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Paine: Symphony No. 1 / Shakespeare's Tempest / As You Like It Overture

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 ratings

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Audio CD, September 24, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

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John Knowles Paine was one of the 'Boston Six', a group of important American composers active in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. His German training equipped him with considerable formal skill and he soon rose to become a pioneer of the symphonic tradition in America. Paine's Symphony No. 1 received a tremendous reception at its premiere on account of its attractive themes, skillful orchestration and accomplished design. The Overture As You Like It is notable for its graceful and tuneful themes, whereas Shakespeare's Tempest is a more adventurous and powerful Lisztian tone poem.

Review

Authorities like Virgil Thomson and Leonard Bernstein wrote off American music before World War I as a period of adolescence, mostly because of the heavy stamp of mainstream German pedagogy and influence in works by figures like John Knowles Paine, who organized the composition program at Harvard University during the late 19th century. Yes, Paine's "As You Like It" overture and symphonic poem "The Tempest" resonate with Mendelssohn and Liszt; yes, his Symphony No. 1 echoes Beethoven--but all are persuasively crafted, making these regal, beautifully played and recorded accounts impossible to dismiss. --Steve Smith, New York Times Artsbeat

JoAnn Faletta and the Ulster Orchestra of Northern Ireland capture the rugged spirit of 19th-century Boston composer John Knowles Paine in this collection. The Overture to As You Like It sounds like it could have come from the pen of Franz Schubert, albeit with some Wagnerian harmonic twists for good measure. The six-movement suite The Tempest is a more assertive and dramatic work altogether, with big, brassy gestures and turbulent strings (an interesting contrast to Sibelius's more atmospheric take). The Symphony No. 1 in C minor is well-crafted, if somewhat conservative in style, reminiscent at times of Brahms in his stormy mode. A worthwhile compliment to the more familiar Shakespearean tone poems of Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and others. --WQXR Radio, April 2014


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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
12 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on July 14, 2014
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Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2014
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giovanni tosatti
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 2, 2016
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MR R F HOWARTH
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 24, 2015
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thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine recording by the Ulster Orchestra
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 27, 2013
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Werlings
5.0 out of 5 stars Naissance d'une nation... musicale
Reviewed in France on November 14, 2015
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