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Seattle Symphony Orchestra - Symphonies 4 & 9

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Seattle Symphony Orchestra
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Label / Studio
Naxos American

This is the opening salvo of Naxos's planned series of William Schuman's ten symphonies, central to a career in which the brassy energy of his music made him a leading figure in American music for over three decades. The Fourth Symphony, premiered some six weeks after Pearl Harbor, is an optimistic piece with a slow movement both warm and sad and outer movements capped by dense textures and blazing brass. The Ninth is subtitled "The Ardeatine Caves," reflects the composer's thoughts on a visit to that site of a Nazi World War II atrocity. It's a much tougher piece than the Fourth, the three continuous movements encapsulating a cascade of fast-changing ideas and brass and percussion-laden climaxes. Two brief works separate the symphonies: the catchy folk-based Orchestral Song, and the brightly energetic Circus Overture, originally intended for a Broadway revue. Schwarz and his orchestra deliver stylishly apt performances of all these works, making one look forward to the rest of the series.

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Seattle Symphony Orchestra - Symphonies 4 & 9.

1) 72
2) Tenderly Simply
3) 144
4) Orchestra Song
5) Circus Overture
6) Anteludium
7) Offertorium
8) Postludium

Symphonies 4 & 9
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Symphonies 4 & 9 | Seattle Symphony Orchestra