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Sessions: Symphonies 6, 7 & 9 / Davies, American Composers Orchestra


Release Date: 11/13/2007 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 444519   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Roger Sessions
Conductor:  Dennis Russell Davies
Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Composers Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

Low Stock: Currently 3 or fewer in stock. Usually ships in 24 hours, unless stock becomes depleted.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Sessions’s first five symphonies are already on CD so the addition of three more is a real breakthrough for his reputation as a major symphonist. These dedicated, well-recorded performances make the best possible case for later Sessions and both No. 6 and No. 9 are first recordings. Even if I am still more attracted to his earlier works where a wider range of sources shows through – String Quartet No. 1, for example, and Piano Sonata No. 2 – rather than these fruits of his post-Schoenbergian maturity, there are genuine rewards if you are in tune with this brand of establishment modernism.

There are gloomy connotations to both No. 6 and No. 7 (1966 and 1967) since these were the years of the Vietnam War and Sessions was aware
Read more of writing “a series connected with the events of that time”. An expressionist musical language fits the American agony, as it did Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw, but it is beautiful too in the central Lento of No. 7.

Explosive energy is a feature of all Sessions’s fast movements. This is even true of No. 9, which was finished when the composer was into his eighties, although the textures are less dense than earlier. The oppositions within this work come from the initial inspiration derived from the images of good and evil in William Blake’s poem The Tyger, even quite programmatically. The trombone solo at the start and end of the second movement is unusual, where the orchestral texture is normally constantly on the move, and there are plenty of lyrical passages for woodwind and strings interspersed through the finale. For Sessions a symphony is a serious matter and his are not easy to put into conventional concert programmes. Repeated hearings through these new recordings can only enhance his authority.'

Peter Dickinson, Gramophone 4/1996
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 6 by Roger Sessions
Conductor:  Dennis Russell Davies
Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Composers Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/1994 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York City 
Length: 20 Minutes 10 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 7 by Roger Sessions
Conductor:  Dennis Russell Davies
Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Composers Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/1994 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York City 
Length: 22 Minutes 38 Secs. 
3.
Symphony no 9 by Roger Sessions
Conductor:  Dennis Russell Davies
Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Composers Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978; USA 
Date of Recording: 05/1994 
Venue:  Manhattan Center, New York City 
Length: 28 Minutes 8 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Symphony No.6: 1. Allegro
Symphony No.6: 2. Adagio e tranquillo
Symphony No.6: 3. Allegro moderato
Symphony No.7: 1. Allegro con fuoco
Symphony No.7: 2. Lento e dolce
Symphony No.7: 3. Allegro vivace
Symphony No.9: 1. Allegro
Symphony No.9: 2. Con movimento adagio
Symphony No.9: 3. Allegro vivace

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