Virgil Thomson: Chamber & Vocal Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL207     Release Date: 2010-07-01

Lillian Fuchs, viola; Peter Simenauer, clarinet; Fred Mills, trumpet; Paul Ingraham, horn; Edward Erwin, trombone; Virgil Thomson, Conductor
Betty Allen, mezzo-soprano; Virgil Thomson, piano; Joseph Fuchs, violin; Arthur Balsam, piano

One of the more penetrating remarks about Virgil Thomson’s music was made by a writer, the composer’s friend Gertrude Stein. “It’s not at all banal,” Miss Stein affirmed. “He frosts his music with a thin layer of banal sounds to put people off, but what’s underneath is very pure and special.”

Offhand, there might seem to be more effective ways than that of putting people off: the use of an abstruse or involved style, for example. But in practice this does not always follow. Unusual complexity can become a standard rhetorical device like any other, and the purpose of rhetoric is to lower sales resistance.

The artist who defies easy popularity by assuming a mask of simplicity is another matter. His pride of craft ⎯ and of character ⎯ is such that he deliberately invites sales resistance with unrelieved clarity, a thing that oddly enough often confuses listeners. In modern music, Erik Satie is the prototype of this kind of heroically fastidious artist. And to the Virgil Thomson of the twenties, a young composer in search of a hero, Satie’s music was a revelation. Satie is today, at least in America, the composer to whom Thomson is oftenest compared, and there is a special sweetness about Gertrude Stein’s accolades because it recalls the Paris prelude to a distinguished career: the problematic days when an untried American faced his music paper, made his choices, and tackled his duty with honor.

Robert Offergell - Music Editor, HiFi/Stereo Review

 

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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Various Artists

Virgil Thomson: Chamber & Vocal Works

MP3/320 $9.99
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WAV $9.99
CD $12.99

Track Listing

Sonata Da Chiesa: I. Chorale
Virgil Thomson
Buy
Sonata Da Chiesa: II. Tango
Virgil Thomson
Buy
Sonata Da Chiesa: III. Fugue
Virgil Thomson
Buy
Praises and Prayers: I. from The Canticle of the Sun
Virgil Thomson
Buy
Praises and Prayers: II. My Master Hath a Garden
Virgil Thomson
Buy
Praises and Prayers: III. Sung by the Shepherds
Virgil Thomson
Buy
Praises and Prayers: IV. Before Sleeping
Virgil Thomson
Buy
Praises and Prayers: V. Jerusalem, My Happy Home
Virgil Thomson
Buy
Sonata for Violin and Piano: I. Allegro
Virgil Thomson
Buy
Sonata for Violin and Piano: II. Andante Nobile
Virgil Thomson
Buy
Sonata for Violin and Piano: III. Tempo de Valzer
Virgil Thomson
Buy
Sonata for Violin and Piano: IV. Andante: Doppio Movimento
Virgil Thomson
Buy