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Still: Symphony No. 1; Ellington: Suite from "The River" (CD)

Item #: 505642

Quick Overview

"...Still sought to extend the historical focus of the Harlem Renaissance into his compositions, injecting the "Afro-American" symphony especially with folk-inspired touches of impressionism and neo-Romanticism. The work seeks a broad sweep and bears resemblances to Gershwin and Ellington in the mix of pop and swing elements into the symphonic language. The coupling is a fitting one, in part because Ellington struggled for years to create a large-scale work that could indeed be considered rightfully "orchestral" outside his own big band's works. The Suite from the River is an ideal revelation, taking Ellington's sectionally orchestral thinking (where the orchestra was a conglomerate of different sections playing off each other) to levels that reach Still's well-schooled use of the symphony orchestra as a vehicle. Neeme Järvi does a fine job leading the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in rendering these two unlikely but deserving works." --Andrew Bartlett
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