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John McLaughlin Williams - Violin Concerto

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John McLaughlin Williams
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Naxos American

The "Dean of Northwest Composers," George Frederick McKay was undoubtedly important for his teaching at the University of Washington, Seattle, and for his personal influence on John Cage, William Bolcom, and several other notable students. Yet McKay's own music faded to the background, largely because of his overly conservative, academic approaches. The dramatic and lush Violin Concerto (1940) is practically a throwback to the late Romantic era; while it is a handsome enough vehicle for violinist Brian Reagin and the Ukraine State Radio Symphony Orchestra, directed by John McLaughlin Williams, it bears few signs of it's time and little originality. The quaint Suite on Sixteenth Century Hymn Tunes (1962) hearkens back to the Calvinist Psalter of Louis Bourgeois, and McKay adapts the music for string orchestra in much the same way that Respighi arranged Renaissance melodies for his Ancient Airs and Dances. The Sinfonietta No. 4 (1942) and the Song Over the Great Plains (1953) reflect a more modern sensibility, and may be described as works in the American populist style.

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1) Allegro Molto Ma Risoluto
2) Andante - Quasi Adagio
3) Allegor Vigoroso
4) Meditation
5) Rondolet
6) Air Varie
7) Choeur Celeste
8) Cortege Joyeux
9) Allegro Con Gaiezza E Con Brio
10) Moderato Pastorale
11) Allegro Gioioso E Ritmico Molto
12) Song Over the Great Plains

Violin Concerto
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Violin Concerto | John McLaughlin Williams