Orchestral Works Sacd
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Audio CD, Import, Super Audio CD - DSD, 17 March 2017
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- Product Dimensions : 14.2 x 12.8 x 1.19 cm; 121.9 Grams
- Manufacturer : CHAND
- Original Release Date : 2017
- Label : CHAND
- ASIN : B01N7VPZLM
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: 142,323 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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For this third volume in an Ives series that Sir Andrew Davis and his Melbourne Orchestra have already made globally popular, Jean Efflam Bavouzet takes on the challenge of the solo piano part in Symphony No. 4.
The work is famous for its ubiquitous difficulties, not least the apparent impossibility of realising many of the composer's creative intentions in a live performance, as evidenced by the forty pages of background discussion and practical advice to conductors that introduce the published score.
It is complemented by the less-often-performed triptych Orchestral Set No. 2 and the Pulitzer Prize winning Symphony No. 3.
Recorded in Surround Sound in Melbourne just after a 'remarkable, very welcome' (Sydney Morning Herald) performance in concert of the same programme by the same forces, this album is a must-have for anyone who wants to experience this monumental music under optimal conditions.
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I by no means question his contributions to the field, but try as I might to not have to I need literally force myself to listen to his works. A rule of thumb is that the fewer instruments involved the better. Certain of his songs and choral works are very good if not memorable (for example, "They Are There!"), and E. Power Biggs playing "Variations on 'America'" can't be topped.
His Second Symphony would be the gentlest introduction to Ives' orchestral works, but when you listen to more by him you should recognize that's not quite the Ives you came for. Instead, his Third Symphony gets my vote. On this disc, the Fugue and Finale for the "reali[z]ed and edited" Performance Score of his Fourth Symphony also entice somewhat. Anything else is an acquired taste.
I also by no means say that virtuosity isn't an utter necessity to perform anything by Ives. Maestro Davis and the Melbourne have and display that throughout, and they've helped me last through the orchestral works of Ives I've heard in one sitting. May you appreciate those better.