Notes and Editorial Reviews
Christopher Ludwa, Gerry Amato
, cond; Bloomington SO
BSO CD 20051 (64:52)
Symphony No. 2,
In Memory Yet Green.
Night in Old Vienna.
Christopher Ludwa became music director and conductor of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra in April 2005. He is also the artistic director of the Indianapolis Arts Chorale, conductor of the Bloomington Pops Orchestra, and director of arts at the International School of Indiana. It is his intention to perform and record worthy compositions by area residents, and this disc is indicative of that desire. This is the first recording of all the music on this disc, although the pieces by Ernesto Lecuona are well known in other arrangements.
In 1974, composer David DeBoor Canfield enrolled in graduate school at Indiana University, where his teachers included John Eaton, Bernhard Heiden, and Frederick Fox. His dissertation piece, a concerto for piano and orchestra, won the Dean’s Composition Competition and was premiered by the Indiana University Orchestra. Canfield is the current composer-in-residence of the Bloomington Pops Orchestra, which has performed more than a dozen of his pieces over the last 12 years. His Second Symphony, subtitled “Israel,” is a hard-driving work that does not contain any Jewish folk music. However, it does have a part for shofar in the last movement, and some most enjoyable music for flute and percussion. Canfield writes well for orchestra and he gives various groups of instruments equal time in the limelight.
Dennis Meckler is a percussionist with the Bloomington Symphony who also plays with other ensembles in that area. His
In Memory Yet Green
is a memorial to his parents. Although it starts quietly and has some introspective qualities, it is not overly sad. Paul Hartin plays tuba with the Bloomington Symphony. His melodic and danceable waltz
Night in Old Vienna
is a welcome change from the modern music that precedes it on the disc. It’s a bit like a waltz recalled in a dream. James Underwood composed his
in 1997. The first movement, “Amish Farms,” contains the 12th-century German hymn
Christ ist Erstanden
(Christ is Risen) reworked with modern harmonies that nevertheless evoke the jubilation of the Easter story.
Guest conductor Gerry Amato’s 2005 arrangement of Ernesto Lecuona’s well-known
involves rather overpowering percussion. If you would like to hear
exquisitely sung, you can find it on Plácido Domingo’s 1997 Sony disc
Always in My Heart.
Amato also arranged and conducted the traditional
. The disc’s finale is Daniel Powers’s propulsive
which is a
tour de force
for brass. It brings this interesting disc to a fitting close.
The sound is clear and lifelike and the balances are excellent with the exception of the two Lecuona pieces. Most of these works and their composers are not well known, and are most deserving of being heard on this excellent Bloomington Symphony compact disc.
FANFARE: Maria Nockin
Works on This Recording
Symphony No. 2 ("Israel") by David DeBoor Canfield
Length: 24 Minutes 41 Secs.
In Memory Yet Green, for orchestra by Dennis Meckler
Length: 11 Minutes 18 Secs.
Night in Old Vienna Waltz, for orchestra by Paul Hartin
Length: 8 Minutes 7 Secs.
Amish Farms, for orchestra (from A German American Festival) by James Underwood
Length: 5 Minutes 31 Secs.
Andalucía, song for voice & piano (or orchestra) by Ernesto Lecuona
Length: 3 Minutes 46 Secs.
Vasilon by Traditional
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs.
Irresistible Force, for orchestra by Daniel Powers
Length: 7 Minutes 41 Secs.
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