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American Classics - Lees: Symphony No 4 / Kuchar, Et Al


Release Date: 10/27/1998 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559002   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Benjamin Lees
Performer:  James Oliver BuswellKimball Wheeler
Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Benjamin Lees' music has never established itself in the concert hall or on recordings. So much the pity, for Lees' works are passionate, daring in style yet very accessible. The Symphony No. 4 "Memorial Candles" was written in 1985 and is a tribute to Holocaust victims. The three movement work is set to texts by Nobel Prize winning poet Nelly Sachs, and combines voice, solo violin and large orchestra.
The first movement, sub-titled "Visitations," is darkly atmospheric, filled with foreboding and terror. A frenzied solo violin adds to the building horror and reminds one of the more tortured side of Shostakovich's music. The second movement, "Manifestation," opens with an unaccompanied cello solo that quotes a Jewish folksong and
Read more concludes with the mezzo-soprano singing the text of Sachs' poem 'Footsteps.' "Transcendence" is the third movement, which is marked by rich orchestral colors and the solo violin joining the singer in the final poem, 'But Who Emptied Your Shoes of Sand.'
This serious work receives a world class performance with vivid sonics from the Naxos engineers. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 4 "Memorial Candles" by Benjamin Lees
Performer:  James Oliver Buswell (Violin), Kimball Wheeler (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1985 
Date of Recording: 05/1998 
Venue:  Ukranian Radio Concert Hall, Kiev 
Length: 61 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: English 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 4, "Memorial Candles": I Visitations (Slow, Unhurried) 'Someone Blew the Shofar'
Symphony No. 4, "Memorial Candles": II Manifestations (Steady Tempo) 'Footsteps'
Symphony No. 4, "Memorial Candles": III Transcendence (Calm, Unhurried) 'But Who Emptied Your Shoes of Sand?'

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