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Michael Tilson Thomas - Tilson Thomas: From the Diary of Anne Frank & Meditations on Rilke

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Tilson Thomas: From the Diary of Anne Frank & Meditations on Rilke

San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas

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This 2020 release was Michael Tilson Thomas' final album as conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. That he chose to present his own music suggests that he considers it underexposed, and he makes a good case. The two works were written 30 years apart, and although they share a common use of tonality, ranging from conventional to atonal, they are entirely different in most ways. From the Diary of Anne Frank was composed in 1990 for actress Audrey Hepburn in connection with her United Nations work. Frank's words are spoken, in melodrama fashion, over an illustrative orchestral background, and the fine reader here is Isabel Leonard, in an unaffected American accent. Meditations on Rilke was composed in 2019, and it hardly sounds like anything you might imagine from the title. From the opening passage of honky-tonk piano, recalling a small-town sojourn of Rilke's father, the score is startlingly eclectic. The reference point here is the orchestral songs of Mahler, and the cycle suggests a 21st century version of that composer. That sounds odd with poetry by Rilke, which has a certain specific mood, but somehow it works, and the cycle has a pleasing quality of being jam-packed with ideas. The San Francisco Symphony plays with total commitment to the occasion, and this release might easily stimulate interest in Tilson Thomas' other music.
© TiVo

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Tilson Thomas: From the Diary of Anne Frank & Meditations on Rilke

Michael Tilson Thomas

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From the Diary of Anne Frank, Pt. 1 (Michael Tilson Thomas)

1
Instrumental Intro
Michael Tilson Thomas
00:02:04

San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

2
"I hope I shall be able to confide..."
Isabel Leonard
00:01:53

Isabel Leonard, Narrator - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

3
"It's an odd idea..."
Michael Tilson Thomas
00:01:49

Isabel Leonard, Narrator - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

4
"There is a saying..."
Isabel Leonard
00:04:53

Isabel Leonard, Narrator - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

From the Diary of Anne Frank, Pt. 2 (Michael Tilson Thomas)

5
"Dear Kitty. So much has happened..."
Michael Tilson Thomas
00:04:43

Isabel Leonard, Narrator - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

6
"Daddy began to tell us..."
Isabel Leonard
00:04:16

Isabel Leonard, Narrator - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

7
"I feel wicked sleeping in a warm bed..."
Michael Tilson Thomas
00:03:42

Isabel Leonard, Narrator - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

8
Instrumental
Michael Tilson Thomas
00:06:00

San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

From the Diary of Anne Frank, Pt. 3 (Michael Tilson Thomas)

9
"Dear Kitty !!!..."
Isabel Leonard
00:02:33

Isabel Leonard, Narrator - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

10
"I believe that it's spring..."
Isabel Leonard
00:03:57

Isabel Leonard, Narrator - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

11
"Do you gather a bit of what I mean?..."
Isabel Leonard
00:01:27

Isabel Leonard, Narrator - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

12
"I want to go on living..."
Isabel Leonard
00:04:29

Isabel Leonard, Narrator - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

Meditations on Rilke (Michael Tilson Thomas)

13
Herbsttag
Ryan McKinny
00:08:43

Ryan McKinny, Bass-Baritone - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

14
Ich lebe mein Leben in wachsenden Ringen
Sasha Cooke
00:03:16

Sasha Cooke, Mezzo-soprano - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

15
Das Lied des Trinkers
Ryan McKinny
00:04:49

Ryan McKinny, Bass-Baritone - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

16
Immer wieder
Sasha Cooke
00:07:21

Sasha Cooke, Mezzo-soprano - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

17
Imaginärer Lebenslauf
Sasha Cooke
00:05:45

Sasha Cooke, Mezzo-soprano - Ryan McKinny, Bass-Baritone - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

18
Herbst
Ryan McKinny
00:09:10

Ryan McKinny, Bass-Baritone - San Francisco Symphony - Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor - Michael Tilson Thomas, Composer

© 2020 San Francisco Symphony ℗ 2020 San Francisco Symphony

Album Description

This 2020 release was Michael Tilson Thomas' final album as conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. That he chose to present his own music suggests that he considers it underexposed, and he makes a good case. The two works were written 30 years apart, and although they share a common use of tonality, ranging from conventional to atonal, they are entirely different in most ways. From the Diary of Anne Frank was composed in 1990 for actress Audrey Hepburn in connection with her United Nations work. Frank's words are spoken, in melodrama fashion, over an illustrative orchestral background, and the fine reader here is Isabel Leonard, in an unaffected American accent. Meditations on Rilke was composed in 2019, and it hardly sounds like anything you might imagine from the title. From the opening passage of honky-tonk piano, recalling a small-town sojourn of Rilke's father, the score is startlingly eclectic. The reference point here is the orchestral songs of Mahler, and the cycle suggests a 21st century version of that composer. That sounds odd with poetry by Rilke, which has a certain specific mood, but somehow it works, and the cycle has a pleasing quality of being jam-packed with ideas. The San Francisco Symphony plays with total commitment to the occasion, and this release might easily stimulate interest in Tilson Thomas' other music.
© TiVo

Details of original recording : Recorded Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, November 2018 & January 2020

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