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Dance Mix


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B00000426Z
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #268,804 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By "jtrusty5" on May 13 2004
Format: Audio CD
New Era Dance is one of the greatest pieces out there, and just having that song on this CD is more then good enought to buy this CD!!!!!
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Amazon.com: 8 reviews
a "concept disc" that delivers March 25 2015
By Discophage - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Appealing idea, to have gathered eleven orchestral dances (Bernstein's Mambo from West Side Story is repeated twice, at the beginning and the close of the recital) by American composers, all written in the second half of the 20th century. It seems that everybody of note is represented - well, no, maybe not: Reich, Riley, Glass are missing, as well as Corigliano. But Argento (born 1927), Moran (1937), Harbison ('38), Adams ('47), Rouse ('49), Daugherty ('54), Kernis ('60), Torke ('61) - and the grandfather of them all, Bernstein, they are all there: that looks like a team for the Olympics.

Not all those "Dances" were meant to be danced, unlike Bernstein's Mambo from West Side Story. But they are "Dances" inasmuch as the rhythmic aspect, the pulse, the motoric energy, and the sheer din, are always prevalent. More than "danceable" dances, then they are all brilliant, lush, rhythmic and often rowdy orchestral showpieces.

Of course, depending on taste, not all of them will equally please. I find, for instance, the outburst of a foxtrot in John Harbison's "Remembering Gatsby", the Overture for what was then (in 1990) only his projected opera (it materialized in 1999), which may have made sense in the context of the opera, somewhat embarrasing in the context of the Concert Overture, because it is so out-of-sync stylistically with the rest of the music (and Harbison's style isn't particularly distinctive either). The trick was more effective when Mozart used it in the Finale of Don Giovanni.

On the other hand, although I'm not usually very favorably inclined towards John Adams, whose harmonies I often find insufferably saccharine, his Chairman Dances (a by-product from his opera Nixon in China, that ultimately wasn't used in the opera) has an exciting sweep and orchestral lushness. I shouldn't like Robert Moran's Points of Departure either - here the premiere recording of the orchestral version of a ballet originally scored for chamber orchestra - because I don't like neo-romantic minimalism, but in fact I've found it enjoyable and colorful, with the same kind of buoyant orchestral lushness as in the Adams composition helping to dispell any sentimentalism.

Aaron Jay Kernis' New Era Dance is exciting, syncopated, tension-filled and often loud and cacophonous, but (as is often the case with this most eclectic of composers) written in a language that seems to mix Varèse's Ameriques (integral with the sirens), the neo-classical Stravinsky and the Bernstein of West Side Story more than to showcase an entirely original compositional persona. Maybe because it is written for orchestra rather than for a smaller ensemble, Michael Torke's Charcoal - the seventh and last movement of his ballet Black and White, from 1988 - is closer to the orchestral trilogy "Color Music" that brought him to the limelight in the mid-1980s than to his repetitive and ultimately formulaic dance music written in the 1990s. It's a brilliant, muscular and colorful piece, but its language is full of echoes of Stravinsky's Firebird or of Ravel's orchestration of Mussorgsky's Pictures.

I find Michael Daugherty's orchestral mambo, "Desi", much more rowdy, cacophonous, challenging and fun than Dominick Argento's Tango (from his 1993 opera The Dream of Valentino), because the latter only pays respect to his dance model without really transcending it - it is just an orchetral tango, like Piazzola might have written it. In the same manner, Libby Larsen says that "there is an ergergy about boogie-woogie which is enormously optimistic and vital" and that she "wanted to capture that spirit and tame it for orchestra", and the success and effectiveness of her "Collage: Boogie" is that she has indeed captured a great vital energy, with no "taming" that I can detect, but she, like Daugherty, has entirely transcended her model: you hardly hear the boogie in the music, you just hear an orchestral piece of great energy, invention and dramatic impact, and when you do hear the explicit boogie references (at the end, after circa 3:15), unlike Harbison's foxtrot, it doesn't sound in the least stylistically jarring. The Rouse percussion piece ("Bondham", a tribute to the drummer of Led Zeppelin) is excellent, powerful and with an unrelenting rhythmic pulse and forward momentum, and David Schiff's "Stomp" is a fine, motoric and rhythmic piece.

TT 70:44, good liner notes. Concept discs often fail to deliver, but this one does.
a good mix! Nov. 28 2014
By Stanley Crowe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
A lot of energy here, and I would recommend that you play the disc three or four tracks at a time, that being the best way to savor the rhythmic variety. Part of the charm is the textural variety too, of course, and Zinman has clearly thought about getting enough of that into his program so that it IS possible to listen to the whole CD right through without coming to feel that there's too much sameness. The longest item in Adams's by-now famous "The Chairman Dances" at over 12 minutes, but easily varied enough, for all its minimalist underpinnings, to hold the attention. The item I was most worried about was Christopher Rouse's "Bonham," for eight percussionists, at almost seven minutes -- but it held up well, with more varied effects and dynamics than you might have thought possible, and with a distinct shapeliness to it. The best climax I would award to Michael Torke's "Charcoal," and I thought the incorporation of a period flavor into Harbison's "Remembering Gatsby" was very effective. The music in this program has more to do with being moved physically than with being moved emotionally, but Dominick Argento"s gorgeously scored "Tango" (from an opera about Valentino) had some feeling to it. Bernstein's "Mambo" opens and closes the disc to fine effect, and the Baltimore orchestra in 1994 (by which time Zinman had raised its quality) is in great form. If you like a strong beat, you'll like all this.
Unique April 6 2013
By Stanwyck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There's and old axiom in publishing- put a naked woman on the cover and you've got a bestseller. Well, this CD has the naked woman, although it takes a few moments of inspection to really determine her gender, but it doesn't need it.

The music on this effort is either going to grab you or it won't. I liked the "Chairman Dances" but some of the other selections didn't impress me. One puzzle- why are there two renditions of Leonard Bernstein's "Mambo" from West Side Story?
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
New Era Dance May 13 2004
By "jtrusty5" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
New Era Dance is one of the greatest pieces out there, and just having that song on this CD is more then good enought to buy this CD!!!!!
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Best Classical Dance Fusion Mix CD of all time May 14 2010
By Jeremy Owens - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of the Best Classical Fusions Dance Mix CD's of all time. A lot of Winterguards have used this GREAT music. I love it. Center Grove and Northmont have used these song numerous times during their shows with spoken words added in for extra context and added story line to their guard shows.

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