Leroy Anderson: Orchestral Music, Vol. 3

Leroy Anderson: Orchestral Music, Vol. 3

by Leonard Slatkin
     
 

The surprises just keep on coming in Naxos' excellent Leroy Anderson: Orchestral Works series, of which this is volume 3, performed, like its predecessors, by the BBC Concert Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin. Some hardcore Anderson fanatics might recall "Alma Mater" (1954), a staid and respectful homageSee more details below

Overview

The surprises just keep on coming in Naxos' excellent Leroy Anderson: Orchestral Works series, of which this is volume 3, performed, like its predecessors, by the BBC Concert Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin. Some hardcore Anderson fanatics might recall "Alma Mater" (1954), a staid and respectful homage to Anderson's own alma mater Harvard University. But chances are even they have never heard its predecessor, "Harvard Sketches" (1939), which is far more irreverent and striking; the movement "Widener Reading Room" could pass for something right out of Charles Ives: placid strings are interrupted by the murmuring winds (students) and chastened by an ever more impatiently rapping ruler. This points up an interesting sidelight about Anderson; while experimental elements were not entirely foreign to his musical thinking -- after all, even pieces like "The Typewriter" are a little experimental within its own context -- he didn't really want to be seen that way, so he held the experiments back. "Melody on Two Notes" (1966) is another case in point; this piece for student orchestra is based around a motive of a rising and falling fifth, the rest of it is all in the harmony and orchestration, which envelops the simple figure in a drapery of lush elegance. Another first-timer is Anderson's arrangement of George Gershwin's "Wintergreen for President" (1932), a depression-era hit from the show "Of Thee I Sing." While it is very short, the piece shows both a mastery of orchestration and a subtle, tongue-in-cheek humor. The remainder of the disc includes some of Anderson's most familiar evergreens: "Sleigh Ride," "The Typewriter," and "The Syncopated Clock," along with worthy if less familiar titles, such as "Saraband," "Sandpaper Ballet," and the "Suite of Carols for Brass Choir." Slatkin and the BBC Concert Orchestra's readings are pristine, but are also spontaneous sounding and never stodgy nor ingratiating in the wrong way. The only thing wrong with this Naxos project is that even with all of the wonderful new Anderson material included, we're only to three volumes, and pretty soon Naxos is going to run to the end of his relatively small catalog. Nevertheless, this series is one of the best things that has happened to Anderson in posterity; listeners devoted to him ought to regard this as a first priority.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/24/2008
Label:
Naxos American
UPC:
0636943935729
catalogNumber:
8559357
Rank:
248339

Tracks

  1. Harvard Sketches (5), suite for orchestra  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Alasdair Malloy  - Leonard Slatkin
  2. Melody on Two Notes, for trumpet & orchestra  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin  - Catherine Moore
  3. Mother's Whistler, for orchestra  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  4. The Penny Whistle Song, for orchestra  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  5. The Phantom Regiment, for orchestra  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  6. Plink, Plank, Plunk!, for string orchestra  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  7. Promenade, for orchestra  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  8. Sandpaper Ballet, for orchestra  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  9. Saraband, for orchestra  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  10. Serenata, for orchestra  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  11. Old MacDonald Had a Farm, free arrangement for orchestra  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  12. 76 Trombones (from Music Man)  - Meredith Willson  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  13. Sleigh Ride, for orchestra (or string orchestra)  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  14. Suite of Carols (7), arranged for brass choir  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  15. Wintergreen for President, song (from Of Thee I Sing, musical)  - George Gershwin  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  16. The Typewriter, for orchestra (with typewriters)  - Leroy Anderson  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Alasdair Malloy  - Leonard Slatkin
  17. Trumpeter's Lullaby, for orchestra  - Leroy Anderson  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin  - Catherine Moore
  18. The Syncopated Clock, for orchestra  - Leroy Anderson  - Leroy Anderson  -  BBC Concert Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin

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Album Credits

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