Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Howard Hanson, Gerard Schwartz, Seattle Symphony|
Howard Hanson Symphonies No. 1 "Nordic" and No. 2 "Romantic"
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Gerard and the Seattle Symphony's Best
T. Doke | Texas, USA | 04/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was fortunate to be in the hall for the rehearsals and the North American premiere of the Seattle Symphony's performance of Hanson's "Romantic." The underlying, recurrent theme across all movements is as moving and powerful today as it was in the early 1990s. Gerry managed to coax from the Symphony an emotional commitment to this piece that is evident to this day, with every playing. This music travels with me wherever I go."
"Romantic Symphony" Rocks!
Mondo Fuego | 11/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The "Romantic" Symphony is one fantastic composition, and the Seattle Symphony under the direction of Gerard Schwarz has done an incredible job of interpreting this piece and bringing it to life. Without knowing much about the background of Hanson's creation, I view the piece as a vivid tone poem about the life of the Vikings at sea ... there is aggression, war, peace and love ... while listening, if, when you close your eyes, you don't see ships at sea, you are plain old dead.
It is a shame that Hanson is not more well-known in music circles. Hanson was born October 28, 1896, in Wahoo, Nebraska to Swedish parents, Hans and Hilma (Eckstrom) Hanson. In his infancy he studied music with his mother. Later, he studied at Luther College in Wahoo, receiving a diploma in 1911, then at the Institute of Musical Art in New York City, where he studied with the composer and music theorist Percy Goetschius in 1914. Afterwards he attended Northwestern University, where Hanson studied composition with church music expert Peter Lutkin and Arne Oldberg in Chicago. Throughout his education, Hanson studied piano, cello and trombone. Hanson received his BA degree in music from Northwestern University in 1916, where he began his teaching career as a teacher's assistant.
Hanson was director of the Eastman School of Music for 40 years, which is the longest tenure of any director of a top American conservatory. He also founded the Eastman-Rochester Symphony Orchestra, which consisted of first chair players from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and selected students from the Eastman School. To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Serge Koussevitzky commissioned Hanson's Symphony No. 2, the "Romantic", and premiered it on November 28, 1930. In 1944 Hanson was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Symphony No. 4, subtitled "Requiem". In 1946, Hanson was awarded the George Foster Peabody Award for outstanding entertainment programming for a series he presented on the Rochester, New York radio station WHAM in 1945.
He retired as director of Eastman School in 1964, but he remained active with the school and as a composer and conductor until his death on February 26, 1981 at age 84."
A lush American masterpiece
Julien K. Byrne III | MS gulf coast | 08/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Whether you first heard the Hanson 2nd Symphony as the trailer to the movie "Alien", or came to it in the more tradional manner, there could hardly be a more American or hyper-romatic symphony than the 2nd. The Schwartz verson is full, rich and shows all the lyricism that the earlier versions do not....much of this due to vast improvements in recording technology. And if your bent is to audophile pleasures, no movement of any symphony I know will test a pair of high-end speakers better than the final movement of this joyful work. It will send chills up the most jaded spine.
A CD not to be misssed!"