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Rider On The Plains - Thomson, Fussell / Feldman


Release Date: 10/24/2006 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 883   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Virgil ThomsonCharles Fussell
Performer:  Emmanuel FeldmanJoy Cline Phinney
Conductor:  Paul GambillSusan Davenny Wyner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nashville Chamber OrchestraNew England String Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 0 Hours 55 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Virgil Thomson's Cello Concerto "Rider on the Plains" is wholly marvelous, a bright, breezy, beautifully crafted piece that really deserves to enter the repertoire. I suppose its comparative brevity (20 minutes) counts against it, but the Saint-Saëns First Concerto isn't any longer and it gets played all the time. The thematic material is recognizably "American", and the formal treatment is clear, unfussy, and natural sounding. Charles Fussell's Right River variations for cello and strings is similarly straightforward and expertly laid out, if a touch more self-consciously "modern". It too would make a lovely addition to a chamber orchestra concert featuring ensemble principals (it only lasts about 11 Read more minutes).


After the two larger works, cellist Emmanuel Feldman includes a selection of short pieces for violin and piano--five works from Thomson's large series of musical "portraits", and Two Ballades by Fussell, less interesting and appealing music than Right River. Indeed, if I have any quibble with this release, it is that the mixture of orchestral and chamber works, though coherent in theory, makes for a much less interesting second half of the program. Certainly this isn't the fault of the performers, all of whom do very well. Feldman in particular plays with real panache and a warm, singing tone in the outer movements of Thomson's concerto. He's a joy, the sonics are terrific in all formats (SACD and normal stereo), and for the two orchestral pieces alone I can recommend this disc without reservation.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Cello by Virgil Thomson
Performer:  Emmanuel Feldman (Cello)
Conductor:  Paul Gambill
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nashville Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Notes: Composition written: USA (1945 - 1946). 
2. Variations for Cello and String Orchestra "Right River" by Charles Fussell
Performer:  Emmanuel Feldman (Cello)
Conductor:  Susan Davenny Wyner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New England String Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2000; USA 
3. Ballades (2) for Cello and Piano by Charles Fussell
Performer:  Joy Cline Phinney (Piano), Emmanuel Feldman (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2000; USA 
4. Portraits (25) for Piano, 1940: no 17, Bugles and Birds - Pablo Picasso by Virgil Thomson
Performer:  Joy Cline Phinney (Piano), Emmanuel Feldman (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; France 

Sound Samples

Cello Concerto: I. Rider on the Plains
Cello Concerto: II. Variations on a Southern Hymn
Cello Concerto: III. Children's Games
Right River
4 Portraits (arr. L. Silva): No. 1. Bugles and Birds ... Pablo Picasso
4 Portraits (arr. L. Silva): No. 2. Tango Lullaby ... Mlle Flavie Alvarez de Toledo
4 Portraits (arr. L. Silva): No. 3. In a Bird Cage ... Lise Deharme
4 Portraits (arr. L. Silva): No. 4. Fanfare for France ... Max Kahn
Etude for Cello and Piano ... A Portrait of Frederic James
2 Ballades: I. -
2 Ballades: II. -

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