop (11:21)
  3. 3 Third Essay, for orchestra, Op. 47 - Samuel Barber & Marin Alsop (14:22)
  4. 4 Toccata Festiva for organ & orchestra, Op. 36 - Samuel Barber & Marin Alsop (14:17)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Marin Alsop Primary Artist
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Composer, conductor, and performers in true harmony

    Marin Alsop and cohorts prove sympathetic to Barbers' brand of neoromantic lyricism, Karina Gauvin lifts "Knoxville, Summer of 1915" to new heights of ecstasy, The RNSO prove their mettle on the two "Essays for Orchestra", but it is with the rarely performed "Toccata Festiva" for organ and orchestra, that all the forces come together, Thomas Trotter pulls out all the stops in the solo part, especially in the cadenza using only the pedals, a feat of superhuman virtuosity in and of itself. Highly recommended!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews