Thorne, Anderson & Brozen: Orchestral Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL258     Release Date: 2010-09-15

Janet Price, soprano; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; James Dixon, conductor

The inspiration for Liebesrock was a celebration in the New York State Theater, in Lincoln Center. Francis Thorne was on the top level, looking down on the huge, distant lobby floor, into what he describes as an inferno of dancers, churning to the thunderous beat of a rock group, surrounded by opulence.

The composer thereafter went for an extended stay in Florence, Italy, where he taught (the history of jazz) and where he composed Liebesrock. As he began to conceive the composition, his perspective became focused, with the result that the music emerged as the score for a ballet.

The score calls for a symphony orchestra augmented by three electric guitars, the instruments that are the basis for most rock groups. The recording was made under severe difficulties, inasmuch as the balancing of such powerful forces could not be made clear by the score alone—the work had never been performed in public—and the composer, who had planned to land in London in plenty of time to supervise, was fogged out and spent the day fretting in Frankfurt. The success of the recording is owed to heroic efforts on the part of Conductor Dixon.

T. J. Anderson's Chamber Symphony was written for Thor Johnson and the Nashville Symphony. The work makes use of the most archaic significance of the term in that it is a series of stylized dances combined in a one-movement composition. It has been well received, impressing reviewers as a work of substance, imagination and individuality.

Michael Brozen writes:

In Memoriam was written in 1968 on commission from Howard Hanson. Dr. Hanson, to whom the work is dedicated, conducted the Eastman-Rochester Symphony in the first performance that same year in the Festival of American Music at the Eastman School.

“The words are from Tennyson’s long elegy. The poem was published anonymously in 1850, having evolved for seventeen years after the death of his friend, Arthur Henry Hallam. Considering the theme, it is a remarkably sensuous-sounding yet objective and well-structured work. Every despondent canto has its symmetrical optimistic counterpart elsewhere in the poem. I have linked two of these pairs: the first and second songs are performed without pause, as are the fifth and sixth. I have also adapted Tennyson’s expressive and organic use of time of day and time of year: the song cycle progresses from morning to night and from summer to winter and the possibility of spring.

“In making art out of his grief, Tennyson avoided the tendency toward rhetoric and edification that endeared him to his own generation but made some later readers uncomfortable. Now we appreciate Tennyson’s poetry for its structural strength, its intricate yet clear emotional line, and the sumptuous but purposeful beauty of its sound—qualities that are particularly attractive to a composer of vocal music.”

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.

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Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Thorne, Anderson & Brozen: Orchestral Works

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FLAC $9.99
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Track Listing

Liebesrock
Francis Thorne
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Chamber Symphony
T. J. Anderson
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In Memoriam: I. "Dark house, by which once more I stand..."
Michael Brozen
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In Memoriam: II. "Doors, where my heart was used to beat..."
Michael Brozen
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In Memoriam: III. "Calm is the morn without a sound..."
Michael Brozen
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In Memoriam: IV. "Love is and was my Lord and King..."
Michael Brozen
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In Memoriam: V. "The time draws near the birth of Christ..."
Michael Brozen
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In Memoriam: VI. "The time draws near the birth of Christ..."
Michael Brozen
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In Memoriam: VII. "Dear friend, far off, my lost desire..."
Michael Brozen
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