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Abraham Lincoln Portraits

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Product Details

  • Performer: Mabry; Scott; Van Osdale; Slatkin; Nashville So
  • Composer: Various
  • Audio CD (Feb. 24 2009)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Nam
  • ASIN: B001NZA04W
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #246,187 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Ives lincoln the great commoner, gould lincoln legend, harris abraham lincoln walks at midnight, bacon ford's theatre, copland lincoln portrait, mckay to a liberator, turok variations on an american song: aspects of lincoln and liberty, persichetti a lincoln address

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xaaa2187c) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaa5915ac) out of 5 stars Bringing to light lesser-known American repertoire March 12 2009
By CD Maniac - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Kudos to the Nashville Symphony for their commitment to recording American repertoire, and often unjustly-neglected repertoire at that. This 2-disc set contains several rare gems from American composers of the 20th century--all with the subject of Abraham Lincoln.
The only well-known (and obvious) selection is Copland's "Lincoln Portrait". The Nashville Symphony holds its own against any major orchestra in their performance of this work. But what sets it apart is the outstanding narration (and amazing voice) of Barry Scott. You have to hear it for yourself.
The rest of these pieces are virtually unknown, but are well worth having. Among the best is the "Lincoln Legend" by Morton Gould. Written during the emotion-filled days of World War II (from which several of these pieces date), it is a tribute to Lincoln, with episodes suggesting periods in Lincoln's life. One can't imagine a better recording of this work. Similar in form is McKay's "To a Liberator". McKay is a forgotten Seattle composer being rediscovered (thanks to recordings on Naxos). It suggests the feelings and ideals of Lincoln in several different episodes. Especially effective in the choral scene, with the wordless (and excellent) Nashville Symphony Chorus. Paul Turok, is less known for his compositions than for his magazine "Turok's Choice" which contained reviews of classical recordings. His piece is the "Variations on an American Song"--that song being a song used during the Lincoln's presidential campaign. It is a buoyant and well-crafted short piece. One suspects that there is a lot more of Turok that should be recorded.
The short piece by Charles Ives is, well, wacky. (If you can figure out what he was trying to do, let me know.) Another piece with narration is by Vincent Persichetti, a very fine symphonist (but best known for his band pieces). His work contains Lincoln's powerful words from his second inauguration (about the civil war). While much less rousing, and more reflective than the Copland, it is effective in it's own way (and certainly nice to have it on CD). Written during the Vietnam War, the piece certainly drives home the hope for a lasting peace. A chamber piece by Roy Harris (who was obsessed with Lincoln) makes a beautiful change of pace. It makes wonderful use of beautiful transparent textures of its instrumentation--voice and piano trio. Lastly is the suite by Ernst Bacon--pieces originally written as incidental music for a play. Each short movement is evocative of a place or event in the last week of Lincoln's life. The Nashville Symphony turns in an outstanding recording of this piece (with special mention to the cello solo in the beautiful second movement).
You won't find most of these pieces anywhere else. Congratulations to the Nashville Symphony (and their fine recording engineers) for bringing these pieces back into the light.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaa59163c) out of 5 stars Spectacular Sounds March 24 2009
By J.B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Abraham Lincoln Portraits
This CD represnts a beautiful compilation of "Abraham Lincoln Portraits" in this his bicentennial year. Impressive is this selection of a variety of twentieth century composers, some better known than others.

As a subscriber to "Turok's Choice", I am familiar with Paul Turok's monthly newsletter which reviews and updates classical recordings. The beauty of "Variations on an American Song: Aspects of Lincoln and Liberty" is particularly harmonious and delightful.

The performances by the Nashville Symphony with Leonard Slatkin are superb. I highly recommend this intriguing recording.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xaa5376a8) out of 5 stars loved it Sept. 24 2009
By Galen K. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am very pleased, in this 200th anniversary year of Lincoln's birth, to have this collection of Lincoln inspired music in one place.
HASH(0xaa5376c0) out of 5 stars A Mixed Set Nov. 23 2012
By J. R. Trtek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This two-disc set compiles mostly obscure musical works centering on Abraham Lincoln, mixed in with one or two more familiar pieces. It's a worthwhile concept, though I have to admit that to my tastes we probably could have gotten by with just one disc instead. The most well-known composition in this release is Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait for narrator and orchestra, a piece that has enjoyed a few notable recordings. This one, though, is utterly magnificent. Leonard Slatkin and the Nashville Orchestra do their part admirably, and the voice of Barry Scott is magnificent. My second favorite work is Paul Turok's Variations on an American Song, that being Lincoln and Liberty, an 1860 campaign song, though the melody comes from the folksong Old Rosin the Beau. The strength of Turok's composition comes from that venerable tune. Morton Gould contributes his Lincoln Legend, which also draws on music of the time. The remaining pieces, I must admit, were much less satisfying. A short work by Charles Ives, Lincoln the Great Commoner, was on the one hand classic Ives, which on the other hand meant that for me it was hit or miss -- in this case, miss. Vincent Persichetti's A Lincoln Address is conceptually much like the end of the Copland piece, in this case utilizing Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address. The words, of course, constitute one of the great speeches of history, and Persichetti's music is interesting and engaging, but together I found that the two elements tended to clash with each other, while in the Copland words and music compliment each other. Roy Harris' Abraham Lincoln walks at Midnight succeeds, though I didn't find it memorable. That same judgment applies to George McKay's composition To a Liberator. Finally, Ernst Bacon's contribution was incidental music to a play. As such, it tended to be a little disjointed and centrifugal. So while half this set worked well for me, I found the other half to be a bit of a drag. In other words, we have the lamentable situation of an album divided against itself.
HASH(0xaa536600) out of 5 stars Marvelous Recording, Fine Selection of Lincoln Works Feb. 17 2012
By Ellen Bacon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Leonard Slatkin chose 8 pieces from 90 possibilities of Lincoln-related orchestral works, a few of them with chorus or narrator. Some of the pieces, such as Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," are well-known. Others are much less so but are being re-discovered, partly thanks to this CD. One of my favorites, Ernst Bacon's "Ford's Theatre," is a picturesque and profound description of the last week of Lincoln's life. It should have a permanent place in the repertoire.