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Michael Daugherty: Route 66

Audio Samples

>Daugherty, Michael : Route 66, for orchestra
>Daugherty, Michael : Ghost Ranch, for orchestra
>Daugherty, Michael : Sunset Strip, for orchestra
>Daugherty, Michael : Time Machine, for 3 conductors & orchestra

Album Summary

>Daugherty, Michael : Route 66, for orchestra
>Daugherty, Michael : Ghost Ranch, for orchestra
>Daugherty, Michael : Sunset Strip, for orchestra
>Daugherty, Michael : Time Machine, for 3 conductors & orchestra
Conductors Ensemble
  • >
Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This recording is a musical road trip from the creative world of Michael Daugherty, one of America's unique and most performed composers, and the visionary conductor Marin Alsop, who has championed his music for over 20 years. Our drive begins with Route 66, a high-octane nostalgic drive from Illinois to California through "Main Street America", as seen through Daugherty's rear view mirror. Along the way, we stop at Ghost Ranch, where Georgia O'Keeffe created her brilliant paintings inspired by the open skies of New Mexico. Arriving in Los Angeles, Daugherty takes us for a spin down Sunset Boulevard where anything can happen, and it usually does. Our journey concludes as we travel into the 4th dimension with Time Machine, a wild exploration of sound for three conductors and orchestra.

”Marin Alsop has established herself as a champion of Daugherty's music, and performs all of it with obvious commitment. The Bournemouth orchestra, particularly its brass section (horns and trumpets), makes the most of the numerous solo opportunities that Daugherty offers the players. Naxos' engineers do an excellent job capturing the music's wide range of colors and, in Time Machine, its spatial elements. No reservations whatever--this is just excellent.”-Classicstoday.com

"Alsop has her players responding to the tearing energy of Route 66 - a journey along the famous interstate - and the roguishness of Sunset Strip with verve and precision...The BSO plays with a headlong flair and expertise that any American Orchestra would rightly be proud of." -Classic FM Magazine****

"There is much to admire about this lively and colourful recording...not least the manner in which the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop actively thrive on playing music that communicates in such an immediate and engaging way." -Gramophone Magazin

"In works such as Route 66 and Sunset Strip [Daugherty] paints the hopes and dreams embodied in Interstate highways, wide-open spaces and all-night bars where Frank Sinatra crooned. These are winning and affectionate" -The Telegraph***

"Michael Daugherty treads a very cleverly judge line - he manages to write music which sounds slick and polished but which somehow retains a fresh and natural quality, perhaps because it's so up-front and open in its freewheeling enthusiasm...Marin Alsop does this kind of repertoire well and, aided by her two (also female) colleagues in The Time Machine, produces readings with the kind of in-your-face vigour that the music needs."-International Record Review

Houston Chronicle
Michael Daugherty's Route 66 sets the pace for this CD, with its bright orchestral colors and boisterous, jazzy energy - something like Leonard Bernstein's music from West Side Story Conductor Marin Alsop leads the Bournemouth Symphony through this romp.

BBC Music Magazine
The vivid recording was made in the summer of 2008, at the end of Marin Alsop's six seasons as principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. These confident, loose-limbed performances demonstrate how she succeeded during that time in turning the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra into just about the best American orchestra in Europe.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: The Lighthouse, Poole, United Kingdom (06/30/2008-07/01/2008).



Reviews

Daugherty is the tour guide in this fascinating trip through the southwest!
Michael Daugherty is one of the best and most interesting composers working today! His music is a melange of various sources; rock, pop, minimalism, the 19th century - all blended together in a way that way captures the listener and has come to define his style. His latest CD program, "Route 66", on Naxos American Classics serves as a terrific introduction to his music for those who need one as well as a sonic "tour" of the American southwest. Three of the pieces in this wonderful collection are inspired by trips through the heartland and to the west coast. Yet, this thematic similarity that gives the program its unity is after the fact. "Route 66" is a short, jaunty excursion that simulates, in music, the feel of passing through different vistas and ethnic inspirations culminating in a big band, big city feel. The work, written for the Kalamazoo, MI, Symphony in 1998, features Daugherty's characteristically exciting and jazz inspired use of brass and percussion. This disc then evokes the sights and sounds of New Mexico as depicted by its most famous artist, Georgia O'Keefe. "Ghost Ranch" (2006) is written in three movements - Bone, Above Clouds and Black Rattle. Each movement evokes imagery from actual O'Keefe paintings. The imagery in "Bone" reflects the many skull and bone images found in O'Keefe's work (who found inspiration in the contrast between the beauty of clean skies and open desert and the starkness of dry, abandoned remains and archeological ruins) The effects which rely on wood percussion and other 'bone-like' timbres is clear and effective. "Above Clouds" references the painting, "Sky Above Clouds I-IV" The effects of space and distance are handled with some wonderful "floating" brass writing. Lastly, "Black Rattle" depicts O'Keefe's own experiences being alone in the desert with strange, often frightening sounds at night. The orchestration depicts the danger, the solitude and the "blackness" with great effect. Imagine then, that the journey evoked by this CD ends in downtown LA, specifically on "Sunset Strip" (1999) where bars, strip clubs, private detective agencies and the whole mid fifties "noir" imagery of the growing Los Angeles is felt with jazzy, Latin inspired and somewhat 'seedy' aplomb! This is a very nice piece that depicts its moods from '7 PM' through the 'Nocturne' and ending at '7 AM" The last work in this collection is Daugherty's "Time Machine" from 2003. This piece does not have anything directly in connection with the 'travelogue' of the others. However, its focus on "Past" and "Future" works nicely to mesh with some of the nostalgic tour of the other works. This is a big, vivid orchestral work wherein the ensemble is divided into three parts, requiring three conductors as the orchestra is physically divided on the stage. Daugherty explains that when the three parts play together, it creates a "three dimensional" effect to simulate flying through time. His orchestration is, again, colorful, relying on odd but beautiful effects in the percussion and winds. The more works I hear by Michael Daugherty, the more I like it. His music is accessible, fun to listen to and incredibly creative and clever in its themes and orchestration. The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra give another great performance here and conductor Marin Alsop proves again that is both one of America's finest conductors as well as an expert interpreter of contemporary American music! I liked this disc a lot and I believe most people would. Take the trip down this particular "Route 66"!
Submitted on 02/04/11 by Dan Coombs 
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Works Details

>Daugherty, Michael : Route 66, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Marin Alsop
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, United Kingdom (06/30/2008-07/01/2008)
  • Running Time: 7 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1998

>Daugherty, Michael : Ghost Ranch, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Marin Alsop
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, United Kingdom (06/30/2008-07/01/2008)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2006

>Daugherty, Michael : Sunset Strip, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Marin Alsop
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, United Kingdom (06/30/2008-07/01/2008)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1999

>Daugherty, Michael : Time Machine, for 3 conductors & orchestra
  • Conductor: Laura Jackson
  • Notes: The Lighthouse, Poole, United Kingdom (06/30/2008-07/01/2008)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2003