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Dvorák and America: Hiawatha Melodrama; American Suite; Farwell: Navajo War Dance; Pawnee Horses / Kevin Deas, narrator; Benjamin Pasternack, piano

Album Summary

>Horowitz, Joseph : Hiawatha Melodrama, for narrator & orchestra (after Dvorak)
>Fisher, William Arms : Goin' Home (adapted from Dvorak's Symphony no 9 "From the New World", 2nd movement)
>Dvorak, Antonin : Violin Sonatina in G major, Op. 100, B. 183
>Dvorak, Antonin : Humoresque no 4 for piano in F major, B. 187/4 (Op. 101/4)
>Dvorak, Antonin : Humoresque no 5 for piano in A minor, B. 187/5 (Op. 101/5)
>Dvorak, Antonin : Suite for orchestra in A major ("American"; arr. from suite for piano, B. 184), B. 190 (Op. 98b)
>Farwell, Arthur : Navajo War Dance no 2 for piano, Op. 29
>Farwell, Arthur : Pawnee Horses, for piano
>Farwell, Arthur : Pawnee Horses, for chorus, Op. 102
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

The centerpiece of this program is the first ever recording of the Hiawatha Melodrama, a concert work for narrator and orchestra designed to show the kinship between Dvorák's New World Symphony and Longfellow's poem The Song of Hiawatha, which Dvorák said had inspired him in the symphony. It takes music from the symphony, as well as passages from the American Suite and Violin Sonatina, and fuses them with the poem, which is recited by a bass-baritone. Also included is music by Arthur Farwell, who was influenced by Dvorák, and was a proponent of Native American music. This recording thus celebrates the crosscurrent of influences between the Czech composer and American music and culture.



Reviews

Poor Dvorak
Several composers have tried their hand at musical melodrama, i.e. an existing literary work embellished with musical accompaniment. Two notable examples come to mind: Schumanns Manfred and Richard Strauss Enoch Arden. Both are rarely performed except for Schumanns darkly dramatic overture. On the other hand, Coplands inspirational Lincoln Portrait is by any calculation, standard repertory. Hiawatha, the centerpiece of this disc features the famous Longfellow poem with several Dvorak compositions arranged and interpolated by the works co-composers. On paper this project looked promising. Unfortunately, the resulting amalgam falls short. You find yourself drawn primarily to Dvoraks masterful writing. Longfellows poetry comes across as intrusive and is not well served by the stilted recitation. Its 32 minute duration seems excessive. The remaining 44 minutes is taken up with some familiar Dvorak items readily available elsewhere as well as three brief, moderately interesting evocations of Native American music by Arthur Farwell, an avid Dvorak admirer. The Fisher arrangement of Goin Home is effectively done. The well-played Larghetto from the Violin Sonatina is available in its entirety on a previously released Naxos disc. Did anybody notice the tuning and voicing issues on the piano used in tracks 9-15? Very disappointing.
Submitted on 08/20/14 by Allen Cohen 
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Works Details

>Horowitz, Joseph : Hiawatha Melodrama, for narrator & orchestra (after Dvorák)
  • Conductor: Angel Gil-Ordóñez
  • Ensemble: PostClassical Ensemble
  • Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Michael Beckerman.
  • Running Time: 32 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 2013

>Fisher, William Arms : Goin' Home (adapted from Dvorák's Symphony no 9 "From the New World", 2nd movement)
  • Performer: Kevin Deas (Bass Baritone)
  • Conductor: Angel Gil-Ordóñez
  • Ensemble: PostClassical Ensemble
  • Running Time: 6 min. 12 sec.

>Antonin Dvorák (1841 - 1904) : Violin Sonatina in G major, Op. 100, B. 183 :: 2. Larghetto
  • Performers: Edmund Battersby (Piano); Qian Zhou (Violin)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk, UK (09/02/1998-09/03/1998)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Antonin Dvorák (1841 - 1904) : Humoresque no 4 for piano in F major, B. 187/4 (Op. 101/4)
  • Performer: Benjamin Pasternack (Piano)
  • Notes: Composition written: 08/07/1894-08/27/1894.
  • Running Time: 2 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Antonin Dvorák (1841 - 1904) : Humoresque no 5 for piano in A minor, B. 187/5 (Op. 101/5)
  • Performer: Benjamin Pasternack (Piano)
  • Notes: Composition written: 08/07/1894-08/27/1894.
  • Running Time: 3 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Antonin Dvorák (1841 - 1904) : Suite for orchestra in A major ("American"; arr. from suite for piano, B. 184), B. 190 (Op. 98b)
  • Performer: Benjamin Pasternack (Piano)
  • Notes: Composition written: Circa 01/19/1895.
  • Running Time: 20 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: circa 01/19/1895

>Farwell, Arthur : Navajo War Dance no 2 for piano, Op. 29
  • Performer: Benjamin Pasternack (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1904

>Farwell, Arthur : Pawnee Horses, for piano
  • Performer: Benjamin Pasternack (Piano)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1905

>Farwell, Arthur : Pawnee Horses, for chorus, Op. 102
  • Performer: Michael Worfe
  • Conductor: James Morrow
  • Running Time: 2 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1937