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Daugherty: Metropolis Symphony

Nashville Symphony , Giancarlo Guerrero , Terrence Wilson , Michael Daugherty , Daugherty , Guerrero Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Price: $10.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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MP3 Music, 8 Songs, 2009 $7.99  
Audio CD, 2009 $10.98  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Metropolis Symphony: I. LexMary Kathryn Van Osdale 9:59Album Only
listen  2. Metropolis Symphony: II. KryptonMary Kathryn Van Osdale 6:40$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Metropolis Symphony: III. MxyzptlkMary Kathryn Van Osdale 6:54$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Metropolis Symphony: IV. Oh, Lois!Mary Kathryn Van Osdale 4:57$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Metropolis Symphony: V. Red Cape TangoMary Kathryn Van Osdale13:31Album Only
listen  6. Deus ex Machina: I. Fast Forward (Di andata veloce)Terrence Wilson 7:24$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Deus ex Machina: II. Train of TearsTerrence Wilson14:16Album Only
listen  8. Deus ex Machina: III. Night SteamTerrence Wilson11:17Album Only

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Daugherty: Metropolis Symphony + "Daugherty: Fire & Blood - Motorcity Triptych; Raise the Roof" + Daugherty: Route 66; Ghost Ranch; Sunset Strip; Time Machine
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Nashville Symphony
  • Conductor: Guerrero
  • Composer: Daugherty
  • Audio CD (September 29, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B002JIBC80
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,669 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


2011 GRAMMY award winner: Best Orchestral Performance, Best Classical Composition & Best Engineered Classical Album --National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, February 2011

Product Description

Inspired by the fiftieth anniversary of
Superman's first appearance in the
comics, Metropolis Symphony has been
performed by orchestras all over the
world. Hailed by the London Times as a
'Symphonie Fantastique for our times,'
Metropolis Symphony is a musical
response to the myth of Superman,
expressing the energies, ambiguities,
paradoxes, and wit of American
popular culture. Deus ex Machina is a
piano concerto inspired by trains of the
future and past: Fast Forward
re-creates the machine-like rhythms of
modern trains admired by the Italian
futurists; Train of Tears recalls
Abraham Lincoln's funeral train; Night
Steam evokes O. Winston Link's
historic photographs of steam
locomotives rumbling and whistling
their way into extinction.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A home run for Nashville/Guerrero! September 30, 2009
Format:Audio CD
This disc is fantastic: 2 energetic pieces by a gifted American composer, performed by an excellent orchestra under an exciting new conductor. Sonically, the performances are beautifully captured, top to bottom, and the recording sounds great on 5-channel surround. The nuances the composer points out in the liner notes are easily heard in the mix, and the Nashville Symphony's sound is balanced and full. Just a beautiful recording, and an excellent addition to a growing and impressive catalog from Music City's excellent orchestra.

As for the pieces themselves, the Metropolis Symphony, though not program music, certainly evokes images of the mythology to which it pays tribute: sounds of a busy city, soaring melodic lines, bright horns, and robust orchestration. It is beautifully and ably written.

The piano concerto, Deus Ex Machina, is another brilliantly rendered composition--in response, in the composer's words, to the world of trains. The highlight here is part II: The Train of Tears, "music for a slow-moving funeral train"--specifically, the train that carried Abraham Lincoln's body from Washington, DC, to its final resting place in Illinois. The movement is dark, brooding, lonely, and fatalistic. Terrence Wilson (piano) plays very well throughout the whole emotional and stylistic range of the concerto.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IS IT A BIRD? IS IT A PLANE? IT'S MICHAEL DAUGHERTY! October 1, 2009
Format:Audio CD
For some reason, I mistakenly connected Michael Daugherty with the Bang On A Can crew. He is post-modern, though, in the sense of using materials from everywhere. From Wikipedia, the background details most revealing about his music was that he learned to play piano himself ("Alexander's Ragtime Band") via the family player-piano, that he wanted to become a composer after hearing a performance of Sam Barber's Piano Concerto, studied with Charles Wuorinen, and had a stint at IRCAM where he encountered Gerard Grisey and Frank Zappa.

Leonard Bernstein told him to combine American popular with concert music. He worked on his Yale dissertation about the connection between Mahler and Ives, and Emerson and Goethe. Well-rounded is what I'm aiming at, musically and otherwise. Clearly you'd want to be seated next to him at a dinner party. But how goes the music?

Wonderfully! This will be on my 2009 Best List. The slipcase cover of Metropolis Symphony loudly declares its intent and content: a red-caped Superman-like character in rapid flight over a metropolitan skyline. The composition is in five movements, they are non-programmatic, and each may be performed (or, at home, played) individually.

