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Don Gillis: Symphony No 7, Etc / Hobson, Sinfonia Varsovia


Release Date: 04/25/2006 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 833   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Don Gillis
Conductor:  Ian Hobson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.


No one lavished as much musical love and affection on the state of Texas than did Don Gillis, and that theoretically big-hearted territory has repaid his devotion by forcing Albany to record his Texas-inspired works in Warsaw. How ironic. Well, never mind, because as with previous discs issued in this series the performances are outstanding, and the music is terrific. It's true that Gillis' pops-concert, Gershwinesque style won't appeal to those who believe that classical music should be self-evidently profound, but underneath the brash exterior there's genuine content here. Consider, for example, the
Read more two slow movements in Portrait of a Frontier Town, as beautifully lyrical as anything by anyone, and they're scored with incredible skill and restraint. Nor is The Alamo a bombastic piece of "American socialist realism". More than anything it's an elegy, with just enough militancy to let everyone know what the cause of all the sorrow has been.


The Seventh Symphony, in four connected movements, celebrates the composer's beloved Texas Christian University. It's also a serious work, but never (despite the subject) academic or tendentious. Fascinatingly, all of this music was recorded by Gillis himself for Decca in the 1950s, and those recordings have been reissued on CD. Tempos in the symphony are virtually identical in both cases, though Ian Hobson lingers a bit more (all to the good) over those gorgeous slow movements in Portrait of a Frontier Town than does Gillis himself. In general, the older recordings are drier and sharper of rhythm, but as with previous issues in this series the Polish string players offer a warmth of tone that suits the music just as well. Great music can take a variety of approaches, and Gillis wrote some great music, no doubt about that. Sonically this SACD surround-sound production is top-notch in all formats, the best in the series thus far, with excellent balances, rich bass, and plenty of brilliance. Fabulous! [4/5/2006]
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 7 "Saga of A Prairie School" by Don Gillis
Conductor:  Ian Hobson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1948; USA 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
2.
Portrait of a Frontier Town by Don Gillis
Conductor:  Ian Hobson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 
3.
The Alamo by Don Gillis
Conductor:  Ian Hobson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Varsovia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USA 
Notes: This selection is a stereo recording. 

Featured Sound Samples

Portrait of a Frontier Town: I. Chamber of Commerce
The Alamo

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