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Tower: Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman


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Audio CD, September 21, 1999
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$63.78 $22.42

Editorial Reviews

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The title of this extraordinary collection of orchestral gems suggests both parody of and homage to Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. But Joan Tower, as always, has her own artistic vision and nothing here is either a parody of or homage to anyone. There are five Fanfares and a tasty Duet for Orchestra. The main work here is a Concerto for Orchestra (1991), a dazzling exhibition of energetic exchanges between various orchestral groups that seems designed, like Paul Hindemith's Concerto for Orchestra (but not Bartók's), for smaller forces. This way the instrumental pairings stand out. But give credit here to Marin Alsop, the conductor, and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra for making these works both lucid and vibrant. This disc clearly belongs in any collection of late-20th-century music. --Paul Cook

1. Fanfare No. 1 For The Uncommon Woman
2. Concerto for Orchestra
3. Fanfare No. 5 For The Uncommon Woman
4. Fanfare No. 2 For The Uncommon Woman
5. Fanfare No. 4 For The Uncommon Woman
6. Duets for Orchestra
7. Fanfare No. 3 For The Uncommon Woman

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Colorado Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Marin Alsop
  • Composer: Joan Tower
  • Audio CD (September 21, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Koch Int'l Classics
  • ASIN: B00000JIND
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,992 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Customer Bob on July 5, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have no criticisms to make about Joan Tower's music; it is energetic, superbly written, excelling in every way. But I'm taking one star off my review because Koch International Classics managed to mismatch the actual track order on the CD and the track listing on the CD cover. On the recording itself, Tower's "Fanfare No. 5 for the Uncommon Woman" is track 4, and her "Fanfare No. 2 for the Uncommon Woman" is track 3 -- the exact reverse of how they are listed in the booklet and on the back of the CD cover. That is really a major slip-up in the CD's production, and potentially very confusing to a listener. Both works are fanfares, about 3 minutes in length, and it's not immediately evident (unless one knows these works well) that the tracks are in the wrong order. For such a major composer, and such iconic works, someone should've fixed it before it went into production.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Leo Warren on November 1, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Joan Tower's music has passion, personality and energy to spare. This album is a fine showcase of her music for orchestra, and though not easy listening, it's certainly among the most approachable and involving serious music of recent decades.
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1 of 41 people found the following review helpful By scarecrow VINE VOICE on March 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I would think those who proclaim the paradigm of feminism would want to chart a territory strickly their own rather than coming to terms with a man's macho world within establishment venues and repertoire;a world of testasterone filled expressions past down through chauvinistic HIS story. Tower with all these numerous "Fanfares" likes to Bop us with her ruler,like Sister Mary Mary(my grade school teacher) over the the head with her presence,and spirit. The Musical Sisterhood is hear to stay,with national organizations to boot; forget macho head games of high modernity dodecaphonic music or worse yet the meta-EGO of Stockhausen's clones and their lot. The reference is obvious to Copland's celebrated "Fanfare for the Common Man" a work for brass and percussion proclaiming in a very small way the Democracies of the West with the fall of tyrannies first Fascism then Soviet Communism, (where is the common man today with corrupt Enron tyrannies stealing pension funds)
Tower's exergue(orientation) here is a bit overextended I think, she should pursue her own musical language not simply "tail-end" the man's repertoire,her early works had dabbled in 12 Tone language in a modest way, it was like a language she didn't feel comfortable in. She feels comfortable in the comfortable with a Eastern Establishment lyricism a la Thompson,Rorem,Schuman,Hansonpouring her spirit tried and tested traditional forms.I though feminism is about innovation and challenge? but the Concerto features moments of brilliant orchestrations,yet not quite original nor innovative enough to sustain interest past one-single hearing.
And Why numerous"Fanfares" isn't one enough?
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