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18th Century American Overture

Album Summary

>Hewitt, James : Medley Overture in D minor/major, for orchestra
>Carr, Benjamin : The Federal Overture
>Hewitt, James : New Medley Overture in C major, for orchestra
>Hewitt, James : New Federal Overture, for orchestra
>Reinagle, Alexander : Miscellaneous Overture in D major, for orchestra
>Reinagle, Alexander : Occasional Overture in D major, for orchestra
>Reinagle, Alexander : Overture in G major, for orchestra
Conductor Ensemble
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Composers
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Notes & Reviews:

Musical life in late 18th-century America was every bit as vibrant as that in Europe, as local composers flourished in the wake of the Revolutionary War. Benjamin Carr, James Hewitt and Alexander Reinagle contributed entertaining orchestral works to a growing "New World" repertoire, their overtures often comprising medleys of famous classical and popular music. Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä here presents sparkling performances of these spirited pieces in reconstructions by composer/musicologist Bertil van Boer, restoring this forgotten symphonic legacy to its rightful place in our musical heritage.

Fanfare
Most readers will never have heard of these composers. In fact, I rather suspect that most collectors attracted to this release, The 18th-Century American Overture, will be so more out of historical curiosity than out of any prior knowledge of the music itself.

American Record Guide
The composers expected audiences to know this stuff; maybe they applauded or stomped along. You'll recognize 'Yankee Doodle' and 'Hail, Columbia!' many times over, while Carr in his Federal Overture quotes 'La Marseillaise' and there are popular Scottish and Irish melodies. (Reinagle was Scottish.) 'Garry Owen' shows up in his Miscellaneous Overture, while the familiar 'Irish Washerman' scrubs away furiously in the Occasional Overture. Hewitt's New Medley Overture jostles a Scottish reel with 'Governor Jay's March' resplendent in trumpet and drum; even more curious, his Medley Overture starts out with the introduction to Mozart's D-minor Piano Concerto (No. 20). Hewitt takes the "medley" part seriously: his tunes stop on a dime and switch off at the drop of a hat, and just when you're expecting the piano to come in he launches into 'Hail, Columbia!' instead. The big-hearted string sound of Reinagle's Overture in G has a robust Handelian feel and is typical of the hearty hale-fellow-well-met attitude displayed by this Finnish band all through this thoroughly recommendable outing.

Audiophile Audition
Conductor Patrick Gallois and his Finnish band play this music with energy and even more important, without an air of condescension. They take it seriously and so turn out performances that are fun, unstuffy, but respectful of the composers' intentions. This is a very enjoyable recreation of music from a lively time in American cultural and political history. An attractively warm yet detailed recording from Hankasalmi Church in Jyväskylä completes the package.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Hankasalmi Church, Jyväskylä, Finland (05/04/2009-05/08/2009).



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Works Details

>Hewitt, James : Medley Overture in D minor/major, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Patrick Gallois
  • Notes: Hankasalmi Church, Jyväskylä, Finland (05/04/2009-05/08/2009)
  • Running Time: 12 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1798

>Carr, Benjamin : The Federal Overture
  • Conductor: Patrick Gallois
  • Notes: Hankasalmi Church, Jyväskylä, Finland (05/04/2009-05/08/2009)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1794

>Hewitt, James : New Medley Overture in C major, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Patrick Gallois
  • Notes: Hankasalmi Church, Jyväskylä, Finland (05/04/2009-05/08/2009)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1799

>Hewitt, James : New Federal Overture, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Patrick Gallois
  • Notes: Hankasalmi Church, Jyväskylä, Finland (05/04/2009-05/08/2009)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1796

>Reinagle, Alexander : Miscellaneous Overture in D major, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Patrick Gallois
  • Notes: Hankasalmi Church, Jyväskylä, Finland (05/04/2009-05/08/2009)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1801

>Reinagle, Alexander : Occasional Overture in D major, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Patrick Gallois
  • Notes: Hankasalmi Church, Jyväskylä, Finland (05/04/2009-05/08/2009)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1794

>Reinagle, Alexander : Overture in G major, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Patrick Gallois
  • Notes: Hankasalmi Church, Jyväskylä, Finland (05/04/2009-05/08/2009)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1787