Search - Henry Cowell, Vincent Persichetti, Edward MacDowell :: Henry Cowell: Fiddler's Jig; Air & Scherzo; Concerto Grosso; Hymn & Fuguing Tune No. 10

Henry Cowell: Fiddler's Jig; Air & Scherzo; Concerto Grosso; Hymn & Fuguing Tune No. 10
Henry Cowell, Vincent Persichetti, Edward MacDowell
Henry Cowell: Fiddler's Jig; Air & Scherzo; Concerto Grosso; Hymn & Fuguing Tune No. 10
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Henry Cowell (1987-1965) was one of the bad boys of American music, playing all kinds of musical tricks on the audience (if not the instruments used in his music). This disc, however, has none of that and shows a poignan...  more »

      
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Henry Cowell (1987-1965) was one of the bad boys of American music, playing all kinds of musical tricks on the audience (if not the instruments used in his music). This disc, however, has none of that and shows a poignant and meditative side to his character. Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987) never quite went as far as Cowell; his music, as seen in The Hollow Men, is quite conservative, rather traditional for American romanticism. Edward MacDowell (1860-1908) is the great-granddady of them all. MacDowell's To a Wild Rose is a nostalgic piece stuck in the middle of the 19th century played very well here. --Paul Cook

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CD Reviews

Neglected Master
colin.clara@ntlworld.com | 08/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Cowell was a very influential fingure in pre-war American music; a friend of Ives, teacher of Cage and Harrison, and a generous champion of other people's music. It is sad, therefore, that so much of his music is ignored by the record companies. His avant-garde piano music is widely available, but the more tonal, more readily accessible orchestral music which he wrote after 1940 (much of it influenced by old American hymns and folk music) is largely ignored. That is why this disk is so much to be welcomed, for it makes available some of Cowell's most attractive orchestral works in a fine modern recording and performance. I mean no disrespect to the other composers featured on this disc, but I regret that it was not issued as a 100% Cowell recording, filled up, perhaps, with one of his 20 symphonies. Not one of these has been recorded in modern times, though the best of them (4,5, 7 and 11)are tuneful, terse and often very moving."
No limitations
katja_r | 12/30/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The music on this CD is surprising to me. I have always associated Henry Cowell (1897-1965) with outrageous methods of playing a piano. There is nothing outrageous in these pieces. They are quiet and easy to listen to, more in keeping with 19th century romanticism than with avante-garde, twentieth century music. Yes, it is surprising to hear this music against my own pre-disposition of Cowell -- I like surprises. ;D The notes provide insight to the composer and his works. It seems he had a devilish sense of humour. For example, Cowell describes the two-part form of HYMN & FUGING TUNE #10 as "something slow followed by something fast." This self-effacing attitude belies the considerable respect he received from composers who took his work seriously such as Bartok, Schnabel and Janacek, all of whom sponsered performances. From the notes, I also learned that, although Cowell is most frequently associated with "tone clusters" (chords composed of seconds rather than the more traditional thirds), Charles Ives made use of them earlier. Vincent Persichetti (1915-1987) is described as having been "one of the most important composition teachers in the country". Finally, Edward MacDowell (1860-1908) is often credited as the first important composer from the US. If you are interested in peaceful, romantic music, or in uncharacteristic music from Henry Cowell, this CD will be interesting to you."
An American composer
O. Angel Negrin | Austintown, OH, USA | 06/30/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If you are American, and you like music, then Henry Cowell should definitely be in your ear. Although very different from that of Copland and other composers whose names are synonymous with American music, Cowell's work possesses a quality that screams, "AMERICAN! AMERICAN, AMERICAN, AMERICAN!!!!" You get the idea.The Manhattan Chamber Orchestra is very pleasant on this CD, never interruptive, always flowing and accompanying well (where applicable). R.A. Clark is a bright young conductor who is a subtle artist (rare for a young conductor on recordings that I own). Although I prefer my chamber orchestras sans conductor, I believe Clark adds to the product instead of taking away from it.The item on this CD that jumps out at me is the "Air & Scherzo" for saxophone and chamber orchestra. The piece is short and delightful, with different moods. From dark to capricious to dark to mischievous. The saxophone soloist Gary Louie makes a very difficult piece of the repertoire sound very easy. His effortless control of the altissimo register, impeccable technique overall, and the beautiful shape he gives to each line make this CD worth owning and listening to on a regular basis. What a beautiful sound throughout the range of the saxophone.Overall CD is highly recommended, but the "Air & Scherzo" is the precious gem of the album.OANegrin"