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Ives: Symphony No. 4; The Unanswered Question, Etc / Morlot, Seattle Symphony

Ives / Seattle Symphony / Morlot
Release Date: 01/08/2016 
Label:  Seattle Symphony   Catalog #: 1009   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Charles Ives
Performer:  Cristina ValdesJoseph Adam
Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony OrchestraSeattle Symphony Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A momentous release, as Morlot and the Seattle Symphony follow their acclaimed recording of Ives’ Symphony No. 2 with the next installment that includes four of the composer’s greatest works. The rarely recorded Symphony No. 4 is a haunting summation of American musical styles, and one of the masterpieces of American music. It receives here a live performance of staggering authority and eloquence that brings Ives’ multi-layered sonic canvas to new life. Recorded alongside Symphony No. 3 and Ives’ two most beloved short orchestral works, this release is engineered to audiophile standards and set to be an authoritative voice among recordings of Ives’ discography. A momentous release, as Morlot and the Seattle Symphony follow their acclaimed recording of Ives’ Symphony No. 2 with the next installment that includes four of the composer’s greatest works. The rarely recorded Symphony No. 4 is a haunting summation of American musical styles, and one of the masterpieces of American music. It receives here a live performance of staggering authority and eloquence that brings Ives’ multi-layered sonic canvas to new life. Recorded alongside Symphony No. 3 and Ives’ two most beloved short orchestral works, this release is engineered to audiophile standards and set to be an authoritative voice among recordings of Ives’ discography. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 4 by Charles Ives
Performer:  Cristina Valdes (Piano), Joseph Adam (Organ)
Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  Seattle Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1912-1925; USA 
2.
Contemplations (2): no 1, The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; USA 
3.
Contemplations (2): no 2, Central Park in the Dark by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; USA 
4.
Symphony no 3 "The Camp Meeting" by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Ludovic Morlot
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; USA 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Good Intentions, Flawed Execution  February 18, 2016 By Christopher Abbot (Westport, MA) See All My Reviews "It seems that every few years, another series of scores appears under the aegis of the Charles Ives Crirical Edition. The version of the Fourth Symphony used in the performance recorded here is dated 2011. I have no idea whether this new score is significantly different than that used by Michael Tilson Thomas in Chicago over 20 years ago, but the result certainly is. After a fine first movement, the performance becomes problematic. The second movement fails to cohere, with those loud exclamations sounding chaotic instead of exciting (or funny); the Fugue is stiff and lacks fluidity until the last minute of so; and the percussion battery in the finale, which should be mysterious, is simply too obtrusive. Morlot interpolates extra iterations of the string phrase in Central Park in the Dark, interrupting the exclamations of the winds and piano and producing a version that's 1 1/2 times the length of other versions. The trumpet in the Unanswered Question becomes increasingly loud and declamatory, as though to silence the squabbling winds; it should remain unfazed. On a positve note, the performance of the Third Symphony is perfectly acceptable; but it's too little too late. I'll stick with MTT and Bernstein on Sony, performances that haven't been bettered." Report Abuse
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