Deems Taylor: Through the Looking Glass; Charles Griffes: Poem; The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan

Deems Taylor: Through the Looking Glass; Charles Griffes: Poem; The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan

by Gerard Schwarz
     
 
This album of phantasmagoria by Deems Taylor and Charles Tomlinson Griffes may not trigger a serious revival for either composer's music, but it provides a representative sampling of early 20th century American music that is frequently overlooked. Of the two figures, Griffes is the best known, primarily for the "Poem for flute and orchestra," "The White Peacock," and

Overview

This album of phantasmagoria by Deems Taylor and Charles Tomlinson Griffes may not trigger a serious revival for either composer's music, but it provides a representative sampling of early 20th century American music that is frequently overlooked. Of the two figures, Griffes is the best known, primarily for the "Poem for flute and orchestra," "The White Peacock," and "The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan," three brilliant character pieces that are performed fairly often and used as examples of imaginative orchestration. Griffes' admiration for Debussy shows in his diaphanous tone colors and lush harmonies, and anyone who is familiar with the latter's "Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune" will have no problem appreciating Griffes' evocative style. The "Three Tone Pictures" and the "Bacchanale," which round out the disc, share with the above works the same atmospheric moods and colorful tone painting. Taylor is less familiar today, as a result of writing in a conservative and unprovocative style, though he was quite prolific and highly regarded in his time. (He is still remembered for his music criticism and his appearance in Walt Disney's 1940 film, Fantasia.) He is represented by one piece, the suite "Through the Looking Glass," which is more post-Romantic in flavor than the Griffes selections, and sentimental in a manner reminiscent of Rachmaninov. Gerard Schwarz leads the Seattle Symphony in solid performances, and the music is played with delicacy and richness becoming such opulent scores. Naxos sound is clear and detailed, though it is a bit shallow in dimensions.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/28/2012
Label:
Naxos American
UPC:
0636943972427
catalogNumber:
8559724
Rank:
186867

Tracks

  1. Through the Looking Glass, for orchestra, Nos 1-5, complete  - Deems Taylor  - Victoria Bogdashevskaya  - Glen Danielson  - Raymond Davis  - Amelia S. Haygood  - Seth Krimsky  - Gerard Schwarz  - Christopher Sereque  - Ilkka Talvi  - David Taylor  -  Seattle Symphony
  2. Bacchanale, for orchestra (arrangement of "Scherzo", Op. 6/3, A. 73), A. 123  - Charles Tomlinson Griffes  - Amelia S. Haygood  - Gerard Schwarz  -  Seattle Symphony
  3. Tone-Pictures (3), arranged for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass & piano, A. 111-113  - Charles Tomlinson Griffes  - Victoria Bogdashevskaya  - Amelia S. Haygood  - Gerard Schwarz  -  Seattle Symphony
  4. The Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Khan, tone poem for orchestra, Op. 8, A. 91  - Charles Tomlinson Griffes  - Amelia S. Haygood  - Gerard Schwarz  -  Seattle Symphony
  5. The White Peacock, for orchestra (Roman Sketches No. 1), Op. 7/1, A. 121  - Charles Tomlinson Griffes  - Amelia S. Haygood  - Gerard Schwarz  - Bernard Shapiro  -  Seattle Symphony
  6. Poem, for flute & orchestra, A. 93  - Charles Tomlinson Griffes  - Scott Goff  - Amelia S. Haygood  - Gerard Schwarz  -  Seattle Symphony

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