Search - Edward Elgar, Richard [1] Strauss, Gustav Mahler :: The Great War: Classical And Popular Selections From The Time Of World War I (National Public Radio Milestones Of The Millennium)

The Great War: Classical And Popular Selections From The Time Of World War I (National Public Radio Milestones Of The Millennium)
Edward Elgar, Richard [1] Strauss, Gustav Mahler
The Great War: Classical And Popular Selections From The Time Of World War I (National Public Radio Milestones Of The Millennium)
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #1

The first two-thirds of this disc is a fascinating cram course in concert music around the time of World War I. The programmer has put together some fascinating juxtapositions--for example, Strauss's Rosenkavalier leads al...  more »

      
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The first two-thirds of this disc is a fascinating cram course in concert music around the time of World War I. The programmer has put together some fascinating juxtapositions--for example, Strauss's Rosenkavalier leads almost seamlessly into Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, and Schoenberg sounds out of context with everybody (including Berg). The selections are all short, and performance quality runs from great to mediocre, but this is still a thought-provoking educational experience, even though Bartók and Ives are conspicuously missing. The popular selections are less interesting, often campy, and although vintage recordings are used, they aren't always the right vintage. And someone missed a point by separating Copland's jazzy "Music for the Theatre" from Louis Armstrong, who could have followed immediately. --Leslie Gerber

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CD Reviews

Excellent Recording!
TheShade@msn.com | Southfield, MI, USA | 03/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"(It was called The "Great" War, because nobody knew about WWII at the time and it was the biggest war anyone had ever seen.)I think this CD may be a bit choppy to "easy" listeners, but for anyone who has a sincere interest in delving into the musical senses of earlier generations it's VERY good! I recommend the entire NPR Milestones of the Millennium series to such aficionados."
How a Century Has Change Our Perception of War
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"War. Tough subject these days - tough subject since the beginning of time. Yet Americans tend to mend wounds and gradually allow the atrocities of yesteryear to fade into coated cases that signal more memories of 'how things used to be' rather than learning from the tragedies with which war has scarred the planet. National Public Radio issued this excellent memoir at the turn of the millennium and one wonders if it now has the same response that greeted it in 1999.

Linda Kobler reconstituted this mix of classical and popular music with a keen sense of history. The CD is twice divided (in both the classical and the popular music) into 'Before the War' 1901 - 1917, 'During the War' 1917 - 1922, and 'After the War' 1922 - 1928. In the first era are the works of Elgar ('Pomp and Circumstance'), Strauss (a waltz from 'Der Rosenkavalier'), Mahler (excerpt from 'Das Lied von der Erde'), and Debussy ('La Mer') joining the songs 'Shine On Harvest Moon' and 'Alexander's Ragtime Band'. The War period is represented by Prokofiev's 'Symphony No. 1', Stravinsky's 'L'histoire du soldat', and Ravel's 'Le tombeau de Couperin' in tandem with 'Over There'. After the war include Stravinsky ('Pulcinella Suite'), Schoenberg (Waltz from 'Five Piano Pieces'), Berg (excerpt from 'Wozzeck') and Copland ('Music from the Theatre') with popular songs 'How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm', 'The Man I Love', and 'West End Blues'.

The excerpts selected for this survey are exceptionally good: orchestras include NY Phil, LA Phil, Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony, and the Columbia Symphony under such batons a Ormandy, Bernstein, Salonen, Tilson Thomas, Schippers and Stravinsky; soloists include Glen Gould, Robert Casadesus, Lili Chookaskian, Louis Armstrong, et al. The sonics are very fine and the performances are each from significant full recordings remaining in the catalogue.

The booklet accompanying this concert of memories is written by Linda Kobler who uses each selection as a pivotal point in the atmosphere of the globe that accompanied the Great War: it is very well written and informative. This is one of those recorded collections that goes far beyond an accumulation of bits and pieces and instead gives food for thought about how our political and social actions intertwine with the arts in a prophetic way. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, October 05"