"Lexx" opens with a police whistle; right away there's trouble afoot. There's only the broadest minimalist reference of a broadly repeating phrase, and just for a minute or so.

"Krypton" opens with a police siren, then darkly ominous strings, very realistically captured fire bells, triangles and other percussive materials. Think: Appalachian Spring gone askew thanks to spiraling string glissandi and Mary Kathryn Van Osdale's violin, ending with a siren going off in homage to Varèse's Ionisation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent performance, likeing second work better February 2, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I am very pleased with the quality of the recording and especially the performance level the Nashville Symphony delivers. The Metropolis work is interesting - I'll have to live with it a while longer to decide but the Deus Ex Machina I am already quite drawn to. I find it superior to Metropolis and Bells for Stokowski. I do suggest hearing this album for that second work and to enjoy a thrilling performance from an American regional orchestra. Excellent job, Nashville!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High-octane Michael Daugherty October 26, 2009
Format:Audio CD
I continue to be blown away by Iowa-born composer Michael Daugherty. His music tells a uniquely American story and that appeals to me very much. Most recently it was a recording of his Fire and Blood, a muscular violin concerto inspired by Diego Rivera that grabbed my attention. This time it's the antic and frantic Metropolis Symphony, an orchestral extravaganza inspired by the 1938 debut of Superman in comic books. I love the very notion of a giant orchestral work inspired by American pop culture and can almost see the sneers of Euro-snobs and the pasty-faced, self-appointed American guardians of modern music.

Metropolis Symphony is in five movements, each one inspired by a Superman character or theme. Lex, the opening movement, is a deliriously diabolic romp for solo violin and percussion-laced orchestra that captures the manic evil of arch-baddie Lex Luthor. Here's the smack-mouth drive that made Fire and Blood so thrilling. The solo part is played with guts by the Nashville Symphony's Mary Kathryn Van Osdale. More subdued but equally evocative is Krypton, an eerie tone poem that opens with sirens, gongs and disturbing string glissandi. There's more terrifying solo fiddling, snippets of what sounds like "Silent Night" and an apocalyptic finale that gives the Rite of Spring a run for its money. MXYZPTLK, the nasty imp from the fifth dimension, is a mercurial scherzo-like third movement that showcases the orchestra's flute section. The fourth movement entitled Oh Lois! evokes the comic's heroine alongside Clark Kent. Here's another wildfire rave-up with a tempo marked "faster than a speeding bullet" that plays out as a delicious example of orchestral slapstick.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative
Innovative classical album. Maybe not for everyone but definately for me, a solid five stars.
Published 12 days ago by Katherine Endicott
5.0 out of 5 stars Create a movie in your mind
Really evocative music--makes you create a movie in your mind as you listen.
Published 25 days ago by J. Burke
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting music; excellent recorded sound!
Naxos specializes in the less often recorded repertory. Naxos produces some of the BEST recordings available. Would recommend to anyone!
Published 18 months ago by Leslie W. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars The Enduring Appeal of Superman
What makes this symphony so unique is that it wasn't written for any Superman movie or tv show, it sprang from one man's love for the Man of Steel. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Autumn M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Metropolis
Driving along listening to NPR and this gorgeous music came forth. What is that? Have only heard it once sitting quietly and will do again post haste. Read more
Published on June 3, 2011 by Oren Hays
2.0 out of 5 stars MELODY ANYONE?
I bought this after listening to a review on NPR about it's Grammy nomination.

Oh well - so much for the Grammys.
Published on April 8, 2011 by Gary A. Waugh
5.0 out of 5 stars Metropolis Symphony
This is a lot of fun. If you like modern composers such as John Adams (Short Ride in a fast machine) and Jennifer Higdon (Blue Cathedral & Concerto for Orchestra), You'll like... Read more
Published on January 12, 2011 by Stephen L. Wright
2.0 out of 5 stars My last hope failed
Miserably failed... I expected to hear a great American composer of the new generation. Instead, all what we have there is an aptly compiled set of percussion tricks with some... Read more
Published on December 29, 2010 by Alexei Kireyev
4.0 out of 5 stars Mythic music with bells and whistles
All I knew of the Metropolis Symphony by Michael Daugherty was that it was written in 1988 as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Superman's first appearance in comics. Read more
Published on October 30, 2009 by Dean Frey
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERMAN Returns!
I heard a guy call Spanish gibberish because he couldn't speak it. So much for the rewards of reading "100 Years of Solitude" in the original tongue. Read more
Published on October 24, 2009 by Tym S.
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