WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

American Classics - McKay: Suite For Viola, Etc / Bolcom


Release Date: 09/17/2002 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559143   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George McKay
Performer:  William BolcomSanford MargolisMahoko EguchiLogan Skelton,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Seattle-based composer George Frederick McKay ("The Dean of Northwest Composers") is being celebrated as part of Naxos' American Classics series. Among other musicians enlisted for this task are the husband-and-wife duo of William Bolcom and Joan Morris, and you couldn't ask for a more sympathetic pairing of artists and repertoire. Bolcom, of course, is well known both as a composer and pianist; he and mezzo-soprano Morris have careers that straddle the worlds of both classical music and musical theater. Likewise, McKay's compositions embrace "high" and "low" art, without any sense of tension between the two styles.


The piano--and by extension Bolcom--dominates this disc. 1924's Caricature
Read more Dance Suite celebrates the burgeoning jazz style with cakewalk and ragtime rhythms, as does the same year's Americanistic Etude. A mid-1940s' Technicolor film fantasy finds its voice in the short, lush Dancing in a Dream, played by Bolcom and Logan Skelton. But don't get the impression that McKay's music is merely a novelty. Another 1924 work, An April Suite, is marked by an impressionistic feeling; McKay's lovely, gentle chromaticisms look to France for their inspiration. Similarly, From My Tahoe Window-Summer Moods and Patterns (from 1965) is a particularly rich collection of programmatic miniatures that nod to nature ("Sunrise", "Storm Clouds", etc.).


The Dance Suite No. 2 (from 1938), with descriptive movement titles such as "Calisthenics à la Hollywood", was born of a collaboration with choreographer Bonnie Bird, and it points to an especially rich era in Seattle's cultural life. Joan Morris' appearance in the Excerpts from Five Songs for Soprano (1964) and 1969's Every Flower that Ever Grew is glorious. Her sure, strong tone and exemplary enunciation create a model for young singers to follow, though the rather compressed sound doesn't show her off to best advantage.


Turning away from Bolcom/Morris--and from a more familiar McKay--we hear violist Mahoko Eguchi and pianist Sanford Margolis in 1948's Viola Suite. It's a work whose more straitlaced character, apart from the energetic Scherzo and the strident, martial Moderato that closes the piece, doesn't bear much resemblance to the disc's other compositions. It's a Romantic throwback that feels rather artificial, though Eguchi and Margolis perform it with a great deal of warmth. I would have preferred not to be subjected to Margolis' groaning sing-along in the lyrical third movement, however.
--Anastasia Tsioulcas, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Caricature Dance Suite by George McKay
Performer:  William Bolcom (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2001 
Venue:  Brookwood Studio, Ann Arbor, Michigan 
Length: 6 Minutes 30 Secs. 
2.
Suite for Viola and Piano by George McKay
Performer:  Sanford Margolis (Piano), Mahoko Eguchi (Viola)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2001 
Venue:  Brookwood Studio, Ann Arbor, Michigan 
Length: 18 Minutes 23 Secs. 
3.
Americanistic Etude, Op. 27 by George McKay
Performer:  William Bolcom (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2001 
Venue:  Brookwood Studio, Ann Arbor, Michigan 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
4.
An April Suite, Op. 3 by George McKay
Performer:  William Bolcom (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2001 
Venue:  Brookwood Studio, Ann Arbor, Michigan 
Length: 7 Minutes 22 Secs. 
5.
Dance Suite no 2 by George McKay
Performer:  William Bolcom (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2001 
Venue:  Brookwood Studio, Ann Arbor, Michigan 
Length: 6 Minutes 31 Secs. 
6.
Dancing in a Dream by George McKay
Performer:  Logan Skelton (Piano), William Bolcom (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2001 
Venue:  Brookwood Studio, Ann Arbor, Michigan 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
7.
Songs (5) for Soprano: Bunches of Grapes by George McKay
Performer:  William Bolcom (Piano), Joan Morris (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2001 
Venue:  Brookwood Studio, Ann Arbor, Michigan 
Length: 1 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: English 
8.
Every Flower That Ever Grew by George McKay
Performer:  Joan Morris (Mezzo Soprano), William Bolcom (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1969; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2001 
Venue:  Brookwood Studio, Ann Arbor, Michigan 
Length: 2 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: English 
9.
Songs (5) for Soprano: Days of the Week by George McKay
Performer:  Joan Morris (Mezzo Soprano), William Bolcom (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2001 
Venue:  Brookwood Studio, Ann Arbor, Michigan 
Length: 1 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Language: English 
10.
Songs (5) for Soprano: The Flower will Bloom Another Year by George McKay
Performer:  Joan Morris (Mezzo Soprano), William Bolcom (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2001 
Venue:  Brookwood Studio, Ann Arbor, Michigan 
Length: 2 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Language: English 
11.
From My Tahoe Window "Summer Moods and Patterns" by George McKay
Performer:  William Bolcom (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1965; USA 
Date of Recording: 1999-2001 
Venue:  Brookwood Studio, Ann Arbor, Michigan 
Length: 12 Minutes 12 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Caricature Dance Suite: I. Snickertyskip
Caricature Dance Suite: II. Jabbertyflip
Caricature Dance Suite: III. Swaggerhop
Caricature Dance Suite: IV. Burlesque March
My Tahoe Window - Summer Moods and Patterns: I. Sunrise
My Tahoe Window - Summer Moods and Patterns: II. A Morning Mood
My Tahoe Window - Summer Moods and Patterns: III. Looking Upward
My Tahoe Window - Summer Moods and Patterns: IV. Storm Clouds
My Tahoe Window - Summer Moods and Patterns: V. Caballeros
My Tahoe Window - Summer Moods and Patterns: VI. Sundown
My Tahoe Window - Summer Moods and Patterns: VII. Summer's End
Americanistic Etude: Op. 27
An April Suite, Op. 3: I. To the Blue Eyed Days of Spring
An April Suite, Op. 3: II. One April Morning
An April Suite, Op. 3: III. A Remembered Happiness
An April Suite, Op. 3: IV. Prelude to a Summer Day
Dance Suite No. 2: I. Insouciant Proclamation
Dance Suite No. 2: II. Naive Pastorale
Dance Suite No. 2: III. Athletic Poem
Dance Suite No. 2: IV. Calisthenics a la Hollywood
Dance Suite No. 2: V. A Giddy Pace
Dancing in a Dream
5 Songs: Bunches of Grapes
5 Songs: Days of the Week
5 Songs: The Flower will Bloom Another Year
Every Flower that ever grew
Suite for Viola and Piano: I. Allegro moderato, vigoroso e parlando
Suite for Viola and Piano: II. Cantante e poetico
Suite for Viola and Piano: III. Moderato scherzoso e grotesco
Suite for Viola and Piano: IV. Moderato cantabile
Suite for Viola and Piano: V. Moderato marziale, ritmico e marcato

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In