Willson: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Best-known for his popular Broadway musicals "The Music Man" and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," Meredith Willson was also a highly skilled composer in a variety of concert genres, including the symphony. Willson's "Symphony No. 1" is an expansive tone poem about his beloved San Francisco. Cast in the traditional four-movement scheme, but with tone painting and mood placed over motivic development and unifying considerations, the symphony is rich in orchestration and melodic invention. This dynamic evocation of the city's imagery and daily activity is reminiscent at times of Vaughan Williams' "A London Symphony," particularly in the juxtapositions of muscular thematic ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Best-known for his popular Broadway musicals "The Music Man" and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," Meredith Willson was also a highly skilled composer in a variety of concert genres, including the symphony. Willson's "Symphony No. 1" is an expansive tone poem about his beloved San Francisco. Cast in the traditional four-movement scheme, but with tone painting and mood placed over motivic development and unifying considerations, the symphony is rich in orchestration and melodic invention. This dynamic evocation of the city's imagery and daily activity is reminiscent at times of Vaughan Williams' "A London Symphony," particularly in the juxtapositions of muscular thematic development with calm scenes of nocturnal beauty. In the "Symphony No. 2," subtitled "The Missions of California," Willson takes a historical turn and creatively summons the figure of Junipero Serra, the peaceful valley surrounding the mission at San Juan Bautista, the swallows of San Juan Capistrano, and the difficult journeys of missionaries along El Camino Real. The symphonic form is almost overloaded with this ambitious program, yet Willson's assured handling of his musical material is convincing, and the piece succeeds equally well as pure music. The Moscow Symphony Orchestra, conducted by William T. Stromberg, presents these engaging works with warmth and polish, and Naxos' recording is superb.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/26/1999
  • Label: Naxos American
  • UPC: 636943900628
  • Catalog Number: 8559006
  • Sales rank: 146,576

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–4 Symphony No. 1 in F minor ("A Symphony of San Francisco") - Meredith Willson & William T. Stromberg (38:47)
  2. 5–8 Symphony No. 2 in E minor ("The Missions of California") - Meredith Willson & William T. Stromberg (31:45)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
William T. Stromberg Primary Artist
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