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Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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Peter SCHICKELE (b. 1935)
Five Songs for French Horn and Orchestra (1976) [25.39]

Norman DELLO JOIO
(b.1913)

Homage to Haydn (1969) [18.00]
Vincent PERSICHETTI (1915-1987)
Symphony No. 8 (1969) [28.37]
Kenneth Albrecht (french horn)
Louisville Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin (Dello Joio); Jorge Mester (Schickele; Persichetti)
rec. 14 May 1974 (Dello Joio); 2 May 1979 (Schickele); 10 Mar 1970 (Persichetti) Macauley Theatre, Louisville, Kentucky, ADD
American Archives Series
ALBANY TROY 024 [72.11]



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The Haydn work is the most attractive piece of Dello Joio I have heard. Across its three movements (beautifully recorded - as are all the tracks here) it includes Haydn-Beethoven pastiche with a rebellious American jolt, a restfully sustained Baxian glow (adagio) and an uproariously flickering Waltonian allegro.

Peter Schickele ('onlie begetter' of P.D.Q. Bach) is much more than the periwigged Clown Prince who has haunted record catalogues since the 1960s. Schickele, the Iowan, arranges his five movements under sub-title 'Pentangle' intending to create a resonance with enchantment. The music's five named movements and its character are all easy on the air without being facile. The composer intended the five movements to approximate to the effect of a single side of a folk-rock LP album of the 1970s from the likes of Fairport Convention or Pentangle. The movements are songful, in the case of Tom on the Town, grittily confrontational between soloist and the orchestra's own horn section, humorously 'Cowboy' (Copland rattles the dust from the rafters) and a surprise. The last movement's mediaeval riddle song is sung at a cantering tempo in an agreeably non-operatic male voice that suggests the sandalled and bearded gentle folk revivalists of the 1960s. Overall this music stands confidently between Copland folk-style and music theatre. This is extremely attractive music if hardly profound - but then who needs profound all the time?

Persichetti, who has often had his premieres in his home city of Philadelphia, has been jostled into the shade by Mennin, Piston, Hanson and Schuman. The Eighth Symphony is easy to appreciate, pliably responsive and lyrical with the lightest dusting of atonality, sometimes ruffled by Beethovenian protest, and rippling restive rhythmic material, welcoming of Schuman-style adagio writing for the strings, accessibly chugging and chuckling, spitting and venomously triumphant in the finale. Ultimately that finale reeks of a formula (Schuman again) for closure rather than ringing with the conviction of symphonic consummation; some very fine music along the way though. Naxos should really give us the complete cycle.

Good notes complete a pleasing picture.

Although the Persichetti rings without outright confidence, the endearing joshing of Schickele and the entertaining Dello Joio make this a complete experience.

Rob Barnett



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