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Thomson: Louisiana Story, Etc / Corp, New London Orchestra


Release Date: 09/14/2004 
Label:  Helios   Catalog #: 55169   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Virgil Thomson
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Virgil Thomson gained a Pulitzer Prize for his score for Robert Flaherty's film, Louisiana Story (1948), for which he wrote an hour's music. When he extracted a suite and the Arcadian Songs and Dances from the score, these two works became his most frequently performed compositions. But the film score missed getting an Oscar because the soundtrack had not been souped up in Hollywood style with the first violins sweetly prominent! Thomson, in his autobiography, refers to three kinds of music in Louisiana Story—folk music, scenery music and noise music. He represented the Cajun people of the Acadia region with their own waltzes, square dances and popular songs. The same mix, in fact, as his earlier film scores where he set a pattern for a Read more populist American musical language amd showed an ability to harness musical commonplace. His approach is plain speaking with no pretensions. It works, even though some of the numbers feel a bit high and dry with nothing to look at.

Power Among Men (1958) shows little further development, at least in the set of fugues and cantilenas Thomson extracted from the film score. This seems to be the first recording. The New London Orchestra is adequate without being particularly convincing in this repertoire. Some solo entries are rough at times and the harp tuning at the end of track 7 is distinctly off. For The Plow 1 prefer the style and vigour of the Philharmonia Virtuosi under Richard Kapp, where the score is given complete for the first time (see above) but Louisiana Story is otherwise a gap in the catalogue and Thomson's contribution is part of the history of film music at a time when concert composers were more involved than they are now.

-- Gramophone [8/1992]
reviewing the original release of this title, Hyperion 66576
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Works on This Recording

1.
Louisiana Story: Suite by Virgil Thomson
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; USA 
Length: 20 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Notes: 10/04/1991 - 10/05/1991 
2.
The Plow that Broke the Plains: Suite by Virgil Thomson
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; France 
Length: 16 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Notes: 10/04/1991 - 10/05/1991 
3.
Louisiana Story: Acadian Songs and Dances by Virgil Thomson
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; USA 
Length: 14 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Notes: 10/04/1991 - 10/05/1991 
4.
Power Among Men: Fugues and Cantilenas by Virgil Thomson
Conductor:  Ronald Corp
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New London Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; USA 
Length: 16 Minutes 4 Secs. 
Notes: 10/04/1991 - 10/05/1991 

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