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Orchestral Music - Diversions

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Product Details

  • Performer: Falletta; London Symphony Orchestra
  • Composer: Gallagher Jack
  • Audio CD (Sept. 28 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nam
  • ASIN: B003VC51V2
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,657 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Jack Gallagher' Symphony in One Movement: Threnody has been acclaimed by in Tune magazine as 'enormously inventing' and by osterreichische Musikzeitschrift as 'a one-movement symphony of great colorfulness'. The warm, lyrical Berceuse was heralded by Th

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa254f168) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2555d8c) out of 5 stars Excellent Recording Jan. 31 2011
By Robert Paterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Listening to this recording is one more reminder that it's impossible to know every excellent composer. I had no idea who Gallagher was, but am now a fan.

While many composers were embroiled in the whole twelve-tone compositional war that continued into the 1970s, it seems that Gallagher happily missed the boat. What he ended up with is a catalog of beautiful, evocative, colorful works that will be cherished for generations to come, and not relegated to the "farewell premiere" dustbin of time.

Berceuse, is very beautiful and soothing. Diversions Overture is slightly Copland-esque, with a mid-20th century aesthetic, yet very distinctive and colorful. I heard tinges of Hindemith and Holst mixed with a sort of modern tonality and timbral quality that is very unique.

Sinfonietta: a very exciting and well-written work--listenable and formally tight. Gallagher's Symphony in One Movement is reminiscent of some of the great works by Shostakovich, but infused with octatonic scalar material and a little more color, particularly with the addition of non-standard percussion instruments and celeste. This is one of the more harmonically adventurous works in this collection, and is very exciting and highly engaging.

The form and flow of his music is excellent, and there wasn't one second where I was in the least bored. The orchestra sounds as beautiful as you would expect under maestro Falletta. This is a highly listenable and enjoyable recording, and a great example of beautiful and accessible modern music that is rich with depth and color.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2557258) out of 5 stars Another home run for Falletta and Naxos! Dec 31 2011
By Thomas Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm quicking coming to the opinion that JoAnn Falletta is just about one of the best conductors in America today! I had the pleasure of attending a concert with her, the Santa Rosa Symphony (CA), with Michael Ludwig performing the amazing Corigliano Violin Concerto 'The Red Violin' (also recorded for Naxos). She made our regional orchestra sing! But more importantly, she and Michael Fine (Naxos) seem to be discovering great, unsung American composers. Two of my favorite recordings of last year were the Kenneth Fuchs discs on Naxos conducted by Ms. Faletta along with her recordings of the music of Romeo Cascarino, John Duffy (Albany), and Copland. Outstanding music and outstanding performances. Now this fine disc of Jack Gallagher's music. I wish it had been recorded by the Buffalo Philharmonic, but LSO sounds wonderful! I apologize that these comments are more about JoAnn Falletta than Jack Gallagher (checkout the reviews in Fanfare Magazine about this recording), but she and her compatriot Marin Alsop have done so much to further the cause of American music as well as demonstrate that conducting is no longer exclusively a "boy's club". Both artists demonstrate that music has no gender, only soul and intellect. And we need to support labels like Naxos that keep the candle of classical recordings burning bright instead of the dull bulb of reissues, repackaging, and rehased recordings!

From Carson Cooman at "Fanfare Magazine":
"I have been a big fan of the music of American composer Jack Gallagher (b.1947) for nearly 15 years and have encountered all but one of these pieces piecemeal on previous multi-composer collections. An album entirely devoted to Gallagher's music was long overdue. Gallagher's language is largely tonal and traditionalist in orientation; it is the memorable quality of his musical ideas that have kept me returning to his music over the years. He is also a first-rate orchestrator, and the terrific playing of the London Symphony Orchestra showcases this aspect better than ever.

