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Svoboda: Orchestral Works- Overture of the Season / Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra / Symphony No. 1 (of Nature)

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 26, 2003
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Overture of the Season, for orchestra, Op. 89
  2. Concerto for marimba & orchestra, Op. 148: Con moto
  3. Concerto for marimba & orchestra, Op. 148: Adagio
  4. Concerto for marimba & orchestra, Op. 148: Vivace
  5. Symphony No. 1 (of Nature), Op. 20: Moderato
  6. Symphony No. 1 (of Nature), Op. 20: Presto
  7. Symphony No. 1 (of Nature), Op. 20: Andante
  8. Symphony No. 1 (of Nature), Op. 20: Allegro - Moderato


Product Details

  • Performer: Niel DéPonte
  • Orchestra: Oregon Symphony
  • Conductor: James DePreist
  • Composer: Tomas Svoboda
  • Audio CD (August 26, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Albany Records
  • ASIN: B0000AQS7U
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334,405 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 5, 2003
One of the joys of reviewing lots of classical CDs is the discovery of excellent music by composers one never heard of. That's the case here. Tomas Svoboda (b. 1939) was born in Paris of Czech parents, spent his early childhood in Boston, but returned to Czechoslovakia with his parents after the War and was admitted to the Prague Conservatory in 1954. He returned to the US in 1964, studied with Halsey Stevens and Ingolf Dahl at USC and for many years has been professor of composition at the Portland State University, retiring in the late 1990s. It is fitting that this program of his orchestral music is played by the Oregon Symphony under its long-time conductor, James DePreist. And brilliantly played it is.
All of the music here is immediately attractive, written in a kind of tonal neo-classic style melded with the assymetric rhythms often associated with the followers of Stravinsky. None of the musical language is more advanced than, say, Bartok's 'Concerto for Orchestra.'
The earliest piece, and in its way the most astonishing, is the Symphony No. 1, written and premiered in Prague under Vaclav Smetacek when the composer was a boy of sixteen. It is a stunningly assured four-movement piece of large proportions lasting 36 minutes with only occasional moments of clumsiness. It is rhythmically alive, uses some Czech folk materials, but at moments has the sound of America's wide open spaces a la Aaron Copland, fitting because the symphony is subtitled 'Of Nature.'
The most recent piece here is the Concerto for Marimba, written in 1993 for Oregon Symphony percussionist Niel DePonte, the expert soloist here. The concerto is a three-movement (Slow-Fast-Slow) work lasting about 26 minutes. The orchestration is masterful and inventive.
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Amazing, clean, full bodied sounds. This is modern classical at its best. No other composer has a sound like this. The 1st symphony was written when Svoboda was only 16. Prodegy master. Worth the purchase
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How can one appreciate this type of "music"? Neo-classical it is called? Humans created music to express all kinds of feelings, or to paint a landscape with soothing, positively exiting or relaxing sound! How can one enjoy this irritating noise, that will keep him on the edge of his seat? That will eventually turn him into a nervous wreck! Do we even dare compare this "music" to the works of Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Saint-Saens to name a few? How can one enjoy this broo-haha when he is used to REAL classical music? Adaptation? Open mind? Brain washing? Double personality? Cotton in ears? It's enough that we have to hear this noise on TV and at the movies. ZERO stars.
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