Higdon: All Things Majestic / Guerrero, Nashville Symphony

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No doubt about it, Jennifer Higdon is a master craftsman. The three works hear are all attractive, formally shapely, smartly and colorfully scored, thematically appealing, and approachable without ever pandering. The Viola Concerto and Oboe Concerto are especially effective, exploiting the unique timbres of the solo instrument with great sensitivity. They are also quite different from each other. The Viola Concerto adopts the standard, three-movement structure, with the finale alternately solemn and dance-like (sound clip). The Oboe Concerto, on the other hand, plays in a single movement a bit less than twenty minutes long, an ideal length that ensures a piece that’s not too fatiguing for either the player or the listener.

All Things Majestic is a four-movement suite with each movement inspired by some feature of the American landscape. There are, to be frank, lots of similar pieces by American composers, and you would be hard pressed to point to stylistic qualities that say “Higdon” as opposed to quite a few of those others, but once again there’s no denying the quality of workmanship throughout. The performances, too, do the music proud, with Roberto Diaz (viola) and James Button (oboe) the excellent soloists, and Giancarlo Guerrero leading the Nashville Symphony with unflagging enthusiasm. A beautifully produced disc, all around.

– ClassicsToday (David Hurwitz)

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 8559823

  • UPC: 636943982327

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Composer: Jennifer Higdon

  • Conductor: Giancarlo Guerrero

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Nashville Symphony Orchestra

  • Performer: James Button, Roberto Díaz