American Romantics II & III

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: Martinus van Gelder, Paul Miersch, Edgar Stillman Kelley, Arthur H Bird, Felix Borowski, Stephen Collins Foster, Charles Wakefield Cadman, George Whitefield Chadwick, Ethelbert Nevin, Arthur Foote, Louis Lombard, Bernardus Boekelman

Genre:

Orchestral

Label: New Focus

Media Format: CD or Download

Media Runtime: 69

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: FCR166B

FCR166B. American Romantics II

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Gavotte Arthur H Bird, Composer
Arthur H Bird, Composer
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
In der Einsamkeit (In Solitude) Bernardus Boekelman, Composer
Bernardus Boekelman, Composer
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
Suite Rococo Felix Borowski, Composer
Felix Borowski, Composer
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
2 Pieces Felix Borowski, Composer
Felix Borowski, Composer
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
To a Vanishing Place Charles Wakefield Cadman, Composer
Charles Wakefield Cadman, Composer
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
Intermezzo George Whitefield Chadwick, Composer
George Whitefield Chadwick, Composer
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
Theme and Variations Arthur Foote, Composer
Arthur Foote, Composer
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
My old Kentucky home Stephen Collins Foster, Composer
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
Stephen Collins Foster, Composer
Old folks at home Stephen Collins Foster, Composer
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
Stephen Collins Foster, Composer
The Lingac Boatsong Martinus van Gelder, Composer
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Martinus van Gelder, Composer
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
Confluentia Edgar Stillman Kelley, Composer
Edgar Stillman Kelley, Composer
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
Élégie Louis Lombard, Composer
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Louis Lombard, Composer
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
Wiegenlied (Cradle Song) Paul Miersch, Composer
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Paul Miersch, Composer
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
La guitare (Pierrot et Pierrete) Ethelbert Nevin, Composer
Ethelbert Nevin, Composer
Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Reuben Blundell, Conductor

Composer or Director: Carl Busch, Ludwig Bonvin, Gena Branscombe, David Stanley Smith, Edward (Alexander) MacDowell, Charles Wakefield Cadman, Cecil Burleigh

Genre:

Orchestral

Label: New Focus

Media Format: CD or Download

Media Runtime: 69

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: FCR166C

FCR166C. American Romantics III

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Festzug (Festival Procession) Ludwig Bonvin, Composer
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Ludwig Bonvin, Composer
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
A Memory Gena Branscombe, Composer
Gena Branscombe, Composer
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
Rocky Mountain Sketches, Movement: At Sunset Cecil Burleigh, Composer
Cecil Burleigh, Composer
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
Minnehaha’s Vision Carl Busch, Composer
Carl Busch, Composer
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
The Song of Chibiabos Carl Busch, Composer
Carl Busch, Composer
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
Thunderbird Suite Charles Wakefield Cadman, Composer
Charles Wakefield Cadman, Composer
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
At an Old Trysting Place Edward (Alexander) MacDowell, Composer
Edward (Alexander) MacDowell, Composer
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
Prince Hal (An Overture) David Stanley Smith, Composer
David Stanley Smith, Composer
Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra
Reuben Blundell, Conductor
The Australian-born conductor Reuben Blundell continues to make splendid use of the Edwin A Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music at the Free Library of Philadelphia, whose holdings include thousands of familiar and neglected works. In 2016 New Focus Recordings released ‘American Romantics’ (10/16), the first result of Blundell’s exploration comprising little known music by late 19th- and early 20th-century composers born in the US or drawn to their adopted homeland. It is now followed by ‘American Romantics II’ (featuring, as on the initial release, the Brooklyn-based Gowanus Arts Ensemble) and ‘American Romantics III’ (with Blundell leading the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra, a community ensemble in a suburb of Philadelphia).

The word ‘American’ in these discs’ titles must be taken with a dash of salt. Whatever its provenance, most of the music sounds distinctly European, with hints of Dvořák, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and any number of beloved Romantics. But what Blundell and colleagues offer is never less than appealing and accomplished, and certainly worthy of the occasional appearance on chamber and orchestral programmes.

‘American Romantics II’ begins with a favourite by the disc’s only household name, Stephen Foster: an arrangement of ‘Old Folks at Home’. The composers of the remaining pieces are remembered mostly for contributions to American academic and church life. Among them are such significant figures as George Whitefield Chadwick, represented by the charming Intermezzo, and Arthur Foote, whose bucolic Theme and Variations is an affecting and vibrant creation in the mould of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings.

More signs of New World influences – Native American elements and folk tunes – can be heard on ‘American Romantics III’, especially in Charles Wakefield Cadman’s Thunderbird Suite and two richly coloured scores by Carl Busch, Minnehaha’s Vision and The Song of Chibiabos. For swashbuckling allure long before Korngold seized attention in Hollywood, there’s David Stanley Smith’s Prince Hal overture. And anyone wondering how deeply Wagner inspired others should hear Ludwig Bonvin’s Festzug.

Blundell leads shapely, animated performances with both ensembles. The 10 Gowanus string players bring bountiful finesse to the repertoire, while the Lansdowne Symphony, a group of volunteer musicians, face their assignments with fine commitment.

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