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Symphony 1 / 3 Essays for Orchestra Import


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 28 1992)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B000000APA
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

1. Symphony No.1: I. Allegro
2. Symphony No.1: II. Adagio Molto (Sostenuto)
3. Symphony No.1: III. Scherzo: Vivace
4. Symphony No.1: IV. Allegro Molto
5. First Essay, Op.12: Andante Sostenuto - Allegro Molto - Largamente Sostenuto
6. Second Essay, Op.17: Andante, Un Poco Mosso - Molto Allegro Ed Energico - Piu Tranquillo...
7. Third Essay, Op.47: 1/4nt=76 - Tranquillo - Poco Movendo - Piu Tranquillo - Come Prima...

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Charles Ives is not the first composer who comes to mind when one thinks about child prodigies. His First Symphony, however, composed while he was a student at Yale, ranks with those of Dvorak, Brahms, and Tchaikovsky, as among the greatest of the late nineteenth century. Ives moved more and more out of music's mainstream as he got older. This is definitely the most conventional of his symphonies, and, as such, a good introduction to his music.
This performance is one of amazing transparency and clarity; all the voices are heard. My first classical recording, bought in 1969, was a set of the Ives Symphonies, including Ormandy's recording of the First, now unfortunately out of print. This performance by Jarvi and the Detroit Symphony lacks some of the vigor and drive of the one on my old LP, particularly in the final movement, but it brings out counterpoint that I had never noticed before.
The performances of Barber's Essays for Orchestra are fine, as well. The Ives Symphony, though, is truly something special - both the work itself and the performance here.
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Here is Ives Symphony No. 1 paired with Barber's three Essays. It is a good paring, since both are known as musical rebels with their own statements to be made.
Ives is an early work from his college days at Yale. Especially appealing to this ear is the Scherzo, with its crisp voicing and counterpoint well spoken.
Barber's Essays are short compositions with the third being his last written before his death. The last two feature magnificent percussion which drives the orchestration into a frenzy, speaking well of the turmoil which supposedly resided in the frustration composer's career closing.
The DSO led by the renown Jarvi plays admirably on this recording, with balance and sensitivity, yet strong voicing and great percussion.
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By Daniel G. Berk on April 24 2001
If the name Charles Ives usually evokes a negative response with you, it's likely that you have not experienced his first symphony. Written while he was a student as Yale, it is quite lyrical, expansive, and accessible, and this performance by Neeme Jarvi with the Detroit Symphony gives full expression to that lyricism.
The three Barber Essays are an extra, pleasant bonus.
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If you have never heard Ives' 1st Symphony, you are in for a pleasant surprise. It is a lyrical, expressive work that is wonderfully performed on this disc. Jarvi and the D.S.O. make a great team. The 3 "Essays" by Barber are perhaps more familiar works to most listeners, and they are also well performed here. But the Ives Symphony is the highlight.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Conservative Ives; Resplendent Barber Jan. 7 2009
By Moldyoldie - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I know a different Charles Ives, the early twentieth century musical iconoclast who so dauntlessly took American music "where no one had gone before". The Ives found here is a fine enough student composer from Yale who was apparently hamstrung by his conservatively predisposed professors. That said, his turn-of-the-century Symphony No. 1 as performed here is an enjoyable Late Romantic work in four movements that won't necessarily shake the wax out of one's ears, but still makes for a well-constructed, tuneful, and sometimes dramatic listen. The first movement commences with a soft, lilting waltz and develops in typical sonata form, finally building to a crescendo and ending dramatically. The elegiac second movement is especially redolent of Dvorák's "New World" with its beautiful and mournful main theme introduced on the cor anglais and echoed on the strings -- Järvi and the Detroiters milk the movement for as much languor as propriety allows. Elsewhere, the symphony mostly takes us along for an enjoyable, if not especially challenging jaunt through what was apparently the musical sensibilities of late 1890s American musical academia -- Ives' professors must've been proud. Unfortunately, the spacious acoustic and low-level recording lends itself more to background listening as opposed to divining orchestral detail, which would probably have made for a more involving performance -- turn up the volume!

