Barlow & Claflin: Orchestral Works
Lamoureux Orchestra; Robert Cornman, conductor;
Gísli Magnússon, piano; Iceland Symphony Orchestra; William Strickland, conductor

The three scores presented on this disc display three facets of Samuel Barlow’s colorful and highly accessible musical language. Of the Overture to Mon Ami Pierrot, Mr. Barlow says, “In 1934, Sacha Guitry asked me for music to a libretto concerning Lully (who probably wrote the celebrated tune to Au Clair de la lune sometime in the late seventeenth century). Guitry asked that ‘no note should offend Lully’, which eliminated all modern harmony of course - somewhat like commissioning a new canto for The Canterbury Tales. The problem was to write a ‘classical piece’ with freshness and verve. The result was the first (and only) opera by an American given at the Opéra-comique.”

“Between 1940 and 1950,” says Barlow of his Ballo Sardo, “I worked on a ballet based on a Sardinian legend. The story is frankly romantic, and so is the music. Cortège is the finale: a grotesque funeral march for Baron Orso, villain of the piece, who had been changed into a fly (you must believe this). The crowd gets out of hand, is recalled to order by the Bishop (oboe solo), and all ends happily.”

The Circus Overture (1960), Mr. Barlow describes as “a festival overture, where if you must, you can picture sad clowns, the lovely tight-rope lady, the parade, perhaps the elephants. But the three or four musical themes are tightly woven into the general texture. If the Overture to Mon Ami Pierrot may be called classical and Cortège romantic, Circus is as modern as this composer is likely to go.”

Apropos his own inclination to write readily communicative music while being involved in the promotion of much contemporary composition of a far different stripe, Avery Claflin observes, “It can be said that a nation’s arts are a reflection of its society. But an outsider, listening to a program of our contemporary music, could easily jump to the conclusion that we were a brooding, critical, tragic, rebellious race with a high I.Q. Despite our fair share of ulcers and neuroses, those adjectives do not really characterize us aptly or fairly. We are also friendly, cheerful, fun loving - if sometimes superficial in many areas.

“These are aspects that came to mind in the course of composing this Concerto. Thus the music is readily accessible, requiring neither elaborate program notes nor intense intellectual concentration.

“And why shouldn’t our serious music be merry once in awhile? Precedents for it in other lands are legion.”


This title from the CRI LP back catalog has been carefully transferred from the original master tape, and is now available from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

We have preserved the original CRI LP catalog number for this title, preceded by the prefix NWCRL, to distinguish previously unavailable back catalog titles from those later reissued by CRI on compact disc.

***Please note that the newly-digitized CRI LP titles are priced at $12.99 (multiples excepted) and are not included in any of the special offers.***

Iceland Symphony Orchestra

Barlow & Claflin: Orchestral Works

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $12.99

Track Listing

Mon Ami Pierrot: Overture
Samuel L. M. Barlow
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Cortège from Ballo Sardo
Samuel L. M. Barlow
Buy
Circus Overture
Samuel L. M. Barlow
Buy
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra: I. Allegro con brio
Avery Claflin
Buy
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra: II. Andantino
Avery Claflin
Buy
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra: III. Largo - allegro
Avery Claflin
Buy