Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Barber: Knoxville, Etc / Levi, McNair, Atlanta SO


Release Date: 02/11/1992 
Label:  Telarc   Catalog #: 80250   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Samuel Barber
Performer:  Sylvia McNair
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The combination of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Yoel Levi has been responsible for several notably successful recordings for Telarc; this Barber disc is another of them. The assembled programme is a strong one, covering much fine music from the ’thirties and ’forties, when Barber established his position as a major figure on the international stage.

Those who know the Overture to The School for Scandal – the musicians especially – will testify that in terms of rhythmic complexity and ensemble it is one of the most challenging pieces in the orchestral repertory. The Atlanta players meet the challenge, to be sure, and in doing so they set their standard. The clarity and vibrancy of the recorded sound gives Barber every
Read more support too.

Plaudits as to virtuosity are also deserved in the two Essays and Medea’s Dance. In these pieces Barber shows himself a true master of the orchestra, with scoring that brings out the most from the musical material. For example, both Essays find some beautifully realised shadings of dynamic, while the opening of Medea’s Dance – known as her Meditation, is captured to perfection. While these performances do not surpass the highly successful rival Naxos versions with Marin Alsop and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, they do achieve the same high standard of playing, interpretation and recording. And if the different repertoire combinations suit, that might be the compelling factor.

The Adagio for Strings, Barber’s most celebrated piece, of course, still sounds as fresh as the day it was rewritten (from his String Quartet). Again the dynamic shadings are a significant factor in Levi’s performance, and he certainly knows how to hold an eloquent line of expression. With excellent sound this can hold its own against a crowded field of rival versions.

Knoxville, one of Barber’s most beautiful and imaginative creations, has the advantage of a major solo artist in Sylvia McNair. Her performance has all the vision and sensitivity that Barber demands, though not everyone will be comfortable with the quality and closeness of her voice as far as the imagery of the child’s narrative is concerned. Again the tempi are well chosen and the phrasing is eloquent.

This well produced and beautifully performed disc is supported by excellent and thorough documentation, with detailed notes by Richard Rodda.

-- Terry Barfoot, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Knoxville, Summer of 1915, Op. 24 by Samuel Barber
Performer:  Sylvia McNair (Soprano)
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947-1950; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/04/1991 
Venue:  Woodruff Memorial Arts Center, Atlanta 
Length: 17 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: English 
2.
The School for Scandal Overture, Op. 5 by Samuel Barber
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931-1933; USA 
Date of Recording: 04/13/1991 
Venue:  Woodruff Memorial Arts Center, Atlanta 
Length: 8 Minutes 39 Secs. 
3.
Essay for Orchestra no 1, Op. 12 by Samuel Barber
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; USA 
Date of Recording: 04/13/1991 
Venue:  Woodruff Memorial Arts Center, Atlanta 
Length: 8 Minutes 4 Secs. 
4.
Essay for Orchestra no 2, Op. 17 by Samuel Barber
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/04/1991 
Venue:  Woodruff Memorial Arts Center, Atlanta 
Length: 10 Minutes 2 Secs. 
5.
Adagio for Strings, Op. 11 by Samuel Barber
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Rome, Italy 
Date of Recording: 03/04/1991 
Venue:  Woodruff Memorial Arts Center, Atlanta 
Length: 8 Minutes 12 Secs. 
6.
Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengeance, Op. 23a by Samuel Barber
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; USA 
Date of Recording: 04/13/1991 
Venue:  Woodruff Memorial Arts Center, Atlanta 
Length: 12 Minutes 45 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In