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Ives: Holidays Symphony / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra


Release Date: 05/08/2009 
Label:  Rca   Catalog #: 38202  
Composer:  Charles Ives
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia OrchestraTemple University Concert Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This disc represented a major contribution to the Ives discography when it first came out back in the 1970s, and its qualities haven't diminished at all in the decades since.

Eugene Ormandy was a surprisingly dedicated Ives conductor, at least on disc, and a very good one too. This version of Three Places in New England was, if memory serves, the first of Ives' original scoring for full orchestra, and it's quite fine. As to be expected, the Philly players sound terrific, and Ormandy seems to be enjoying himself (he was never noted for his sense of humor). The performance of the Holidays Symphony also stands with the very best; for many years this was the only way to get all four tone poems on disc, with Thanksgiving
Read more and Forefather's Day being a particular novelty. The sound is gratifyingly clear and clean for an RCA/Philadelphia production, save for some slight congestion at the entry of the chorus in Thanksgiving. Part of the Japanese RCA Ormandy edition, and now available on demand from Arkivmusic.com, this disc represented a major contribution to the Ives discography when it first came out back in the 1970s, and its qualities haven't diminished at all in the decades since.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

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Immensely powerful, and stunning in its intensity.

Until recently, I didn't know that Ormandy had recorded the Holidays Symphony. My reaction when I first heard the LP: "Wow! What a wonderful record!" It may lack some of Michael Tilson Thomas's mystery and subtlety, but Ormandy makes up for those shortcomings with a virtuosic sense of Ivesian exuberance and vitality. And the Phildelphia Orchestra sounds glorious. Ormandy and the Philadelphians sound a bit more traditional than Tilson Thomas, and some of the dissonant elements that MTT features are left in background. But Ormandy's reading of the Holidays is very similar to his recordings of Three Places in New England. None represents the ultimate in subtlety, but they are very dramatic, stirring, and convincing. For example, "Decoration Day" is beautifully drawn. It's tender and elegiac as the people remember the veterans, and then explosive and raucous as the townspeople march back to town. But the high point of the recording is the final movement, "Thanksgiving and Forefathers' Day." It's immensely powerful, and stunning in its intensity. When the chorus enters near the climax of the work, they match the orchestra's ecstatic exultation. Tremendous!

-- Scott Mortensen, MusicWeb International

*** This title is a reissue of a Japanese release with liner notes in Japanese. ***
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Works on This Recording

1. Holidays by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Temple University Concert Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904-1913; USA 
Date of Recording: 10/07/1974 
Venue:  Scottish Rite Cathedral, Philadelphia 
Length: 40 Minutes 18 Secs. 
2. First Orchestral Set "Three Places in New England" by Charles Ives
Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1912-1921; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/1975 
Venue:  Scottish Rite Cathedral, Philadelphia 
Length: 18 Minutes 39 Secs. 

Featured Sound Samples

Holidays: I. Washington's Birthday
Three Places in New England: I. The "St. Gaudens" in Boston Common

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