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Lara Downes - American Ballads

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Classical pianist Lara Downes takes us on a journey through the heart and soul of the USA with her album, Lara Downes: American Ballads. On the acclaimed Postcards recording, Downes takes a look at some 20th Century American composers that have been influenced by the aural landscape that surrounded them, namely popular song, Jazz, and Folk music. American Ballads features compositions by Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, Charles Ives and others, but one of the highlights of the CD is the world premiere recording of legendary Jazz composer / saxophonist Benny Golson's Classical composition On Gossamer Wings, which Lara debuted at Lincoln Center. As a Classical music concept album, American Ballads revisits a vanished but not-so-distant era in the United States. American music is as diverse and as varied in it's origin as the people who live here and the landscapes we inhabit. It's distinct and beautiful flavor comes from the confluence of these many musical references, and from it's very American spirit of independence and adventure. On this recording we find music of many forms and inspirations: an Appalachian Folk melody, a languid Blues, a lounge singer's romance, the big-city sounds of the Jazz age, a tranquil hymn, a tender lullaby; all are beautiful and unique American Ballads.

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1) Excursions Op.20: I. Un Poco Allegro
2) Excursions Op.20: II. in Show Blues Tempo
3) Excursions Op.20: III. Allegretto
4) Excursions Op.20: IV. Allegro Molto
5) Four Piano Blues: I. Freely Poetic
6) Four Piano Blues: II. Soft and Languid
7) Four Piano Blues: III. Muted and Sensuous
8) Four Piano Blues: IV. with Bounce
9) On Gossamer Wings
10) American Ballads: I. Streets of Laredo
11) American Ballads: II. Wayfaring Stranger
12) American Ballads: III. the Bird
13) American Ballads: IV. Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair
14) American Ballads: V. Cod Liver Pie
15) North American Ballads: III. Down By the Riverside
16) Piano Sonata No.2: III. the Alcotts
17) The Plow That Broke the Plains Ste: I. Prelude
18) The Plow That Broke the Plains Ste: II. Cowboy Songs
19) The Plow That Broke the Plains Ste: III. Blues
20) The Plow That Broke the Plains Ste: IV. Finale
21) American Nocturne

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American Ballads | Lara Downes