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The Classical Explorer

Composer of the Great Plains

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Naxos 8.559225

George Frederick McKay
(1899-1970)

Violin Concerto (1940) 26:01
Sinfonietta #4 (1942) 17:46
Song Over The Great Plains (1953) 13:59
Suite on Sixteenth Century Hymn Tunes (1962) 20:32

Brian Reagin, Violin
National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/John McLaughlin Williams
Naxos 8.559225

In a non-pejorative sense, the movie music we associate with "cowboy," travel and nature films of Western America owe much to this composer. His expansive style and evocative musical picture-painting can be heard most clearly in the "Song Over The Great Plains", an orchestral piece with solo piano commissioned by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Although McKay wrote programs to accompany some of his music, and noted that the song of a meadow-lark inspired this particular piece, the music can be enjoyed fully even without explanations.

Naxos has released three other CDs of the music of McKay in their American Classics series: 8.559143, 8.559052, 8.559330. All are well worth exploring.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]

[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - Musicnotes.com ]
Trumpet