George Frederick McKay: Violin Concerto; Sinfonietta No. 4

George Frederick McKay: Violin Concerto; Sinfonietta No. 4

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by Brian Reagin
     
 

The "Dean of Northwest Composers," George Frederick McKay was undoubtedly important for his teaching at the University of Washington, Seattle, and for his personal influence on John Cage, William Bolcom, and several other notable students. Yet McKay's own music faded to the background, largely because of hisSee more details below

Overview

The "Dean of Northwest Composers," George Frederick McKay was undoubtedly important for his teaching at the University of Washington, Seattle, and for his personal influence on John Cage, William Bolcom, and several other notable students. Yet McKay's own music faded to the background, largely because of his overly conservative, academic approaches. The dramatic and lush "Violin Concerto" (1940) is practically a throwback to the late Romantic era; while it is a handsome enough vehicle for violinist Brian Reagin and the Ukraine State Radio Symphony Orchestra, directed by John McLaughlin Williams, it bears few signs of its time and little originality. The quaint "Suite on Sixteenth Century Hymn Tunes" (1962) hearkens back to the Calvinist psalter of Louis Bourgeois, and McKay adapts the music for string orchestra in much the same way that Respighi arranged Renaissance melodies for his "Ancient Airs and Dances." The "Sinfonietta No. 4" (1942) and the "Song Over the Great Plains" (1953) reflect a more modern sensibility, and may be described as works in the American populist style. Yet McKay's music in this vein is a bit too blithe and facile, and never touches on the pathos that validates the similarly styled works by Copland, Harris, and Schuman. Naxos provides fine sound quality.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/18/2005
Label:
Naxos American
UPC:
0636943922521
catalogNumber:
8559225
Rank:
299240

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Violin Concerto

    • George Frederick McKay
    • George Frederick McKay
    • Ukraine State Radio Symphony Orchestra
    • John McLaughlin Williams
    • Brian Reagin
    1. Allegro molto ma risoluto  (13:58)
    2. Andante - quasi adagio  (07:36)
    3. Allegro vigoroso  (04:30)
  2. Suite on Sixteenth Century Hymn Tunes, version for 2 string orchestras

    • George Frederick McKay
    • George Frederick McKay
    • Ukraine State Radio Symphony Orchestra
    • John McLaughlin Williams
    1. Méditation  (05:30)
    2. Rondolet  (02:33)
    3. Air varié  (04:35)
    4. Chœur céleste  (04:46)
    5. Cortège joyeux  (03:04)
  3. Sinfonietta No. 4

    • George Frederick McKay
    • George Frederick McKay
    • Ukraine State Radio Symphony Orchestra
    • John McLaughlin Williams
    1. Allegro con gaiezza e con brio  (03:46)
    2. Moderato pastorale  (09:39)
    3. Allegro gioioso e ritmico molto  (04:17)
  4. Song over the Great Plains, for piano & orchestra  - George Frederick McKay  - George Frederick McKay  -  Ukraine State Radio Symphony Orchestra  - John McLaughlin Williams  - Ludmilla Kovaleva  (13:57)

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