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Orchestral Works

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Audio CD, July 16, 2002
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$5.18 $0.37

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Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Euterpe 9:05Album Only
listen  2. Angel of Death13:38Album Only
listen  3. Aphrodite28:14Album Only
listen  4. Melpomene14:38Album Only
listen  5. Thalia13:47Album Only

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Orchestral Works + Chadwick: Symphony No. 2 / Symphonic Sketches
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 16, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos American Classics
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • ASIN: B000069KFF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,003 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

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See all 6 customer reviews
Bravo, Nashville Symphony Orchestra!
Dienyih Chen
He has been overshadowed by the music of his near contemporary, Charles Ives.
Amazon Customer
Composer new to me and I truly enjoy the recording.
Carol Gonsalves

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD
As you can guess if you're not familiar with this valuable series from Naxos, the majority of the music recorded is not quite classic in status, but even if Naxos digs up forgotten music that cries out to be heard again, they're more than doing their job, as far as I'm concerned. With George Whitefiled Chadwick, we have a sadly underrated American composer who should be heard today. As Naxos'notes to the recording say, "Chadwick became the fist composer of concert music whose works often show the snap, the wit, the independence of the American." Look no further than the two finest pieces on the disc, Euterpe and and Thalia, for a confirmation of this assessment. My favorite of all is Euterpe, a tribute to the Greek muse of Music. Eurterpe is celebrated with the dance: despite more lyrical interpolations, Chadwick's tribute struts along with the bounce and vigor of a cakewalk. This is wonderfully American music indeed, definitely parting company with Chadwick's contemporaries who wrote transplanted Germanic music, such as McDowell and Horatio Parker and, early on at least, Griffes.
Thalia is the muse of Comedy, and Chadwick creates another bouncy portrait, a scherzo of Mendelsohnian lightness and charm, though it doesn't sound like Mendelssohn, except maybe Mendelssohn filtered through the music of Sir Arthur Sullivan. Chadwick, after all, did not composer in a vacuum. In the more serious Angel of Death and Melpomene (muse of Tragedy), Chadwick sometimes sounds like Franck or, especially in Angel of Death, like Richard Strauss. In fact, the senario of Chadwick's work is very much like that of Death and Transfiguration, though Chadwick's work is not quite as heaven storming, mostly to its benefit, I think.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Many American music lovers remain unfamiliar with the music our country has produced. An excellent way of exploring American music is through the budget-priced Naxos series of American classics. Through this series, I have got to know better the music of Charles Ives, George Rochberg, Alan Hovahness, Samuel Barber, among many others.

This Naxos CD features orchestral music by George Whitefield Chadwick (1854 -- 1931), an American composer who deserves to be remembered. He has been overshadowed by the music of his near contemporary, Charles Ives.

Chadwick was born in Lowell, Massachusetts and pursued a musical career despite strong opposition from his father. After studying in Europe, he modernized the New England Conservatory while serving as its director from 1897 --1930 and teaching a rising generation of American composers.

Chadwick composed orchestral, chamber, and piano music, some of which is available on CD. This Naxos CD features five programmatic orchestral works in an outstanding performance by the Nashville Symphony conducted by the late Kenneth Schermerhorn. It is an excellent way to begin with Chadwick.

I was most impressed with the lightness of these pieces, with Chadwick's use of orchestral texture and color, and with his use of solo instruments, particularly the clarinet, violin, flute, and percussion. Wagner and Richard Strauss were obvious influences on Chadwick, but I hear a great deal of Mendelssohn as well. These pieces move with grace and show a good deal of American character.

Of the five works on this CD, three have titles and themes based upon the Greek muses. The opening piece, "Euterpe" celebrates the muse of music and is my favorite of this collection.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ray K. Sibul on May 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Here are some intensely melodious, colorfully rich tone poems and overtures by the rather neglected American composer George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931), whose varied, imaginative musical output is absolutely worthy of more attention today. Shadows of influence by the two Richards (Wagner and Strauss) seem occasionally to peek through Chadwick's orchestral music. But this is really a benefit, I think, because Chadwick's work as a whole stands solidly grounded and connected to its own creative strength, originality, and idiom.
The EUTEREPE, MELPOMENE, and THALIA overtures; the ANGEL OF DEATH symphonic poem; and the long APHRODITE symphonic fantasy, are the orchestral works presented here.
Chadwick's music moves along tuneful lines that are often hauntingly beautiful, almost ballet-like in nature. In fact, APHRODITE is programmatic music, divided into various scenes like a ballet, where each scene contains a specific musical theme and mood. The composer in some scenes becomes a bit overly dramatic at times, very nearly bordering on the melodramatic. But this is impressionistic/neoromantic music, after all, which is prone to touches of wonderfully melodic and colorful excess.
The Nashville Symphony explores with enthusiasm and loving care the pleasing harmonic details and variances of color and mood underscoring each orchestral work on this CD. Indeed, Chadwick's music is well served by these enormously impressive and strong performances by the Nashville Symphony, which is firmly and most capably guided by Kenneth Schermerhorn.
My 5 stars on all counts go to this gem of a CD. A must-have on the NAXOS label! Now run and get it while still available at such a reasonable price from Amazon.
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