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Michael Daugherty: Philadelphia Stories; UFO
Michael Daugherty, Marin Alsop, Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Michael Daugherty: Philadelphia Stories; UFO
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1

Naxos? American Classics series stages something of a coup: world famous percussionist Evelyn Glennie performs on an exciting disc of music by one of America?s leading living composers. Gramophone Artist of the Year Marin ...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Michael Daugherty, Marin Alsop, Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Title: Michael Daugherty: Philadelphia Stories; UFO
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Naxos American
Release Date: 10/19/2004
Genre: Classical
Styles: Forms & Genres, Concertos, Historical Periods, Modern, 20th, & 21st Century, Symphonies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 636943916520

Synopsis

Album Description
Naxos? American Classics series stages something of a coup: world famous percussionist Evelyn Glennie performs on an exciting disc of music by one of America?s leading living composers. Gramophone Artist of the Year Marin Alsop directs the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in stunning performances and to crown the release, Daugherty himself writes the fascinating sleeve notes. The London Times has described Michael Daugherty as "a master icon-maker" and hailed his "maverick imagination, fearless structural sense and meticulous ear." His music has the uncanny knack of speaking everybody?s language at once while retaining the ability to surprise, move, stimulate, inspire and amuse. Commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2001, Philadelphia Stories is an orchestral travelogue of the sounds and rhythms of Philadelphia past and present. Cast in three movements: the first begins at sundown, the second, a Poe-inspired movement entitled Tell-Tale Harp after midnight, and the third at sunrise. UFO, written in 1999 for Evelyn Glennie, is inspired by unidentified flying objects and sounds, beginning with Traveling Music where the percussion soloist, in the guise of an alien from outer space, mysteriously enters the concert hall playing a waterphone and mechanical siren.

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CD Reviews

Close Encounters Of The Colorado Kind
Erik North | San Gabriel, CA USA | 12/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In its continuing exploration of American music and lesser-known U.S. orchestras, the budget label Naxos has given us one of its most provocative and innovative recordings to date. Michael Daugherty, the man behind the "Superman"-inspired "Metropolis Symphony", gives us two innovative works, "Philadelphia Stories" and the futuristic "UFO", a concerto for percussion and orchestra.

"Philadelphia Stories" is the composer's three-movement tone painting of the City of Brotherly Love, focusing in on aspects of street life ("Sundown On South Street"), the terror of Edgar Allan Poe ("The Tell-Tale Heart"), and the legacy of Leopold Stokowski ("Bells For Stokowski"). In this last movement, Daugherty imagines all the bells tolling in Philadelphia as the often-controversial conductor who put the Philadelphia Orchestra on the world map makes a visit to the Liberty Bell.

"UFO" shows off the impressive abilities of Scottish-born percussion maestra Evelyn Glennie in this concerto inspired, of course, by sightings of alien spacecraft in the night skies of Earth that have been reported since the Roswell incident of 1947. The piece is hugely reminiscent in sound and size of John Williams' score for Spielberg's 1977 sci-fi masterpiece CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, a trait that may or may not be intentional, but a trait that works quite well. Glennie's percussion abilities are second-to-none here.

Both works are bought together by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra under the inspired leadership of music director Marin Alsop, one of a handful of female conductors to lead an orchestra in major recordings. The Naxos sound technicians give her, Glennie, and the Colorado Symphony a first-rate sound on a relatively meager budget, resulting in an incredibly fascinating recording that is quite simply one of the best in 2004 insofar as classical music goes. Highly recommended!"
New funny orchestral music
Sylvain Taillandier | France | 11/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"With this two works Daugherty goes on exploring the American icons in its unique way, blending classical and pop for the best and (sometimes) for the worst.
The symphony "Philadelphia Stories" is a brillant journey across the city.
Also interesting is the concerto for percussion even if a few passages seem less inspired. Another recording for this concerto exist, but then the orchestra is replaced by a "symphonic band" (the strings are suppressed); I felt this other version more idiomatic.
Then 5 stars for the symphony and 3 for the present recording of the UFO concerto with full orchestra.
That makes an average 4 stars for an album with music which can either entertain, amaze or unplease (if you do not like the second degree) !"
What a Hoot!
Karl W. Nehring | Ostrander, OH USA | 07/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This fine release from Naxos contains two recent works from American composer Michael Daugherty (b. 1954), Philadelphia Stories, composed in 2001, and UFO, from 1998. Classical music fans with an appetite to hear new music but with an aversion to being aurally assaulted should find both these works quite worth of an audition, as both are adventurous but easy to listen to, satisfying rather than stultifying.

Philadelphia Stories is essentially three tone poems tied together by their relationship to the city of Philadelphia. The opening piece, "Sundown on South Street," is pleasant in a movie-soundtrack sort of way. "Tell-Tale Harp," the second piece, is much more interesting, and will perk up your ears with the zest that it brings to the harp part. The third piece of this trilogy, "Bells for Stokowski," pulls out all the stops, just as the old Maestro used to do. What a hoot!

UFO is said to have been inspired by unidentified flying objects. Its five movements abound with energy, and percussionist Evelyn Glennie gets an aerobic workout as she supplies all sorts of sounds to punctuate the proceedings. Although the music is often splashy, it never becomes merely flashy; it remains music, not just a succession of spectacular sounds.

The sound quality is excellent, with plenty of impact but no exaggeration. At the low Naxos price, this disc is one that you simply do not want to pass up."