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American Mavericks: Cowell, Harrison, Varèse (Hybrid SACD)

American Mavericks: Cowell, Harrison, Varèse (Hybrid SACD)

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SKU: 10500

"Tilson Thomas and the San Franciscans were at their best in honoring the monuments of the maverick tradition... Other orchestras
hardly touch this music, but in San Francisco it has become standard fare, and the authority of the playing was staggering."
- Alex Ross, The New Yorker
 

 
The latest release from Michael Tilson Thomas and the Grammy® award-winning San Francisco Symphony features stunning live recordings from the SFS's wildly successful American Mavericks festival. Presented in premium audio hybrid SACD, American Mavericks includes performances of four works by three influential but seldom heard twentieth century masters. Performances of Henry Cowell's Synchrony and his Piano Concerto, with Jeremy Denk on piano, combine Cowell's distinctive musical language with exceptionally expressive playing to produce a powerful musical experience. Lou Harrison's eclectic compositional style and organ soloist Paul Jacobs's spectacular virtuosity are on full display in Harrison's Concert for Organ with Percussion orchestra. This one-of-a-kind disc concludes with Edgard Varèse's monumental Amériques and the orchestral siren that has influenced generations of composers.
 
Praise for American Mavericks:
 
“Michael Tilson Thomas's time at the helm of the San Francisco Symphony has been marked by a courageous dedication to modernist American outsiders, and American Mavericks bears out the orchestra's experience with such outré material. «««««
-Andy Gill, The Independent (UK)
 

“Michael Tilson Thomas finds profundity in these Americans, and brings a reverent care and finesse to their music. The San Francisco Symphony plays with extraordinary delicacy, which makes the tumultuous movements such as the ending of Varèse’s Amériques all the more overwhelming. Jeremy Denk’s performance of Cowell’s Piano Concerto is incisive and delicate, but the revelation of this CD is Lou Harrison’s little-known and enchantingly mysterious Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra. «««««

-Ivan Hewett, Daily Telegraph (UK)

 

“Michael Tilson Thomas has always been a committed advocate of the American radicals of the first half of the 20th century. Here, he conducts works by Henry Cowell and his pupil Lou Harrison alongside a brilliantly virtuosic and detailed account (in its 1927 revision) of Amériques, the first work Edgard Varèse completed after he settled in the US in 1915.”
-Andrew Clements, Guardian (UK)
 
 
AMERICAN MAVERICKS
 
San Francisco Symphony
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
Jeremy Denk, piano
Paul Jacobs, organ
 
HENRY COWELL (1897-1965)
Synchrony                                                                                 13:38
Piano Concerto                                                                          14:53
I.    Polyharmony                                                                            3:48
II.   Tone Cluster                                                                            7:07
III.  Counter Rhythm                                                                       3:58
 
LOU HARRISON (1917-2003)
Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra                        23:00
I.     Allegro                                                                                    5:47
II.    Andante (Siciliana in the form of a double canon)                       2:10
III.   Largo                                                                                      6:56
IV.  Canons and Choruses (Moderato)                                               3:10
V.   Allegro (Finale)                                                                          4:51
 
EDGARD VARÈSE (1883-1965)
Amériques (1927 version)                                                         22:02                                                   

Total: 73:23

Synchrony recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, December 8-10, 2010.
Piano Concert, Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra, and Amériques recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, March 3-17, 2012.
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