Horowitz: Dvorak's Prophecy - A New Narrative for American Classical Music: Film 6 / PostClassical Ensemble [DVD]
“Lou Harrison and Cultural Fusion”
A PostClassical Ensemble “More than Music” film
Written and produced by Joseph Horowitz
Visual presentation by Peter Bogdanoff
Film six in the six-film Naxos series:
“Dvorak’s Prophecy: A New Narrative for American Classical Music”
Joe Horowitz writes of this film: "No non-Western musical idiom has so impacted on the Western concert tradition as Indonesian gamelan, beginning with the Javanese Pavilion at the 1889 Paris Exposition: an epiphany. Sampling gamelan-inspired works by Debussy, Poulenc, Messiaen, and McPhee, we arrive at a paragon exemplar of cultural fusion – Lou Harrison – and a pair of concertos, for violin and piano, unsurpassed by those of any other American. The composer/scholar Bill Alves demonstrates the layered complexity of Javanese gamelan, and how it translates into keyboard textures composed by Harrison for Keith Jarrett. For Harrison’s Concerto for Violin and Percussion, we tour the “junk percussion” – including flowerpots and washtubs – that Harrison made sing and dance."
He goes on to write "We now inhabit a “postclassical” musical aesthetic that, rather than piling on modernist complexity, draws inspiration from a variety of sources, Eastern and Western, “high” and popular. The prophetic figure, it seems to me is Lou Harrison, who practiced world music before there was a name for it. Harrison was certainly a composer who discovered a usable past – including music from Indonesia, China, and Japan. In the New World, a usable starting point was and remains the sorrow songs of African Americans, so eloquently celebrated around the turn of the twentieth century by W. E. B. Du Bois and Antonin Dvořák. Dvořák’s 1893 prophecy that “negro melodies” would foster a “great and noble” school of American music has never seemed more pertinent.”
"These six beautiful films reveal a compelling, inclusive musical tradition, deeply interwoven with American culture." – J. Peter Burkholder, author of 'A History of Western Music' and 'Listening to Charles Ives'.
Catalog Number: 2110699
Number of Discs: 1
Composer: Lou Harrison
Conductor: Angel Gil-Ordóñez, Dennis Russell Davies
Orchestra/Ensemble: Leipzig MDR Symphony Orchestra, PostClassical Ensemble
Performer: Benjamin Pasternack, Emanuele Arciuli, François-Joël Thiollier, Michael Boriskin, Tim Fain, Wan-Chi Su