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Ives / Brant: Concord Symphony / Copland: Organ Symphony Hybrid SACD - DSD

10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, February 8, 2011
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$20.93 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Ives / Brant: Concord Symphony / Copland: Organ Symphony + American Mavericks + Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 / Piano Concerto No. 4
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Editorial Reviews

From the creative minds of two men, an orchestral masterpiece emerges. The Concord Sonata for Piano was vintage Ives…colorful, inventive, advanced, and ultimately highly regarded. Henry Brant took the sonata, with its themes of transcendentalism, and created the fully orchestrated Symphony. Aaron Copland's Organ Symphony announced the arrival of a new master. Here the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas are joined by organist Paul Jacobs.

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Product Details

  • Performer: Paul Jacobs
  • Orchestra: San Francisco Symphony
  • Conductor: Michael Tilson Thomas
  • Composer: Charles Ives/Henry Brant, Aaron Copland
  • Audio CD (February 8, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD
  • Label: San Francisco Sym
  • ASIN: B004HARLEC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,032 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By dysfunctional-harmony on March 27, 2011
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
What IS wonderful about this is how it brings out everything in this piece, from the extreme beauty that Ives could evoke, to profound disillusionment at points. The orchestration may be nothing like Ives, but the fact is that Ives' orchestration is IVES' orchestration, unique to that composer's voice, and impossible to replicate at will. The playing is impeccable, and it is really a matter of opinion whether you consider this or Dennis Russell Davies' version definitive. It is a little faster paced in spots, and a little more clean, but the Davies version is interpreted differently. As for the Copland Organ Symphony, there is no doubt about it. This is amazing music, and everybody who has any interest in American music deserves to hear it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Vikram Ramanathan VINE VOICE on December 24, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Piano Sonata No. 2, Concord Sonata was sketched as early as 1904. Ives extensively worked on it from 1916 to 1919. He first published it in 1920. A final revision was made in 1947. It was transcribed for orchestra by Canadian composer Henry Brant between 1958 to 1994 and retitled 'Concord Symphony'. The movements are: 1."Emerson" (after Ralph Waldo Emerson) 2."Hawthorne" (after Nathaniel Hawthorne) 3."The Alcotts" (after Bronson Alcott and Louisa May Alcott) 4."Thoreau" (after Henry David Thoreau). The four movements represent figures associated with transcendentalism, a philosophical movement that developed in the 1830s and 1840s in the New England region of the United States. Henry Brant's orchestration has a lot of color; Varying in mood, ever changing in tempo and musical density; the musical landscape is forever changing and shifting. It feels less like a symphony and more like 4 mood poems. The 'Hawthorne' movement is instantly enjoyable on first hearing since it is a lot more accessible and 'happening' for the new listener. If you will listen to the sonata in piano form, the essence of the music is clearly distilled. When we listen to the transcription for orchestra (aka this symphony), it sounds more complex than it actually sounds on the piano.

Copland's organ symphony, the other composition on this CD starts with mysterious organ phrase accompanied by strings and flutes. Scherzo opens with woodwinds and then grows agitated in the strings with the same repeating pulsating theme. This then translates into a pounding percussion heavy rhythmic pulsation in the whole orchestra transitioning into an answer to the original theme bringing the musical conversation to a logical end.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kirk McElhearn VINE VOICE on September 28, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I have a particular affinity for this work - the piano sonata version - being especially interested in the writers that Ives puts into music, and having some 15 recordings of the work. Performers of the sonata can approach it in many ways, choosing to highlight the tempestuousness of certain parts of the work (notably in the Emerson movement), focusing on the rhythmical aspects of the composition, or choosing tempi that are either very fast or much slower. (The recordings I have range from a speedy 38 minutes to a leisurely 62 minutes, with an average in the 45-50 minute range, or about the same tempo as this current recording.)

When unleashed for orchestra, the Concord Sonata (or Symphony) takes on a new life. These are more accurately two completely different works rather one being simply a transcription of the other. Michael Tilson Thomas has developed a "sound" with his San Francisco Symphony orchestra, a group of musicians he has been working with regularly for more than 15 years, and with whom he has performed many 20th century works. There is a certain naturalness in this recording, as though the orchestra is in its milieu, and a balance among the instruments that sounds nearly ideal. When the orchestra lets loose in the middle of the Hawthorne section - with blaring horns, punctuated by soft strings, then back to a cacophony of horns, then a marching band imploding - I just want to turn the volume up and be overwhelmed by the waves of sound.

The sound quality of this disc is excellent. The orchestra is spacious, and the full palette of instruments can be heard well no matter what the volume; as this work has a very wide range of volume, this is essential.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ron Santora on July 18, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Once again the San Francisco under Tilson-Thomas hits the nail on the head. And as for the recording itself, it is even better than the Mahler cycle of a few years ago. Every record label could learn how to make a recording from the folks who bring us these absolutely superb SACD multichannel discs. I can't praise the art of the recording enough. And because these are difficult works to grasp, having the ability to hear them as briliantly as these are recorded really helps with the understanding of the works and the enjoyment you get when you listen.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Corno di Bass Trombono on July 3, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Of the two recordings of the Concord Sonata (Piano Sonata 2 orchestrated) this is now the preferred performance and recording. It is also coupled with Copland's rarely heard Organ Symphony. Yes, the orchestration does soften the dissonance of Ives' creation somewhat, but in defense it certainly allows one to hear the music from a new perspective.
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Ives / Brant: Concord Symphony / Copland: Organ Symphony
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