An important American composer gets his due
chefdevergue | Spokane, WA United States | 10/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Chadwick is one of the important 19th century composers in American music. He was just as important as an educator as he was as a composer (one of his students was Charles Ives' teacher), but his music tends to be overlooked. Like many late-19th-century American composers (JK Paine & Edward MacDowell for example), Chadwick is labelled as a New World imitator of the German style in vogue at the time, and I suppose that is fair enough. Chadwick did study in Germany for quite some time, after all. The best thing to do is to approach his works on their own merits and not worry if they sound sufficiently "American."On their own merits, the 2nd Symphony & the Symphonic sketches, composed about 20 years apart, hold their own as well-crafted compositions quite nicely. To me, the 2nd Symphony is reminiscent of early Dvorak & perhaps Fibich more than anything else. The Sketches, a more mature work, do not seem to reflect the influence of any particular European composer, and perhaps is the result of greater artistic maturity on the part of Chadwick.These are very fine pieces in their own right and deserve greater attention. Jarvi has done a very nice job in giving Chadwick his due."