Notes and Editorial Reviews
Morton Gould was an American musical phenomenon, equally at home in classical, crossover and film genres, and the recipient of both GRAMMY and Pulitzer awards during his long and distinguished career. The Symphonettes represent Gould’s best crossover work – the Symphonette No. 4 deriving its character from Latin-American dance forms to make it one of his most popular compositions. The first movement of Symphonette No. 3 has been described as “a collection of dance band licks, full of bent notes and syncopations” and the central Pavanne of Symphonette No. 2 with its bluesy trumpet motif is one of Gould’s biggest hits. Spirituals for Orchestra utilizes the strings as a choir, with antiphonal responses in the rest of the orchestra. Arthur Fagen has conducted at the world’s most prestigious opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera and Vienna State Opera, and has led acclaimed orchestras such as the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie. He has recently conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia. He regularly records for Naxos, with releases including a cycle of the Martinu? Symphonies (8.553348, 8.553349, 8.553350), and a recording of Martinu?’s Piano Concertos Nos. 3 and 5 with Giorgio Koukl (8.572206), which was selected as an ‘Editor’s Choice’ by Gramophone.
The attractive and inventive light orchestral music of Morton Gould is still delightful when listened to in the right mood — and particularly when delivered with the panache to be found on this disc. The Symphonettes represent Gould’s best crossover work — the Symphonette No. 4 deriving its character from Latin-American dance forms to make it one of his most popular compositions.
– Classical CD Choice (Barry Forshaw)
The multi-functional ORF Vienna Radio Symphony, with conductor Arthur Fagen, play in an American style ‘to the manner born’, the orchestra’s trumpets enjoying the Symphonetts, sound suitably jazzy in the Second. You will have to play the disc at a high volume level to breath life into it. Most strongly recommended.
– David's Review Corner (David Denton)