HERRMANN A Concert of American Music (1949/56) - PASC232

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HERRMANN A Concert of American Music (1949/56) - PASC232

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IVES Symphony No. 2
HERRMANN Welles Raises Kane
Recorded in 1956 and 1949
Total duration: 76:44

Louis Kaufman, violin
London Symphony Orchestra
Columbia Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Bernard Herrmann

This set contains the following albums:

Fascinating and brilliant - Herrmann conducts American Music

Three excellent radio recordings newly transferred and remastered

This collection of radio broadcast recordings, brought together as a kind of concert-on-CD, if you like, brings together several aspects of the work of Bernard Herrmann, a composer and conductor who still commands a committed following today, some 35 years after his death.

Having grown up in New York City, schooling first in Brooklyn, later at New York University and Jullliard, it seems only appropriate that this most American of musicians should introduce the British public to the Second Symphony of Charles Ives. Remarkably, it's a work which, somewhat like its composer, was rejected for half a century – Ives began work on it in 1897 and completed it in the first years of the new century, but had to wait until 1951 for its rapturously-received première under the baton of Leonard Bernstein. Five years later it was Herrmann, conducting the London Symphony Orchestra for a studio broadcast concert, who premièred the work in the UK.

The copy here was taken from an open-reel tape from what would appear to be a rebroadcast or disc transcription from the occasional clicks I had to deal with. The FM-quality broadcast sound quality is more than acceptable if prone to occasional peak distortion and a little tape flutter-dropout at the very beginning, the performance a credit both to orchestra and conductor.

Our second work is the Violin Concerto in A by Robert Russell Bennett, and presents another interesting connection. Bennett straddled the worlds of classical music and Broadway musicals in a similar manner to Herrmann and his film music; in both cases the 'other' work has remained longer in the memories of music lovers than what some might consider the composers' more “serious” output, but that should not distract from this most fascinating and delightful piece.

The soloist here the concerto's dedicatee and Bennett's friend, the violinist Louis Kaufmann. It's a very accessible piece (subtitled “in the popular style”) and would surely stand reviving, and includ