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Sessions: Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, & 3

Roger Sessions , Japan Philharmonic Orchestra , New York Philharmonic Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2007 $8.99  
Audio CD, 1991 --  

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Sessions: Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, & 3 + Works by Copland, Sessions, Perle, Rands
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic
  • Composer: Roger Sessions
  • Audio CD (October 3, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Composers Recordings Inc.
  • ASIN: B000005TU1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,012 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphony No. 1: I. Giusto
2. Symphony No. 1: II. Largo
3. Symphony No. 1: III. Allegro vivace
4. Symphony No. 2: I. Molto agitato--Traquillo e misterioso
5. Symphony No. 2: II. Allegretto capriccioso
6. Symphony No. 2: III. Adagio tranqullo ed espressivo
7. Symphony No. 2: IV. Allegramente
8. Symphony No. 3: I. Allegro grazioso e con fuoco
9. Symphony No. 3: II. Allegro, un poco ruvido
10. Symphony No. 3: III. Andante sostenuto e con affetto
11. Symphony No. 3: IV. Allegro con fuoco

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good music.....bad recordings February 16, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This is the only recording of Sessions' first and third symphonies. The recording of Symphony No. 1 is not very good, which is a shame considering that it is one of Sessions most interesting pieces. The group sounds sloppy at times, and the sound (especially noticeable in the brass) comes off very harsh and edgy. The editing is pretty shoddy as well. Even somebody who didn't know anything about music would be able to hear several places in the third movement where sections have been cut and pasted together. The most unforgivable editing mistake is in the second movement. It is a largo movement that starts off with a typical Sessions long phrase that gets passed around between violin and viola. Unfortunatly....the editor decided it would be ok to use a take that didn't have the last note of the melodic line in the viola! The whole phrase has been building for 26 measures to that one not have it there is a real letdown.

Symphony No. 2 is my favorite Sessions symphony and the recording on this CD is alright. The orchestra plays well, but the sound is not very good because of the age of the recording. This hurts because harmonic texture is something very important to Sessions' music, and you lose a lot of that on this old New York Phil recording. A key example of this is the beginning of the finale where Sessions writes a facinating multilayered texture that sounds like a giant blob of sound. A better one to have would be Blomstedt and San Francisco....if you can find it.

The recording of Symphony No. 3 is the best one on the disc. It's not his best symphony but I like it. This piece shows Sessions in his mature style.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Recording of Sessions Symphonies April 26, 1999
Format:Audio CD
I have always loved Sessions' music and this CD has first recordings of these works. In the First, the Japan Philharmonic fit themselves well, but the sound is not so hot. (How about it, Neeme Jarvi/Detroit Symphony?) Mitropoulos' 2nd has a certain authority about it, but the sound here is tinny also. It is easier to hear the Blomstedt recording of this, which also has a wonderful performance of it on a London CD. This is well worth hearing though. The price of the CD, however is worth it for the 3rd. Buketoff was a staunch champion of unknown 20th century works. This recording came out in 1968 and on CD it still sounds very good. We do need more modern recordings of these works, but this will fill the bill in the meantime. Sessions deserves all of his works recorded in good quality digital sound.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sessions and his Art December 22, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
My first introduction to Roger Sessions' music was his First Symphony on this recording. I found it while browsing around in the library. The first movement was a mind-blower. Instantly accessible, great rhythms, and good and loud. I wondered what other wonders were on this CD. Well, my first impression was that it was akin to white noise. I love Lutoslawski and Penderecki and it seemed to be noise. However, I gave it a second shot, and a third, and so on and the OTHER wonders of his music became apparent. Get this CD, give it a chance, and it'll grow on you. I have most of his symphonies and have several other pieces and I'm going to get more soon.
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