The bulk of Gallagher's orchestral output is included on this CD. The only significant exceptions are The Persistence of Memory, available on a Vienna Modern Masters release, and the 12-minute A Quiet Musicke, which remains unrecorded. Diversions Overture (1986) is a delightful work in which two contemplative outer sections surround a bustling inner section with a very John Williams-esque "big tune" that you'll be whistling for days. It is one of the most satisfying American overtures I know, and the quiet coda provides an unexpectedly fresh ending to a piece in this ubiquitous "10 minute overture" genre. Berceuse (1976) is a beautiful, simple lullaby in a lilting triple meter.

The Sinfonietta for String Orchestra (1990/2007) is a five-movement work with the character of a divertimento. It calls to mind the American Symphonette suites of Morton Gould. Most appealing is the middle Malambo movement, an homage to Alberto Ginastera. Though it is a bit shorter than the Sinfonietta, the most "substantial" work on the album is the symphony (1991, rev. 2008). It is a deeply emotional piece composed in memory of Gallagher's mother. The musical language is substantially more acerbic than the other works. Along with Anthony Iannaccone's tremendous Third Symphony (1992), Gallagher's is my favorite "unknown" symphony of the 1990s and is music that deserves to be widely played. The symphony begins with an extended slow section that builds momentum toward fast, driving music. The inexorable thrust of the piece compellingly depicts the murky emotional passage from lonely darkness into assertive conviction--ending with a forceful, angry coda.

Three of the pieces on this album have been recorded previously. Diversions Overture is on an ERM release with the Kiev Philharmonic and the symphony and Berceuse are on two Vienna Modern Masters albums with the Polish Radio Symphony and Koszalin Philharmonic. These new recordings by JoAnn Falletta and the LSO (and overseen by veteran producer Michael Fine) are superior in every way. Warmly recommended and almost certainly a Want List item for me".
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa2557480) out of 5 stars High craft but forgettable and derivative American music Feb. 2 2011
By Larry VanDeSande - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Jack Gallagher, born 1947, is a colllege professor in Ohio who wrote the introductory piece here, Diversions Overture, for the Wooster Symphony Orchestra, where he works at Wooster College. By the evidence presented here, Gallagher is an American steeped in the 20th century American idiom of Leonard Bernstein, William Schuman and others of that school. The music here is mainly derivative of other American and international composers.

The 10-minute Diversions Overture is typically American major key happiness with a Sousa march influence. It is followed in the program by Bereceuse, a 5-minutes Vaughan Williams-like song for flute and strings where a horn and woodwinds later take the theme. The 26-minute Sinfonietta, in five parts, reminded me in construction like the same piece by Janacek. In five fast-slow-fast-slow-fast movements, it features a quiet and haunting intermezzo that is more like an adagio. The true slow movement, a 5-minute pavane, seems a bit out of place after this. The main course here, a 21 and one-half minute symphony in one movement subtitled Threnody, could have been written by Bernstein. It follows that conductor's dramatic and rhythmic influences from Kaddish to West Side Story.

The playing of the London Symphony Orchestra is fine under JoAnn Falletta, who is probably America's No. 2 female conductor. She has made a name for herself in recordings on Naxos with the Buffalo Philharmoic Orchestra. The sound on this one is typically Naxos -- pretty good but lacking ideal clarity -- as are the notes and inserts on other recordings in the label's American music series. The craft by this composer is high and I am certain he is a major influence in university circles.

Anyone looking for something new may find one or two things they like here but nothing in this package is good enough to rave about. For me, this is derivative music that needs more of an individual voice. Even then, I'm afraid I might not be interested. This recording received two raves in Fanfare magazine, to which I say vive la difference.
HASH(0xa2557378) out of 5 stars An interesting release of new music March 25 2013
By John J. Puccio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Professor Gallagher, who teaches music at the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, cannot boast the world's biggest resumé of compositions nor the biggest discography of recorded performances. What he can be proud of is the variety and creativity of his music, which this current Naxos disc well represents. Still, you won't go away whistling any of the tunes.

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor
HASH(0xa2557840) out of 5 stars Wonderful music! Oct. 13 2013
By Christine Jensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love this music. Berceuse is especially lovely. It is refreshing to listen to such beautiful, unpretentious, and relaxing instrumental music

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