Luening, Antheil & Howe: Orchestral Works

The Vienna Orchestra; F. Charles Adler, Conductor; William Strickland, Conductor; The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra; Alfredo Antonini, Conductor

Nearly three decades separate the Luening works programmed herewith. The Symphonic Fantasia No. 1 was sketched in 1922, shortly after the composer’s return from five years of European study. In plan the piece approximates a symphonic poem sans program. All elements of the symphony are in it too, but highly concentrated.

The score is monothematic. The opening five measures present all of the material, which is thenceforth transfigured continuously, with successive climaxes involving ever more intensity of orchestration. The closing section is signaled by a dance-like tune in the oboe that subsequently metamorphoses into a broad lyric statement by the entire orchestra. A review of the initial material brings the work to an end.

Nowadays known only as an entity, the Kentucky Rondo originally was the finale of Luening’s 1951 Louisville ConcertoThree principal themes are disclosed: the piano submits a gay nineties ditty, an expansive diatonic melody ensues; then the massed brass blare out a festive song that had emerged earlier in brooding guise. A chromatic fourth subject is brought in now and then throughout. Each solo instrument and section has its turn. At the peroration all join in playing the several themes simultaneously.

Structurally traditional, George Antheil's Serenade is in three fluently graceful and texturally transparent movements. The opening Allegro, despite a tricky three-within-four figure, is immediately appealing for its vaguely rustic humor. The Andante molto is notable for an affecting concertante exchange among the solo violin, viola, and cello. The final Vivo, in contrast, is a sort of stylized furioso, infectious alike in its rhythms and its surfeit of melody.

The miniature tone poems Sand and Stars are products of Mary Howe’s most recent period. Both works proceed programmatically from the connotations of their respective titles: Sand, according to the composer, is an imaginative piece on the substance itself — its consistency, grains, bulk, grittiness, and its potential scattering quality; more or less what it appears to be when sifting through your fingers on the shore;” Stars was “inspired by the gradually overwhelming effect of the dome of a starry night — its peace, beauty, and space. The sonorous ensemble of the strings opens the work with the suggestion of the spreading immensity of the starry vault. As the music progresses one’s imagination is carried into the contemplation of the awesome depths of space and the sense of mystery with which man compares his insignificance to infinity.”

 

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 refer to the liner notes for information about the program.

***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.***

The Vienna Orchestra

Luening, Antheil & Howe: Orchestral Works

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

Track Listing

Symphonic Fantasia
Otto Luening
Buy
Kentucky Rondo
Otto Luening
Buy
Serenade No. 1 for Strings: Serenade No. 1 for Strings: I. Allegro
George Antheil
Buy
Serenade No. 1 for Strings: Serenade No. 1 for Strings: II. Andante molto
George Antheil
Buy
Serenade No. 1 for Strings: Serenade No. 1 for Strings: III. Vivo
George Antheil
Buy
Stars
Mary Howe
Buy
Sand
Mary Howe
Buy

You may also like