C1181. AMERICAN RARITIES, incl. MORTON GOULD Cond. Dallas S.O.: Symphony #3, 16 Feb., 1947 World Première, (Cond. by the Composer); SAMUEL BARBER Cond. Julius Baker (Flute), Mitch Miller (Oboe) & Harry Freistadt (Trumpet); Strings of the Columbia S.O.: Capricorn Concerto, 20 June, 1945, from CBS Invitation to Music (Cond. by the Composer); HENRI G. WEBER Cond. Chicago Orchestra: Sinfonietta (Philip Warner), 6 Nov., 1945. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-167, (from rare existing copies, albeit with occasional technical flaws). Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Gould's early music consisted of classical 'takes' on jazz and pop influences, but really he could do anything….He wrote a healthy number of more ambitious works: three symphonies, concerti for violin, piano, viola, Interplay (1945), Fall River Legend (1947), two concerti for tap dancer, Dance Variations for two pianos and orchestra (1953), Derivations for clarinet and band (one of the great classical idiomatic reconstructions of jazz, 1956), Jekyll and Hyde Variations (1957), and Spirituals for Strings (1961). Most of this uses a neoclassical aesthetic. Gould once joked, ‘That Stravinsky – he's always stealing from me’. However, Gould luckily possessed a unique voice, a real rhythmic flair, and a happy ability to make tonal harmonies new again. At its most exuberant, his music gets the body to move…..Like William Schuman, Gould is not nearly so well known as he should be. Part of this stemmed from the rancorous, implacable feud he had with Leonard Bernstein, probably the most influential advocate of American neoclassicism of his time. Gould's music lay a little too close to Bernstein's, and Gould was there first. Effectively, Bernstein denied Gould a New York venue. Gould accordingly recorded in London and Chicago, but he wasn't as effectual. Fortunately, he had a successful career and recording contracts as a conductor, so he disseminated his music in mainly that way. Nevertheless, his music may likely survive him. Other conductors took him up, both before and after his death. Music so attractive, lively, and original is hard to remain indifferent to and, therefore, to kill.”
- Steve Schwartz, Classical Net
“Among Barber’s finest works are his four concerti, one each for Violin (1939), Cello (1945) and Piano (1962), and also the neoclassical Capricorn Concerto for flute, oboe, trumpet and string orchestra. All of these works are rewarding for the soloists and public alike, as all contain both highly virtuosic and beautiful writing, often simultaneously. The latter three have been unfairly neglected until recent years, when there has been a reawakening of interest in the expressive possibilities of these masterpieces.”
- Classic Cat
“Henri G. Weber studied music in Vienna as a child, where he trained under Richard Strauss, and graduated from the Imperial Academy of Music in Vienna. In 1923, he was hired to conduct the Chicago Civic Opera Orchestra and became the youngest conductor of a major opera company in the world. Six years later, he became the first American to conduct opera in Italy, performing at the Opera House in Florence until 1933. He returned to the United States as a staff producer and conductor for NBC. In 1934, a stint as guest conductor for the Chicago Orchestra landed him a job at WGN as commentator for the popular Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert series. He was best known in Chicago for his Chicago Theater of the Air productions on WGN radio. He and his first wife, Marion Claire Weber, a lyric soprano with a long career in the opera, performed condensed versions of major operas for radio listeners.”
“Each of these disks, from Canadian engineer Yves St Laurent… [feature] St Laurent's natural transfer – made without filtering, like all his dubbings – it is easy to listen to, despite the surface noise.”
- Tully Potter, CLASSICAL RECORD QUARTERLY, Summer, 2011