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Edward Burlingame Hill: Symphony No. 4 & Orchestral Works

Nel,Anton / Austin Symphony Orchestra / Bay,Peter
Release Date: 12/09/2014 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9443   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Edward Burlingame Hill
Performer:  Anton Nel
Conductor:  Peter Bay
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Austin Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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CD:  $17.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Edward Burlingame Hill is best known today as the teacher of composers Leonard Bernstein, Walter Piston, Roger Sessions, Randall Thompson, Virgil Thomson and Elliott Carter. Hill’s beautifully crafted compositions have fallen off the musical map, a point illustrated by the fact that this recording of his Symphony No. 4, was made following its world premiere performance in 2013, some 72 years after the work’s completion! In his day, Hill was performed regularly- between 1916 and 1949, the Boston Symphony performed his music on 85 occasions. Peter Bay, Anton Nel, and the Austin Symphony give us vivid performances of these fine scores. - Bridge Edward Burlingame Hill is best known today as the teacher of composers Leonard Bernstein, Walter Piston, Roger Sessions, Randall Thompson, Virgil Thomson and Elliott Carter. Hill’s beautifully crafted compositions have fallen off the musical map, a point illustrated by the fact that this recording of his Symphony No. 4, was made following its world premiere performance in 2013, some 72 years after the work’s completion! In his day, Hill was performed regularly- between 1916 and 1949, the Boston Symphony performed his music on 85 occasions. Peter Bay, Anton Nel, and the Austin Symphony give us vivid performances of these fine scores. - Bridge Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 4 in E flat major, Op. 47 by Edward Burlingame Hill
Conductor:  Peter Bay
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Austin Symphony Orchestra
2.
Divertimento for Piano and Orchestra by Edward Burlingame Hill
Performer:  Anton Nel (Piano)
Conductor:  Peter Bay
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Austin Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926 
3.
Concertino for Piano and Orchestra no 1, Op. 36 by Edward Burlingame Hill
Performer:  Anton Nel (Piano)
Conductor:  Peter Bay
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Austin Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931 
4.
Concertino for Piano and Orchestra no 2, Op. 44 by Edward Burlingame Hill
Performer:  Anton Nel (Piano)
Conductor:  Peter Bay
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Austin Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938-1939 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Well-crafted American music February 11, 2015 By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA) See All My Reviews "The Austin Symphony Orchestra's debut recording presents four of Hill's works written between 1926-1941. It's easy to dismiss Hill as an academic ("those who can't do, teach"), but that's not really fair to Hill or his music. Listening to this disc without any preconceptions, I heard works that were well-crafted without a trace of stuffy academia. Further, although Hill's music is tonal, he does successfully incorporate Gershwin-like jazz elements, injecting a little fun into the proceedings. The album opens with Hill's 1926 Divertimento for piano and orchestra. It reminded me quite strongly of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue (written just two years before). The difference is approach. Gershwin came from the rough-and-tumble world of Tin Pan Alley, and his rhapsody is a jazz piece cast in a symphonic mold. Hill is classical trained, and his use of jazz elements seems more polite and restrained. (Still, I think prefer Hill's Divertimento to Gershwin's Concerto in F major.) The two concertinos for piano and orchestra reminded me strongly of similar works by Bohuslav Martinu. Hill's orchestrations are sometimes spare, and there's a strong sense of syncopation and rhythm throughout. The jazz elements are more smoothly integrated into these works. Hill's Symphony No. 4, completed in 1941 is a good example of American neo-classicism. This 30-minute work follows the general symphonic form, but this is no Brahms knock-off. Once again, Hill's orchestration and strong rhythms reminded me of Martinu. The lush harmonies of the slow movement, though, brought to mind the music of of another mid-century composer -- Eric Korngold. That's not to say Hill is derivative -- he just happened to be writing in a similar vein. The Austin Symphony Orchestra under Peter Bay is in fine form throughout this recording. The ensemble really digs into this music, presenting it in the best possible light. Anton Nel nimbly runs up and down the keys, making both the jazz and classical sections sound convincing." Report Abuse
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