Michael Tilson Thomas conducts Ives

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Sony Classical’s new release features yet another authoritatively idiomatic interpreter, Michael Tilson Thomas, conducting three great orchestras in the major orchestral and choral works of his compatriot Charles Ives on 4 albums. The recordings featuring the Chicago Symphony and Amsterdam Concertgebouw orchestras date from 1981 to 1989; those with the San Francisco Symphony from 1999. Gramophone called the disc containing Three Places in New England with the San Francisco Symphony “as fine a collection of [Ives’s] songs and short orchestral pieces as I’ve found on one release”. Also from Gramophone: “A stellar performance of the Fourth [Symphony with the Chicago orchestra]. Not only are all the elements in place – no easy feat in itself – but the performance revels in the piece’s American roots, with marches and ragtime passages tossed off with as much apparent simplicity as the piece’s modernist language” and “Tilson Thomas moves through his seasonal year [the “New England Holidays”] with fine flourish that balances the musical fireworks of ‘The Fourth of July’ and the sombre moments of ‘Decoration Day’. [He] is blessed with Chicago’s legendary brass section … and the CSO Chorus under [Margaret] Hillis – about as unapologetically American in their musicality as a conductor could find.” And the Penguin Guide called this last disc “among the most impressive Ives records in the catalogue”.

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 19439788332

  • UPC: 194397883329

  • Label: Sony

  • Number of Discs: 4