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Gillis: Symphonies 5 & 6, Paul Bunyan / Hobson

Release Date: 06/28/2005 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 768   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Don Gillis
Conductor:  Ian Hobson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The two symphonies on this disc show Don Gillis in a more serious mode than previous releases in this terrific series. Both works are major statements, original both in form and content. They reflect the jazzy, popular idiom of Gillis' lighter works and contain the same high level of craftsmanship and melodic appeal--but the tone is more sober, the instrumental coloration a bit darker. This is particularly true of Symphony No. 5, subtitled "In Memoriam", a post-war tribute that makes its points with touching simplicity and heartfelt sincerity. Certainly it must be accounted one of the finer works of its kind, a far cry from either the "nationalist bombast" or "expressionist war-is-hell" approach to its Read more subject.

Symphony No. 6, subtitled "Mid-Century U.S.A.", has four movements as opposed to No. 5's three, but it lasts about the same amount of time (just shy of half an hour). Its slow opening and third movement reveal Gillis as a master of reflective, lyrical expression as well as boisterous optimism. The Paul Bunyan Overture is a charming, curiously nostalgic piece, given its title, with a gentle, fairytale atmosphere that's eminently memorable. All three works receive excellent performances from the Sinfonia Varsovia under Ian Hobson, and my only quibble is that the brass section, trumpets in particular, needs to play with more heft and brashness to fully realize the music's period flavor and stylistic vernacular. It's a small point, but worth noting. Fine sonics reveal all the important details of Gillis' colorful textures. This is another winner in what is turning into a genuinely exciting voyage of discovery of a major composer.

– David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony no 6 "Mid-Century USA" by Don Gillis
Conductor:  Ian Hobson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; USA 
Symphony no 5 "In Memoriam" by Don Gillis
Conductor:  Ian Hobson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; USA 
Paul Bunyan: An Overture to a Legend by Don Gillis
Conductor:  Ian Hobson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964; USA 

Sound Samples

Paul Bunyan: A Portrait of a Legend
Symphony No. 6, "Mid-Century U.S.A": I. Slowly - fast - slowly
Symphony No. 6, "Mid-Century U.S.A": II. Quite fast
Symphony No. 6, "Mid-Century U.S.A": III. Slowly, tenderly
Symphony No. 6, "Mid-Century U.S.A": IV. Briskly
Symphony No. 5, "In Memoriam": I. Slowly - fast - slowly
Symphony No. 5, "In Memoriam": II. In memoriam
Symphony No. 5, "In Memoriam": III. Quite fast

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