Virgil Thompson: The Plow that Broke the Plains; The River

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
The few recordings of Virgil Thomson's scores for The Plow that Broke the Plains have all been quite fine in different ways. Of them, Leopold Stokowski's 1960 effort with the Symphony of the Air -- a brilliant and vivacious recording on Vanguard Classics -- has been the one to beat. Here, Angel Gil-Ordóñez offers an effort that gives Stokowski a run for his money. There's a delightful swing in the Washington-based Post-Classical Ensemble's rhythms, and a sweet tone in their solos. Gil-Ordóñez's deft balancing of colors and, most importantly, sensitivity to Thomson's populist manner makes a strong case for the music. Naxos provides clearer, warmer, and deeper sound than ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Leonard
The few recordings of Virgil Thomson's scores for The Plow that Broke the Plains have all been quite fine in different ways. Of them, Leopold Stokowski's 1960 effort with the Symphony of the Air -- a brilliant and vivacious recording on Vanguard Classics -- has been the one to beat. Here, Angel Gil-Ordóñez offers an effort that gives Stokowski a run for his money. There's a delightful swing in the Washington-based Post-Classical Ensemble's rhythms, and a sweet tone in their solos. Gil-Ordóñez's deft balancing of colors and, most importantly, sensitivity to Thomson's populist manner makes a strong case for the music. Naxos provides clearer, warmer, and deeper sound than any of the digital competition in this repertoire.
San Francisco Chronicle - Steven Winn
Two earnest, atmospheric film scores by Virgil Thomson, recorded in full for the first time, by the Post-Classical Ensemble, summon an age when music, politics and the common American experience were galvanically fused.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/30/2007
  • Label: Naxos American
  • UPC: 636943929124
  • Catalog Number: 8559291
  • Sales rank: 106,317

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–10 The Plow That Broke the Plains, film score - Virgil Thomson & Angel Gil-Ordóñez (26:54)
  2. 11–21 The River, film score (2 versions) - Virgil Thomson & Angel Gil-Ordóñez (28:38)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Angel Gil-Ordóñez Primary Artist
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Hats off to Naxos for making available Virgil Thomson’s soundtracks to the New Deal documentaries The Plow that Broke the Plains and The River, which respectively explored the Dust Bowl era and flood control of the Mississippi River. Thomson’s quintessentially American music — bold, brash and emotionally direct — provided the perfect accompaniment to these groundbreaking, socially orientated films. The composer applied his kaleidoscopic musical palette to both projects, mixing folk, country, jazz and classical forms to create sound pictures keenly attuned to the onscreen action. He also made witty and ironic use of homespun instruments such as banjo, guitar and harmonium. The result was music of deceptive simplicity that nevertheless communicates with great power and clarity without overpowering the visuals. In their vivid and unpretentious evocation of American spirit and rhythms, Thomson’s soundtracks provided a refreshing alternative to the lushly orchestrated scores that dominated Hollywood in the thirties and forties.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews