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Fort Smith Symphony - Symphonies n°2 et n°3 - Wood Notes

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Symphonies n°2 et n°3 - Wood Notes

William Grant Still

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Composer William Grant Still is almost invariably represented on orchestral programs by his Symphony No. 1 ("Afro-American"), but in his day he was championed by Stokowski and Rodzinski among others, and heard his works played by major symphony orchestras. The Fort Smith Symphony in Arkansas under conductor John Jeter has undertaken a complete cycle of Still's orchestral music, and the first thing to be pointed out about it is that this regional small-city ensemble sounds startlingly good. Still's subtle orchestration requires clean string and wind sections, and the Fort Smith players suggest an orchestra from a much bigger city. If there's fault to be found it's in the rather empty acoustic of Fort Smith's Best Corporation Performing Arts Center. But check out the gorgeous wind writing in the slow movements of both the Symphony No. 2 in G minor ("Song of a New Race") and Symphony No. 3 ("The Sunday Symphony"), where Still lightly inflects impressionist orchestral writing in an African-American direction. The wind section, and Jeter's control over them, is impressive here. What's attractive in both symphonies is Still's subtle incorporation of African-American idioms, which may creep in as a movement develops as a sort of comment or byway. The Symphony No. 1 is more obviously "African," but these later works have a unique lyrical charm. The opening Wood Notes, which here receives its world premiere, is the only clinker; it's heavily derivative of Dvorák, minus the good tunes. Otherwise this is a strong traversal of some neglected music and an album that, for all the hand-wringing about the state of classical music in the U.S., shows that it's alive and well in a small Southern city.
© TiVo

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Symphonies n°2 et n°3 - Wood Notes

Fort Smith Symphony

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Wood Notes (William Grant Still)

1
I. Singing River: Moderately slow
00:06:44

John Jeter, Conductor - William Grant Still, Composer - Fort Smith Symphony, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2011 Naxos (P) 2011 Naxos

2
II. Autumn Night: Lightly
00:02:45

John Jeter, Conductor - William Grant Still, Composer - Fort Smith Symphony, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2011 Naxos (P) 2011 Naxos

3
III. Moon Dusk: Slowly and expressively
00:04:22

John Jeter, Conductor - William Grant Still, Composer - Fort Smith Symphony, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2011 Naxos (P) 2011 Naxos

4
IV. Whippoorwill's Shoes: Humorously
00:02:25

John Jeter, Conductor - William Grant Still, Composer - Fort Smith Symphony, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2011 Naxos (P) 2011 Naxos

Symphony No. 2 in G minor, "Song of a New Race" (William Grant Still)

5
I. Slowly
00:08:46

John Jeter, Conductor - William Grant Still, Composer - Fort Smith Symphony, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2011 Naxos (P) 2011 Naxos

6
II. Slowly and deeply expressive
00:07:14

John Jeter, Conductor - William Grant Still, Composer - Fort Smith Symphony, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2011 Naxos (P) 2011 Naxos

7
III. Moderately fast
00:03:37

John Jeter, Conductor - William Grant Still, Composer - Fort Smith Symphony, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2011 Naxos (P) 2011 Naxos

8
IV. Moderately slow
00:07:12

John Jeter, Conductor - William Grant Still, Composer - Fort Smith Symphony, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2011 Naxos (P) 2011 Naxos

Symphony No. 3, "The Sunday Symphony" (William Grant Still)

9
I. The Awakening: Moderately fast
00:03:41

John Jeter, Conductor - William Grant Still, Composer - Fort Smith Symphony, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2011 Naxos (P) 2011 Naxos

10
II. Prayer: Very Slowly
00:06:29

John Jeter, Conductor - William Grant Still, Composer - Fort Smith Symphony, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2011 Naxos (P) 2011 Naxos

11
III. Relaxation: Gaily
00:02:25

John Jeter, Conductor - William Grant Still, Composer - Fort Smith Symphony, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2011 Naxos (P) 2011 Naxos

12
IV. Day's End and a New Beginning: Resolutely
00:05:06

John Jeter, Conductor - William Grant Still, Composer - Fort Smith Symphony, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2011 Naxos (P) 2011 Naxos

Descripción del álbum

Composer William Grant Still is almost invariably represented on orchestral programs by his Symphony No. 1 ("Afro-American"), but in his day he was championed by Stokowski and Rodzinski among others, and heard his works played by major symphony orchestras. The Fort Smith Symphony in Arkansas under conductor John Jeter has undertaken a complete cycle of Still's orchestral music, and the first thing to be pointed out about it is that this regional small-city ensemble sounds startlingly good. Still's subtle orchestration requires clean string and wind sections, and the Fort Smith players suggest an orchestra from a much bigger city. If there's fault to be found it's in the rather empty acoustic of Fort Smith's Best Corporation Performing Arts Center. But check out the gorgeous wind writing in the slow movements of both the Symphony No. 2 in G minor ("Song of a New Race") and Symphony No. 3 ("The Sunday Symphony"), where Still lightly inflects impressionist orchestral writing in an African-American direction. The wind section, and Jeter's control over them, is impressive here. What's attractive in both symphonies is Still's subtle incorporation of African-American idioms, which may creep in as a movement develops as a sort of comment or byway. The Symphony No. 1 is more obviously "African," but these later works have a unique lyrical charm. The opening Wood Notes, which here receives its world premiere, is the only clinker; it's heavily derivative of Dvorák, minus the good tunes. Otherwise this is a strong traversal of some neglected music and an album that, for all the hand-wringing about the state of classical music in the U.S., shows that it's alive and well in a small Southern city.
© TiVo

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