American Classics - Harris: Symphonies 3 & 4 "Folksong Symphony" / Alsop, Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Having a modern recording on hand of the delightful "Folk Song Symphony" certainly adds to the disc's attractions. There's only one other that enjoyed general circulation, Golschmann's on Vanguard, and heaven only knows if it's still available. In any case, this one is definitely superior sonically, though I marginally prefer the earlier version's quicker tempos in Western Cowboy and Negro Fantasy (the second and sixth movements, respectively). Alsop still has the edge, though, in terms of both singing and playing, and her quicker sections pack an even bigger punch than the Vanguard release. This is a really attractive work that ought to be better known. If the composer in question had been English/Irish (and some of the tunes actually are: The Girl I Left Behind Me, a.k.a. The Wandering Laborer, also appears in Hamilton Harty's "Irish" Symphony), we'd no doubt have a plethora of modern recordings from which to choose. Never mind: this one will do very nicely.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Catalog Number: 8559227
Composer: Roy Harris
Conductor: Marin Alsop
Orchestra/Ensemble: Colorado Symphony, Colorado Symphony Chorus