Related Links

Recommended Links

Give the Composers Timeline Poster



Site News

What's New for
November 2014?

Site Search

Follow us on
Facebook    Twitter

Affiliates

In association with
Amazon
Amazon UKAmazon GermanyAmazon CanadaAmazon FranceAmazon Japan

ArkivMusic
CD Universe

HBDirect

JPC

ArkivMusic

Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

The Classical Explorer

Recently in
   Symphonic Poems

Inspired by Homer

|
Hyperion CDA67766

Lodewijk Mortelmans
(1868-1952)

Homeric Symphony (1898)
Morning Mood (1922)
Myth of Spring (1895)

Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins
Hyperion CDA67766 66:46

The Flemish composer Mortelmans was better known during his lifetime for his songs and piano music. The symphony, which runs about 43 minutes, is in the usual four movements and is inspired by The Iliad and The Odyssey. While Wagner's influence is clearly discernible in some of the orchestration, it is not excessive. The other two pieces are tone poems whose titles accurately tell the listener what to expect.

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

Good Symphonic Fun

|
CPO 999706

George Antheil
(1900-1959)

Symphony #4 "1942" (1942-43)
Decatur at Algiers (1943)
Symphony #5 "Joyous" (1947-48)

Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra/Hugh Wolff
CPO 999706-2 63:03

American George Antheil is best known, or perhaps notorious, for his early Ballet mécanique, written before a radical change of style. This CD is part of a series containing all six symphonies and various short orchestral pieces.

The brief Decatur at Algiers is a hommage to the naval hero. The fourth symphony, very much a war symphony, is clearly influenced by Shostakovich, while the fifth owes a great deal to Prokofiev although its beautiful slow movement has an unmistakable dash of Copland.

Read the Classical Net Review

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

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

Neo-Classical Italian

|
CPO 777265

Alfredo Casella
(1883-1947)

Symphony #3, Op. 63 (1939-40)
Italia-Rhapsody for Large Orchestra, Op. 11 (1909)

WDR Symphony Orchestra, Köln/Alun Francis
CPO 777265 66:28

Casella's third symphony shows a number of influences, not least of them Mahler and Soviet composers of the time. Part of the last movement sounds remarkably like Piston's 6th symphony, but was written about fifteen years earlier – at least it's a point of comparison. Italia is, as you might think, a much more lighthearted affair, and contains some of the expected themes.

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

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

An Englishman in Florida

|
Naxos 8.553535

Frederick Delius
(1862-1934)

Florida Suite (1887-89)
Over the Hills and Far Away (1895-7)
Idylle de Printemps (1889)
La Quadroöne (1889)
Scherzo (1890)
Final Scene from Koanga (1895-7) 1

1 Susannah Glanville, Susan Lees & Irene Evans, sopranos
1 Sandra Francis, Sue Pearce & Shirley Thomas, mezzo-sopranos
English Northern Philarmonia/David Lloyd-Jones
Naxos 8.553535 79:05

The first two works on this CD are well enough known but these may well be the only recordings of most of the others. The Florida Suite was inspired by Delius' experience with an orange plantation. None of the latter works runs more than about ten minutes but all are worth hearing, especially on a budget-priced and well-filled CD.

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

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

Lady Godiva and the Nymphs

|
Chandos CHAN9821

Vítězslav Novák
(1870-1949)

Lady Godiva, Overture, Op. 41 (1907)
Toman and the Wood Nymph, Op. 40 (1906-7)
De Profundis, Op. 67 (1941)

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Libor PeŇ°ek
Chandos CHAN9821 66:22

Novák is one of the less well-known Czech composers and his reputation rests largely on symphonic poems, orchestral suites and a handful of chamber music. This CD offers an overture and two symphonic poems which are infrequently recorded. The music is powerful and dramatic, and will appeal to anyone who likes Richard Strauss' symphonic poems or Gustav Mahler's symphonies.

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

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

Self-Taught Dutch Symphonist

|
Chandos CHAN9884

Cornelis Dopper
(1870-1939)

Symphony #2 in B Minor (1903)
Päân I
Päân II

Residentie Orchestra, The Hague/Matthias Bamert
Chandos CHAN9884 65:08

The Dutch composer Dopper wrote seven symphonies, some of which lack recordings. This CD is part of a short series on Chandos devoted to Dutch composers, and includes symphonies by Hol and Vermoolen. The second symphony has strong similarities to Brahms and also to Stanford; its second movement has more than a touch of Irishness about it.

The two paeans, written during World War I, are variously heroic and serious. Dopper's third and sixth symphonies are on Chandos CHAN9923, and his seventh on NM Classics NM92060.

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

Italian Metamorphosis

|
Chandos CHAN8405

Ottorino Respighi
(1879-1936)

Ballet Suite "Belkis, Queen of Sheba", P. 177 (1934)
Metamorphoseon, P. 169 (1930)

Philharmonia Orchestra/Geoffrey Simon
Chandos CHAN8405 48:05

Some of the ballet suite sounds appropriate to a 1950s Biblical movie, while Metamorphoseon, a theme and variations, has a very similar mood to the composer's Church Windows. Both works are lushly orchestrated and appropriate for when you feel like something that's a bit over the top: certainly, the music will give your speakers a workout!

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

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

Colorful Harmonic Language

|
Timpani 1C1135

Philippe Gaubert
(1879-1941)

Symphony in F Major (1935-6)
Les chants de la mer (1929)
Concerto in F Major (1932)

Luxembourg Phiharmonic Orchestra/Marc Soustrot
Timpani 1C1135 70:16

Yet another minor French composer emerges from the orchestral mist. The symphony begins much like Magnard's 3rd but generally other models emerge, the orchestration reminiscent of Dukas' symphony but especially Debussy. The Luxembourg orchestra acquits itself very well and presents unfamiliar music in the best light.

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

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

Influenced by Stravinsky and Bartók

|
Ondine ODE961-2

Einar Englund
(1918-1999)

Symphony #4 "Nostalgic" for Strings & Percussion (1976)
Symphony #5 "Fennica" (1977)
The Great Wall of China (1949)

Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra/Eri Klas
Ondine ODE961-2 64:31

All of the Finnish composer Englund's seven symphonies have been recorded. The two presented here show distant traces of Sibelius but more noticeably of Shostakovich. The Great Wall of China is a less dramatic work and even offers some touches of Bernstein.

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

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

American Tone Poems

|
Bridge 9190

Louis Coerne
(1870-1922)

Excalibur, Op. 80 (1921)

Edward Burlingame Hill
(1872-1960)

Stevensoniana Suite #1, Op. 24 (1916-17)

Horatio Parker
(1863-1919)

A Northern Ballad, Op. 46 (1899)

John Alden Carpenter
(1876-1951)

Sea Drift (1933-42)

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Karl Krueger
Bridge 9190 65:48

The four composers represented on this disc range from slightly known to obscure. As might be expected, the music shows the influences of various European composers of the late nineteenth century, and is none the worse for that. If these appeal, Bridge has released more from Krueger's recordings of music mainly by more familiar American composers such as MacDowell and Hadley.

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