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Classical Music Home > THOMSON, V.: Plow that Broke the Plains (The) / The River (NTSC)

THOMSON, V.: Plow that Broke the Plains (The) / The River (NTSC)



THOMSON, V.: Plow that Broke the Plains (The) / The River (NTSC)

DVD Clip

The Plough That Broke The Plains • The River


The Original Films by Pare Lorentz
with Newly-Recorded Soundtracks of the Classic Scores by

Post-Classical Ensemble
Angel Gil-Ordóñez,
music director
Joseph Horowitz,
artistic director
Floyd King, narrator

Pare Lorentz, film director


Picture format: NTSC 4:3
Sound format: DTS / Dolby Digital
Region code: No Region Coding
Running time: 112:20
No. of DVDs: 1


  • Pare Lorentz's The Plow that Broke the Plains (1936) and The River (1937) are landmark American documentary films. Aesthetically, they break new ground in seamlessly marrying pictorial imagery, symphonic music, and poetic free verse, all realised with supreme artistry. Ideologically, they indelibly encapsulate the strivings of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 'New Deal'.

  • Virgil Thomson's scores for both films are among the most famous ever composed for the movies. Aaron Copland praised the music for The Plow for its "frankness and openness of feeling", calling it "fresher, more simple, and more personal" than the Hollywood norm. He called the music for The River "a lesson in how to treat Americana".

  • Virgil Thomson is a stalwart of the traditional school of American music, and wrote the soundtracks for many documentaries.  This uses the re-recorded original soundtrack to the film, and includes some tracks which were omitted from the documentaries on their original transmission.


Thomson, Virgil

Gil-Ordóñez, Angel

PostClassical Ensemble

Lorentz, Pare

Label: Naxos

Genre: Classical Documentary

Period: 20th Century

Catalogue No: 2.110521

Barcode: 0747313552153

Physical Release: 01/2007

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