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Ives: Symphonies no 1 & 4, etc / Litton, Dallas SO

Album Summary

>Ives, Charles : Symphony no 1, for orchestra in D minor, S. 1 (K. 1A1)
>Ives, Charles : Symphony no 4, for orchestra (& optional chorus, theremin et alia), S. 4 (K. 1A4)
>Ives, Charles : Central Park in the Dark, for orchestra, S. 34 (K. 1C27)
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"These are excellent performances in every respect: magnificently played, beautifully recorded, and conducted with unfailing intelligence. The First Symphony is a better piece than is often thought--immature, in its way, but also irreverent, and full of Ives' typical honesty and sincerity. This performance doesn't take the first-movement exposition repeat as does James Sinclair on Naxos, but it is a bit livelier overall and uses the latest edition (with the riotous percussion that brings the finale to a typically irreverent conclusion). The bottom line is that the music doesn't really sound like anyone else, and in Andrew Litton's hands the music in the outer movements, with its odd dissonances and freedom of modulation, clearly foretells the composer to come This performance of the Fourth Symphony is spectacular. I haven't heard the SACD (yet), but it's hard to imagine a more vivid engineering job. You can actually hear the steady percussive tread that wends its way through the finale at just about every point, no matter how dense the surrounding tangle of sonority The only serious competition to Litton in the Ives Symphonies, taken as a cycle under one conductor, comes from Michael Tilson Thomas on Sony, who has less alluring sonics and the old edition of the First Symphony. For all intents and purposes, Litton stands in a class of his own." -ClassicsToday

'The performance of the Fourth is rightly the pinnacle of Andrew Litton's superb Ives cycle... Litton has the work's measure perfectly, balancing the visionary with the prosaic, and teasing out the most complex textures of a huge orchestra and a chorus with an exemplary clarity that is flawlessly captured by the recording' (The Guardian)

'Litton's new set is the one to have' (International Record Review)

'Overall these two CDs are a winning representation of the four Ives symphonies with the Dallas Symphony consistently impressive throughout' (Gramophone)

'I have no doubt that Andrew Litton's cycle will serve as the reference for many years to come. A major achievement, no doubt about it' (ClassicsToday.com)

'There is an unbuttoned passion, superb clarity of execution - particularly the brass - and, above all, a communication of spirit, probably down to Litton's passion for the music, that just sweeps you along' (MusicWeb International)

'These are excellent performances in every respect: magnificently played, beautifully recorded, and conducted with unfailing intelligence. For all intents and purposes, Litton stands in a class of his own' (Classics Today)

'Ces performances captées sur le vif, formidablement souples et vivantes, imposent Ives en classique du XXe siècle; statut que l'Amérique lui reconnait depuis longtemps mais que le reste du monde accepte moins - à quelques exceptions près' (Diapason, France)

'Symphony no 1 is a work of youthful vigor... Litton opens the symphony in flowing style, he finds optimism in it, vitality, the freshness of a spring day...The finale is a corking movement, full of exuberance, energy, and invention. Wonderful! Litton and his splendid orchestra do it justice, not least the marching band episode toward the close...Symphony no 4 is an amazing piece that is here given a very assured performance' (Fanfare, USA)

'I forgot what it felt like to be proud to be an American until I heard Andrew Litton's hair-tearingly wonderful new live recordings of the Charles Ives Symphonies Nos. 1-4 with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Hyperion). These thrillingly played, deeply moving accounts of the numbered symphonies (there's also a Holidays Symphony MTT has conducted in Davies, and an unfinished Universe Symphony recently released in a new completion), most of them recorded one year ago, set the post-9/11 standard for these still-ground-breaking works by the composer who remains our nation's greatest symphonist. Although Ives' visionary Fourth Symphony provides the peak experience, Litton doesn't play favorites with the works. He lavishes the same microscopic attention to detail and industrial-strength grasp of their extravagantly complex forms on every measure of all four, without for a beat losing sight of their unfathomable humanity' (Bay Area Reporter, USA)



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Works Details

>Ives, Charles : Symphony no 1, for orchestra in D minor, S. 1 (K. 1A1)
  • Conductor: Andrew Litton
  • Ensemble: Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Eugene McDermott Concert Hall, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, TX (01/12/2006-01/16/2006)
  • Running Time: 36 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1898-1902
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Ives, Charles : Symphony no 4, for orchestra (& optional chorus, theremin et alia), S. 4 (K. 1A4)
  • Conductor: Andrew Litton
  • Ensemble: Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Eugene McDermott Concert Hall, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, TX (01/19/2006-01/22/2006)
  • Running Time: 30 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1910-1916
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Ives, Charles : Central Park in the Dark, for orchestra, S. 34 (K. 1C27)
  • Conductor: Andrew Litton
  • Ensemble: Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Eugene McDermott Concert Hall, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, TX (01/12/2006-01/16/2006)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1906
  • Studio/Live: Live