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Moross: Frankie & Johnny / Falletta, New Zealand SO

Release Date: 03/12/2013 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 1400   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jerome Moross
Performer:  Alexa Still
Conductor:  JoAnn FallettaDonald Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony OrchestraNew Zealand Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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CD:  $16.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

2013 celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jerome Moross, an American original. Best known for his outstanding motion picture scores, he considered himself primarily a composer of concert music and this recording, originally released by Koch, demonstrates his considerable contribution to American music. Writing for the theatre remained Moross’ first love as a composer. Frankie and Johnny, written in 1938, was one of a number of works he wrote for this medium. The recording spans his compositional output from his earliest work, Biguine, written in 1934, to his last completed work, Concerto for Flute and String Orchestra, written in 1978.


"Summary for the Busy Executive: I ain't
Read more gonna tell you no fable – a delight...
Part of the left-wing movement during the 1930s translated itself in American music into the desire to invent an accessible, even popular, classical style. The most publicly visible example, Copland moves from the "difficult" idiom of the Piano Variations and Short Symphony to his brand of Americana in works like An Outdoor Overture and Billy the Kid. The younger man, Moross moved more quickly, and he did have Copland's example before him. It took him only one large-scale work – Paeans – to turn from hieratic to accessible. Yet he didn't ape Copland – or Virgil Thomson, for that matter. Moross found a distinctive voice very early – a mix of folk song, 1930s pop, and turn-of-the-century ragtime, cakewalks, two-steps, fox-trots, vaudeville turns, and proto-jazz – rhythmically lively and as refreshing as a really good glass of water. For the most part, Moross's output divides neatly into chamber music and theater work. As a composer, he's fairly modest in his aims. He doesn't wish to conquer. Moross's music is mainly charming and well-made, and the chamber music especially reminds me of – I hate to say it, since many will at this point roll their eyes at the ceiling – Mozart. Both composers show a clarity of form, equal distribution of interest among parts, suitability of music to instrument, economy of expression, and, despite whatever psychological depths they plumb, a view of chamber music as an opportunity for players to get together. Mozart's music for me may go deeper, but Moross's surface is just as beautifully worked."

-- Steve Schwartz, Classical.net (review of original release) Read less

Works on This Recording

Frankie and Johnny by Jerome Moross
Conductor:  JoAnn Falletta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937-1938; USA 
Biguine by Jerome Moross
Conductor:  JoAnn Falletta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; USA 
A Tall Story by Jerome Moross
Conductor:  JoAnn Falletta
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; USA 
Concerto for Flute by Jerome Moross
Performer:  Alexa Still (Flute)
Conductor:  Donald Armstrong
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1978; USA 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Quirky and Strange Masterpiece. July 4, 2013 By Ray Allen (Brighton, Brighton) See All My Reviews "This is not the first recording of Frankie and Johnny but the best that I have in my collection. You will either like or hate this quirky confection of popular and modernist styles. The rest of the collection is equally entertaining in a more conventional way. Not to be missed by the adventurous collector." Report Abuse
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