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Classical - Released November 8, 2019 | SFS Media

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A bit of an oddball in the world of music to say the least, Charles Ives grew up in Connecticut in a culture that was very open-minded about music. His father was a bandmaster for the US Army and delighted in simultaneous musical clashes that most people would find unbearable, whether it was a melody played in a key with false relation or the sounds and rhythms of different marching bands overlapping during a parade. Asynchronism therefore made total sense to a young Ives growing up in this environment. After graduating from Yale with some difficulty, Ives preferred the financial stability that came with working as an insurance agent and became quite the astute businessman, only composing music in his spare time. He stopped writing music in 1927 at the age of fifty-three as he was fed up with the lack of interest in his work, however it was at precisely this time that people began to take an interest in it. His music was often inspired by the hymns sung in New England and tended to blend rhythms and harmonies, making it difficult to understand. Symphony No. 3, subtitled The Camp Meeting, is derived from a Protestant hymn tune and is a clear evocation of a religious-assembly in 19th century America. This religious element has been emphasized in the album conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas as he added around ten choral contributions of the same genre. As for Symphony No. 4, it didn’t have a complete performance for quite some time due to the sheer complexity of its rhythms and when it was finally performed it required multiple conductors, which is why during its première, war veteran Leopold Stokovski was assisted by two young colleagues. Michael Tilson Thomas is a true champion of American music and has already devoted a number of monographs to the brilliant work of Charles Ives, showcasing him as a musical pioneer notably through the complete symphonies with the London Symphony Orchestra (Sony Classical). He returns here to conduct the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra for whom he has been Music Director since 1995, but will be leaving in 2020. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released January 1, 1986 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released January 9, 2020 | SFS Media

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Classical - Released January 9, 2020 | SFS Media

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Classical - Released January 1, 2014 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 9, 2020 | SFS Media

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Classical - Released June 29, 2018 | SFS Media

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Classical - Released March 13, 2020 | SFS Media

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Symphonic Music - Released November 30, 2018 | SFS Media

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Berlioz's preface for his dramatic symphony Romeo and Juliet reads as follows: "Although voices are frequently used in it, it is neither a concert opera, nor a cantata, but a choral symphony. The reason there is singing almost from the start is to prepare the listener’s mind for the dramatic scenes where the feelings and passions are to be expressed by the orchestra. This latter scene depicts the reconciliation of the two families and is the only one to belong to the genre of opera or oratorio. If, in the celebrated scenes in the garden and in the cemetery, the dialogue of the two lovers, Juliet’s asides and the impassioned pleas of Romeo are not sung, if in short the love duet and the duet of despair are entrusted to the orchestra, the reasons for this are numerous and easy to grasp. First, and this would by itself be a sufficient justification for the author, the work is a symphony and not an opera. Then, since duets of this kind have been treated countless times in vocal form by the greatest masters, it was wise as well as interesting to try another mode of expression. It is also because the very sublimity of this love made its depiction so dangerous for the composer that he needed to allow his imagination a freedom which the literal meaning of the words sung would have denied him. Hence the resort to instrumental language, a language which is richer, more varied, less finite, and through its very imprecision incomparably more powerful in such a situation." This new recording by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra brings together American mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and tenor Nicholas Phan, as well as Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni with Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. Some people may disagree with the absence of French voices; it is true that the pronunciation of the soloists is a little wobbly at times, but let’s not forget that this is Berlioz: the overwhelming majority of the score is symphonic, and that is where the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra truly shines through. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 6, 2020 | SFS Media

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Classical - Released May 17, 2019 | SFS Media

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Classical - Released January 1, 1977 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 2003 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1988 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 9, 2020 | SFS Media

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 9, 2020 | SFS Media

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Classical - Released March 6, 2020 | SFS Media

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Classical - Released August 24, 2018 | San Francisco Symphony

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