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American Classics - Creston: Symphonies No 1-3 / Kuchar


Release Date: 04/11/2000 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559034   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Paul Creston
Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


It's good to see Paul Creston's music making a bit of a comeback. Neeme Järvi recorded the Second Symphony for Chandos, and Gerard Schwarz did the Third (and much else besides) for Delos, so this latest entry in Naxos' American Music Series faces some stiff competition. Fortunately, the performances are excellent and hold their own without qualification. Kuchar and his orchestra already have recorded a first-rate Prokofiev symphony cycle for Naxos, and are working on Martinu as well, so it's no surprise that Creston fits their musical profile. New to CD is the zippy First Symphony, a typically American-sounding neo-classical piece in four brief movements variously marked "With
Read more Majesty", "With Humor", "With Serenity", and "With Gaiety". So they are, and so they sound.

The brilliant "song and dance" Second Symphony gets a particularly lively performance here: it's a truly original masterpiece in two movements that should be played and enjoyed at least as often as, say, the Third Symphonies of Copland, Harris, or Schuman. Inspired by episodes in the life of Christ (birth, crucifixion, and resurrection), the Third Symphony, entitled "Three Mysteries", combines Creston's love of Gregorian chant with his invigorating sense of rhythm. Its religious inspiration lends the music a calm solemnity that never becomes saccharine or insincere. Hopefully Naxos will get around to the remaining symphonies and other orchestral works. This is really good stuff, nicely recorded too.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1, Op. 20 by Paul Creston
Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; USA 
2.
Symphony no 2, Op. 35 by Paul Creston
Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USA 
3.
Symphony no 3, Op. 48 "Three Mysteries" by Paul Creston
Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  3 Customer Reviews )
 Relatively Unknown American Composer December 18, 2016 By owen ryan (lakewood, CA) See All My Reviews "Naxos liner notes:''Vigorous rhythms, sweeping melody and lush romantic scoring is to be found in each of the works appearing on this disc.'' Well, maybe so but I found Symphonies 1 and 2 rather episodic or cinematic; not thought provoking or deep-- probably suitable for a 25 minute car drive. I don't mean to be nasty about this, they are, after all, very listenable. The Third Symphony is a three part tone poem based on the life of Christ: Nativity, Crucifixion, Resurrection. You don't have to be of the Christian faith to appreciate this work-- well done! So, take my comments in the context of the opinions of the professional reviewers and other customers, then decide for yourself." Report Abuse
 Paul Creston Symphonies 1-3 December 29, 2013 By Herbert Shapiro (Tarpon Springs, FL) See All My Reviews "I am a Paul Creston fan. I think he is a very underrated American composer. These symphonies are well recorded and performed. The music is full of energy and innovative harmony. He sounds nothing like other American composers and creates very approachable music." Report Abuse
 Good July 8, 2012 By F. Franssen (Roermond, Limburg) See All My Reviews "Good music, good played.
Very interesting to listen."
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