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American Classics - Grofé: Death Valley Suite, Etc


Release Date: 09/17/2002 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559017   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ferde Grofé
Conductor:  William T. Stromberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 56 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Richard Strauss once famously remarked: "I may not be a first rate composer, but I am a very good second rate composer." The same might be said of Ferde Grofé. He's not going to win any medals for formal ingenuity, expressive depth, or contrapuntal mastery, but he knew how to orchestrate, he could turn out a good tune, and, like Gershwin's, his particular take on symphonic jazz remains irresistibly attractive. What once may have sounded cheap and glitzy now has period charm, and we can only hope that this second Naxos disc devoted to his symphonic suites won't be the last.


There's some great stuff here. The opening Hollywood Suite contains a dazzling movement called "Carpenters and
Read more Electricians" and a delightfully toe-tapping "Production Number". The Hudson River Suite offers evocative nature sounds and some authentic dog barks in "Rip Van Winkle", and concludes with a calamitous, Ivesian tribute to New York City. The Death Valley Suite features a vivid portrait of a wagon train, and like the more famous Grand Canyon Suite ends with violent weather (in this case a sandstorm). William Stromberg leads the Bournemouth Symphony in totally enjoyable performances, vividly recorded, with some particularly brilliant work from the brass section. If you like the Grand Canyon Suite, you'll be pleased to know that there's a lot more where that came from, and it's no less worthy of your attention.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Death Valley Suite by Ferde Grofé
Conductor:  William T. Stromberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; USA 
Date of Recording: 02/2000 
Venue:  Wessex Hall, Poole Arts Center, Dorset 
Length: 16 Minutes 39 Secs. 
2.
Hudson River Suite by Ferde Grofé
Conductor:  William T. Stromberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; USA 
Date of Recording: 02/2000 
Venue:  Wessex Hall, Poole Arts Center, Dorset 
Length: 18 Minutes 38 Secs. 
3.
Pictures (6) of Hollywood by Ferde Grofé
Conductor:  William T. Stromberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1938; USA 
Date of Recording: 02/2000 
Venue:  Wessex Hall, Poole Arts Center, Dorset 
Length: 20 Minutes 56 Secs. 
4.
Hollywood Suite by Ferde Grofé
Conductor:  William T. Stromberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 

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