Meredith Willson: Symphony No. 1 and 2 / Stromberg, Moscow SO

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Meredith Willson, certainly one of the most remarkable individuals in the history of American music, is finally given his due by these world premiere recordings of his two symphonies of 1936 and 1940.
The First Symphony was written as a commemorative piece for the 30th anniversary of the San Francisco earthquake of 1916. But rather than recall the horror of that event, the piece is more of a tone poem celebrating the city. The second movement, however, is poignant in its evocation of a city rebuilding itself. The rising opening violin line, emulating a rebirth out of the ashes, is particularly effective.
The Second Symphony, another work celebrating the glory of California, has a vague Spanish character to it as it pays homage to Father Junipero Serra, a "padre-pioneer" in the words of Willson. As with the First Symphony, the outstanding movement is the Andante with its veiled references to Gregorian chant and its Spanish motives as an allusion to the Spanish mission founded by Serra.
William Stromberg, a conductor who has an affinity for performing film music, is to be commended for bringing to light these once forgotten works with sterling performances from the Moscow Symphony Orchestra.

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 8559006

  • UPC: 636943900628

  • Label: Naxos

  • Composer: Meredith Willson

  • Conductor: William T. Stromberg

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Moscow Symphony Orchestra