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American Classics - Gould: American Ballads, Etc / Kuchar


Release Date: 07/18/2000 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559005   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Morton Gould
Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Morton Gould's music has not lacked for champions (curiously enough one was the great Greek maestro and advocate of "difficult" 20th century music, Dimitri Mitropoulos), though in recent years it seems to be experiencing the inevitable oblivion that almost always overtakes the work of a recently deceased (1996) "popular" composer. I have no doubt, however, that Gould's name will endure. There's simply too much brilliance and craft in virtually everything that he touched, and if his somewhat defiant listenability and ingratiating "crossover" idiom irritates the self-proclaimed cultural tastemakers, then more power to him.


All of the works here are based to greater or lesser degree on
Read more pre-existing songs or folk tunes, though Gould often goes farther in his adaptations than, say, Respighi did in Ancient Airs and Dances, or Stravinsky in Pulcinella. It's great to have the complete Foster Gallery available on one disc; all previous versions still in print consist only of excerpts from this witty, affectionate tribute to America's great 19th century popular songwriter, and Theodore Kuchar's performance is terrific. American Ballads and the famous American Salute (a.k.a. "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again") exist in competing versions--the Ballads on a wonderful Albany CD conducted by Kenneth Klein--and while Klein's London Philharmonic has more pizzazz than Kuchar's Ukrainian band, the differences aren't great enough to preclude a recommendation. Both performances are excellent, and the couplings are completely different: the Albany disc includes Spirituals for Strings and the American Symphonette No. 2, among other things. This handsomely played, brightly recorded disc offers genuine, quality fun from beginning to end. Hopefully there's more Gould on the way. It's time.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
American Ballads by Morton Gould
Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1976; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1999 
Venue:  Ukrainian National Radio Hall, Kiev 
Length: 34 Minutes 31 Secs. 
2.
Stephen Foster Gallery by Morton Gould
Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1999 
Venue:  Ukrainian National Radio Hall, Kiev 
Length: 34 Minutes 42 Secs. 
3.
American Salute by Morton Gould
Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
Date of Recording: 06/1999 
Venue:  Ukrainian National Radio Hall, Kiev 
Length: 4 Minutes 27 Secs. 

Sound Samples

American Ballads: I. Star-Spangled Overture
American Ballads: II. Amber Waves
American Ballads: III. Jubilo
American Ballads: IV. Memorials
American Ballads: V. Saratoga Quickstep
American Ballads: VI. Hymnal
Foster Gallery: I. Camptown Races
Foster Gallery: II. Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming
Foster Gallery: III. Canebreak Jig
Foster Gallery: IV. Swanee River
Foster Gallery: V. Camptown Variation
Foster Gallery: VI. Old Black Joe and My Old Kentucky Home
Foster Gallery: VII. Village Festival - Quadrilles And Waltzes
Foster Gallery: VIII. Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair
Foster Gallery: IX. Camptown Variation
Foster Gallery: X. Hymns: Where is Thy Spirit Mary and The Angels are Singing unto Me
Foster Gallery: XI. Variation on Comrades, Fill No Glass for Me and Kitty Bell
Foster Gallery: XII. Camptown Variation
Foster Gallery: XIII. Oh, Susanna (Finale)
American Salute

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