Sony Classical is pleased to announce another ten releases in its increasingly comprehensive series of Classical Masters. These new budget-priced releases contain classic recordings, many of them newly remastered, by some of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. During his long music directorships of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra – America’s second-oldest, founded in 1880 – and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C., conductor Leonard Slatkin brought these ensembles regularly into the recording studio to perform a wide swath of American repertoire – major works by composers including Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, Walter Piston, Leonard Bernstein, William Schuman and John Corigliano, as well as more popular fare by John Philip Sousa, Virgil Thomson, Victor Herbert, Ferde Grofé, Leroy Anderson and Morton Gould, plus the national anthem and Battle Hymn of the Republic. Those recordings, acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, have now been collected in a one extensive release.
Review excerpts of some of the previously released recordings in thi set:
Copland: Dance Symphony, Short Symphony, Piano Variations
This is Copland outreaching himself, theoretical ingenuity allied to vision, and like this sharp, smart, punchy performance, the overriding impression is of evolution — onwards and upwards. (Piano Variations)
Corigliano: Concerto For Piano, Etc
Slatkin draws outstanding playing from the St Louis orchestra, and pianist Barry Douglas proves a powerful advocate for the concerto, using a daringly wide dynamic range and tonal palate.
Piston: Symphony No 6, The Incredible Flutist, Etc
There's marvellously keen articulation from his strings, and to say that his percussion are quick-witted is almost to spoil the fun of the last few bars. Solo cello and oboe lead the quest of the slow movement—sad yet determined music through which Slatkin communicates a fierce intensity; the finale is essentially a lap of honour for the entire orchestra—well earned on this occasion.