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Music Of Roy Harris / Richard Zimdars, Alexander Ross


Release Date: 10/24/2006 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 105   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Roy Harris
Performer:  Richard ZimdarsAlexander Ross
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Roy Harris's life (1898-1979) was a singular phenomenon: humble beginnings on the family farm; truck driving to support his musical studies; study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger supported by a patroness; performances of his symphonies by Koussevitzky, Toscanini, Ormandy, and Bernstein; a series of academic positions around the country; marriage to a brilliant pianist; a large family of his own; and hard work up to the end of his days. Today's foremost authority on the life and works of Harris, musicologist Dan Stehman, has this to say about the piano works: "...the piano pieces reveal Harris's exceptional skill as a miniaturist, working concisely and unpretentiously to create clearly defined moods. For many listeners these compositions Read more have served as the initial introduction to his music and, indeed, they remain one of the easiest approaches to his style and technique." In 1942 the Sonata for Violin and Piano was awarded the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Medal for eminent service to Chamber Music. Yehudi Menuhin, Josef Gingold, Henri Temianka, Sidney Harth, and Eudice Shapiro are among the distinguished violinists who have programmed it. Although Harris sanctioned cuts in the first and last movements, the performance recorded here presents the sonata in its entirety.

REVIEW:

"The disc contains Harris' complete piano music, plus the Violin Sonata...As usual, one can hear that Harris was an uneven composer, but there are treasures of delight here. The most immediately attractive music of the new collection will surely be the American Ballads. They include gorgeous arrangements of some of the best folk songs...But the heroic, gaunt Piano Sonata in four movements deserves attention - a grandly noble piece of open textures. The Suite, like the Sonata, is basically symphonic in style, essentially joyous - as is most of Harris....Still, the most important work here is surely the Violin Sonata....Harris achieves something akin to the poetry of Walt Whitman here, mixing sweeping lyricism with granite strengths." (InTune)
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Works on This Recording

1.
Suite in Three Movements for Piano by Roy Harris
Performer:  Richard Zimdars (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939-1943; USA 
Length: 11 Minutes 40 Secs. 
2.
American Ballads I: Streets of Laredo by Roy Harris
Performer:  Richard Zimdars (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
3.
American Ballads I: Wayfaring Stranger by Roy Harris
Performer:  Richard Zimdars (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
4.
American Ballads I: The Bird by Roy Harris
Performer:  Richard Zimdars (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USA 
Length: 1 Minutes 37 Secs. 
5.
American Ballads I: Black is the Color by Roy Harris
Performer:  Richard Zimdars (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USA 
Length: 1 Minutes 13 Secs. 
6.
American Ballads I: Cod Liver Ile by Roy Harris
Performer:  Richard Zimdars (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 2 Secs. 
7.
American Ballads II: Li'l Boy Named Day by Roy Harris
Performer:  Richard Zimdars (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
8.
American Ballads II: When Johnny comes marching home by Roy Harris
Performer:  Richard Zimdars (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USA 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
9.
Toccata for Piano by Roy Harris
Performer:  Richard Zimdars (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950; USA 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 
10.
Sonata for Violin and Piano by Roy Harris
Performer:  Alexander Ross (Violin), Richard Zimdars (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941/1974; USA 
Length: 22 Minutes 36 Secs. 
11.
Variations on "True Love Don't Weep" by Roy Harris
Performer:  Richard Zimdars (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 59 Secs. 
12.
Little Suite for Piano by Roy Harris
Performer:  Richard Zimdars (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
13.
Sonata for Piano by Roy Harris
Performer:  Richard Zimdars (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; USA 
Length: 13 Minutes 2 Secs. 

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