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American Classics - Strong: Ondine, Etc / Adriano, Moscow So


Release Date: 01/21/2003 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559078   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  George Templeton Strong
Conductor:  Adriano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 7 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Like many a 19th century American composer, George Templeton Strong (1856-1948) received his musical training in Europe. However, Strong had little success in his native country (unlike his contemporary Edward MacDowell), and returned to the continent, spending the rest of his life in Switzerland. Given Strong's background and training, it's hardly surprising that his music displays the obvious influence of 19th-century European composers. The gloomy opening chords of his early (1883, revised 1939) symphonic poem Ondine bring to mind Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony; but this somber atmosphere (which returns at the close of this 25-minute work) is soon dispelled by the swashbuckling, Wagnerian flourishes that dominate much of the material. Read more Indeed, the motivic construction, dramatic sequencing, and orchestration make the piece sound like a sort of "Flying Dutchman meets Siegfried" overture. However, no matter the pedigree, Ondine is thoroughly enjoyable in its own right. The Moscow Symphony, under conductor Adriano, offers polished and enthusiastic playing, especially from the brass (though I can't help thinking that an orchestra such as the Chicago Symphony would make a meal of this piece).


From a Notebook of Sketches (1941) is an orchestration of three piano suites originally composed by Strong in the 1890s. Suite No. 1 evokes the magical worlds of Mendelssohn and Berlioz, while Suite No. 2 "Athens" simulates archaic dance through its use of folk coloring in the manner of Dvorák and Grieg. No. 3 draws on fairy tale subjects (Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella) for its first two movements. The finale ("Oriental Procession"), although apparently Strong's last orchestral work, nonetheless suggests the 19th-century "oriental" styling of Saint-Saëns' Samson et Dalila. Adriano proves a sensitive interpreter of these delicate and colorful pieces, drawing refined playing from his orchestra. The wide-ranging recording captures the full dynamic impact of Ondine and the subtle shadings of the Suites.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Ondine by George Templeton Strong
Conductor:  Adriano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
2.
From a Notebook of Sketches by George Templeton Strong
Conductor:  Adriano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 

Sound Samples

Ondine
From a Notebook of Sketches: Suite No. 1: I. Eclogue
From a Notebook of Sketches: Suite No. 1: II. The Elves Blow the Horn
From a Notebook of Sketches: Suite No. 1: III. The Cemetery - Sarabande of the Dead
From a Notebook of Sketches: Suite No. 1: IV. In the Inn: the Night Watch
From a Notebook of Sketches: Suite No. 2, "Athens": I. Youth of Athens
From a Notebook of Sketches: Suite No. 2, "Athens": II. Evening Dance
From a Notebook of Sketches: Suite No. 2, "Athens": III. Entering the Parthenon
From a Notebook of Sketches: Suite No. 3: I. Jack the Giant-Killer
From a Notebook of Sketches: Suite No. 3: II. The Dreams of Cinderella
From a Notebook of Sketches: Suite No. 3: III. Oriental Procession (ed. Adriano)

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