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Cindy McTee (b.1953): Symphony No. 1 - Ballet for Orchestra; Circuits; Einstein's Dream; Double Play / Slatkin

Audio Samples

>McTee, Cindy : Circuits, for band
>McTee, Cindy : Symphony no 1 ("Ballet for Orchestra")
>McTee, Cindy : Einstein's Dream, for orchestra
>McTee, Cindy : Double Play, for wind ensemble

Album Summary

>McTee, Cindy : Circuits, for band
>McTee, Cindy : Symphony no 1 ("Ballet for Orchestra")
>McTee, Cindy : Einstein's Dream, for orchestra
>McTee, Cindy : Double Play, for wind ensemble
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Cindy McTee's compositions embody the musical and cultural energy of modern-day America. Circuits, 'a boisterously jazzy sprint' (Detroit Free Press), is followed by Symphony No. 1, a smartly assembled work whose diverse ideas 'seemed to unfold naturally within an orchestral fabric that used the ensemble's full coloristic range' (The New York Times). The use of computer music in Einstein's Dream lends sonic complexity to a piece that celebrates the scientist's work on quantum theory. Double Play, commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, 'hums with craftsmanship and a catholic array of influences across several centuries' (The Washington Post).

MusicWeb International, 27th January 2014
McTee is never less than interesting - Time will tell whether there is more. The signs are good.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detro (2012).



Reviews

A very pleasant discovery you should hear!
I was not familiar with composer Cindy McTee until this release and I am glad to have made the musical acquaintance. McTee taught for many years at the University of North Texas and her music has been played by an impressive array of orchestras from Lyon to Tokyo to Los Angeles and many others. This exciting new recording with the Detroit Symphony and the incredible Leonard Slatkin shows why. This collection begins in attention getting fashion with McTee's jazz-tinged "Circuits" This fairly brief little showpiece was written for the Denton Chamber Orchestra and makes use of cells of 'riffs', basically, that give the work a very propulsive nature. McTee's "Symphony #1 - Ballet for Orchestra" is a very interesting work as well and serves as the centerpiece to this collection. This is a big, four movement work that follows a typical structure but is built from a very creative atypical premise. Each of the movements intends to evoke or channel a particular aspect of dance music. Each is also a development of one of the composer's other works or other dance-inspired master works, such as the composer's own "Agnus Dei" for organ (the Adagio) or Ravel's "La Valse" (the symphony's third movement, "Waltz") This is a very engaging work and makes for a solid addition to the contemporary symphony repertoire. The fourth work on this program is McTee's "Double Play", written for Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony. This is a clever two movement work played without pause and that 'interact' with each other. The opening "Unquestioned Answer" (a great title...) takes its cue from the Charles Ives inverse and, in fact, uses the trumpet call melody in reverse as the motive to this work. McTee comments that this piece - like many by Ives - uses the concept of opposites as its foundation (tonal:atonal, quiet:frantic, etc) The closing "Tempus Fugit" is a fascinating little examination of time passing that begins with clocks ticking asymmetrically and eventually catches up with itself in a fast paced conclusion. The most unusual work in this collection is "Einstein's Dream" for strings, percussion and computer-generated sounds. This work was written for the Dallas Symphony is built on seven different sections that all refer to the theories of Einstein (such as "Pondering the Behaviour of Light") The way he very 'modern' sound of the electronic music intersects with or interferes with an inserted Bach chorale - especially at the beginning of the work - makes for a very unsettling but quite interesting musical experience. Cindy McTee is a very unique compositional voice and one that I am glad to have discovered. Leonard Slatkin has a career long dedication to the work of American composers that must be admired and appreciated. His work has brought many up and coming - or lesser known - composers to our attention for nearly fifty years. Cindy McTee appears to be the latest important find for us all.
Submitted on 12/02/13 by Dan Coombs 
Well-crafted and accessible music
If you're not familiar with this talented American composer, this album provides a great introduction.

The release opens with "Circuit," a five-minute work that generates high-energy action from start to finish. By contrast, "Einstein's Dream" is a slow-moving atmospheric work for orchestra and electronics. Conservatively atonal, its evolving soundscapes are quite appealing, and draw the listener into its world.

"Double Play" was written for the Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit symphony Orchestra, and they perform it with confidence. The second movement is especially effective, bristling with jazzy, good-natured spirits.

McTee's Symphony No. 1: Ballet for Orchestra is just that -- a work of symphonic proportions that practically begs to be choreographed. Each movement has a dramatic narrative to it and a pulse that keeps the music moving constantly forward. McTee's carefully crafted melodies make her music easily accessible without resorting to triteness or cliche. This is a substantial work that merits revisiting.

Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra know this music well, and it shows. Ensemble playing is clean and precise, the narrative flow of the music is clear, and the blend between instruments and sections seamless.
Submitted on 01/23/14 by RGraves321 
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Works Details

>McTee, Cindy : Circuits, for band
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Ensemble: Detroit Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit, USA (02/09/2012-02/11/2012)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1990
  • Studio/Live: Live

>McTee, Cindy : Symphony no 1 ("Ballet for Orchestra")
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Notes: Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit, USA (05/17/2012-05/19/2012)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 2002
  • Studio/Live: Live

>McTee, Cindy : Einstein's Dream, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Notes: Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit, USA (02/09/2012-02/11/2012)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 2004
  • Studio/Live: Live

>McTee, Cindy : Double Play, for wind ensemble
  • Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
  • Notes: Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, Detroit, USA (05/17/2012-05/19/2012)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2010
  • Studio/Live: Live