The Three Essays for Orchestra of Samuel Barber are interesting, often moving shorter works thoroughly evocative of Middle America; they're not always heard together. Here, they're given a mostly similar soft-edged treatment as the Ives, yet performed with great commitment toward a pastoral view of Barber's conception. In No. 1 and No. 2, we become soaked up in wipe open landscapes and echoing themes; dramatic crescendos elevate us to a musically exultant stratosphere -- the percussion are especially impressive here! No. 3 takes on a different flavor, at least initially, as it's framed in a more modernist vein, but eventually becomes steeped in a tonal resplendency with percussive echoes. The orchestra paints a soft portrait filled with beautiful sweep and color, then eventually lets loose in a wonderfully dramatic accelerando that brings it all home. The vivid spaciousness of the recording serves this music very well!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Dramatic, Artistic 19th C. American Compositions Feb. 17 2003
By rodboomboom - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Here is Ives Symphony No. 1 paired with Barber's three Essays. It is a good paring, since both are known as musical rebels with their own statements to be made.
Ives is an early work from his college days at Yale. Especially appealing to this ear is the Scherzo, with its crisp voicing and counterpoint well spoken.
Barber's Essays are short compositions with the third being his last written before his death. The last two feature magnificent percussion which drives the orchestration into a frenzy, speaking well of the turmoil which supposedly resided in the frustration composer's career closing.
The DSO led by the renown Jarvi plays admirably on this recording, with balance and sensitivity, yet strong voicing and great percussion.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Lyrical Ives April 24 2001
By Daniel G. Berk - Published on Amazon.com
If the name Charles Ives usually evokes a negative response with you, it's likely that you have not experienced his first symphony. Written while he was a student as Yale, it is quite lyrical, expansive, and accessible, and this performance by Neeme Jarvi with the Detroit Symphony gives full expression to that lyricism.
The three Barber Essays are an extra, pleasant bonus.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A very enjoyable recording. One of my favorites! Feb. 23 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
If you have never heard Ives' 1st Symphony, you are in for a pleasant surprise. It is a lyrical, expressive work that is wonderfully performed on this disc. Jarvi and the D.S.O. make a great team. The 3 "Essays" by Barber are perhaps more familiar works to most listeners, and they are also well performed here. But the Ives Symphony is the highlight.
Jarvi conducts American music with briliant results March 26 2014
By Ricardo Mio - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The Estonian Neeme Jarvi has made a career of illuminating the scores of lesser-known works. In the ‘90s, during his stint with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, he continued the tradition by conducting a number of scores by American composers both famous and obscure. This recording of Charles Ives’ First Symphony and Samuel Barber’s Three Essays for Orchestra is Number 2 in the American Series he recorded for Chandos, and makes for a very satisfying combination. If you prefer romantic orchestral music in the tradition of Schubert and Bruckner, you will feel right at home with these works. No 20th-century dissonance tolerated here.

Ives‘ First Symphony was a student work (composed at Yale) that brims with youthful optimism. Jarvi clearly relishes conducting this early work and plums its inherent romanticism fully. Indeed, Jarvi’s version sparkles in a way that Michael Tilson Thomas‘ famous version with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra does not. Leonard Bernstein’s account with the New York Philharmonic, well-executed as it is, sounds strident in comparison. The only version that compares favorably is Eugene Ormandy’s glowing account with the Philadelphia Orchestra which, after Jarvi, is my second favorite.

Barber’s Three Essays for Orchestra rarely appear together on the same disc which is a mystery; they belong together. Jarvi’s handling of these three pieces is suitably brilliant and stylish and make an ideal match for Ives’ First Symphony.

As he so often does with works by European composers, Jarvi finds fresh insights conducting American symphonic music, as the 10-volume American Series attests. This is fine music making indeed. Five stars.


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