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American Classics - Chadwick: Thalia, Melpomene, Etc


Release Date: 07/16/2002 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559117   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George W. Chadwick
Conductor:  Kenneth Schermerhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nashville Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

George Whitefield Chadwick had one major quality that can't be taught or acquired: he wrote good tunes. Consider for example the tantalizingly sexy lyrical theme in Angel of Death, or much of the principal thematic material in Aphrodite (at slightly more than 28 minutes the longest piece on this very well-filled disc). Even where his handling of form and orchestration remain relatively conventional, as in Euterpe (the Muse of music, in case you were wondering), his melodic fluency carries the day. He also developed a keen ear for orchestral color, managing to make surprising or unexpected use of instruments in fresh contexts--the vivid and sensitive writing for triangle and castanets together in Thalia (the Muse of comedy) being just one Read more example of many.


And so this intelligently programmed disc does exactly what it should: it makes an excellent case on behalf of an unjustly neglected composer by presenting fine performances of a wide range of his orchestral music. Of course, not all of this material is new to CD. Neeme Järvi did a couple of these pieces on Chandos (ho-hum performances captured in less vivid sound), but the principal competition comes from José Serebrier's two outstanding Chadwick collections on Reference Recordings, which feature an identically paced Aphrodite and a slightly more exciting Melpomene (the Muse of tragedy), both a bit more naturally recorded.


Still, it wouldn't do to make too much of this. Kenneth Schermerhorn leads vital and appealing interpretations of all of this music, and he's very well recorded save for a touch of excess brightness at the trumpet-capped climaxes. The Nashville Symphony Orchestra once again proves what a first-class ensemble it is, with warm strings, excellent internal balances between sections, and some fine solo work from first desk strings, horn, and especially solo clarinet at the opening of Thalia. It's good to have these attractive pieces gathered together, and for anyone interested in well-crafted late Romantic music, this disc ought to be self-recommending.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Aphrodite by George W. Chadwick
Conductor:  Kenneth Schermerhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nashville Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; USA 
Date of Recording: 2001 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, Nashville, TN 
Length: 28 Minutes 13 Secs. 
2. Euterpe by George W. Chadwick
Conductor:  Kenneth Schermerhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nashville Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1903; USA 
Date of Recording: 2001 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, Nashville, TN 
Length: 9 Minutes 3 Secs. 
3. Thalia by George W. Chadwick
Conductor:  Kenneth Schermerhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nashville Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882; USA 
Date of Recording: 2001 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, Nashville, TN 
Length: 13 Minutes 52 Secs. 
4. Angel of Death by George W. Chadwick
Conductor:  Kenneth Schermerhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nashville Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1917-1918; USA 
Date of Recording: 2001 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, Nashville, TN 
Length: 13 Minutes 36 Secs. 
5. Melpomene by George W. Chadwick
Conductor:  Kenneth Schermerhorn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nashville Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; USA 
Date of Recording: 2001 
Venue:  Performing Arts Center, Nashville, TN 
Length: 14 Minutes 39 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Euterpe
Angel of Death
Aphrodite
Melpomene
Thalia

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