"The story of American music spans barely 150 years, and has developed in diverse and quite astonishing directions. We celebrate our compositional luminaries from Charles Ives to John Adams, but sadly neglect the 19th century artists who actually formed the foundation of American music. John Knowles Paine is a stellar example of an earlier American voice – of the beginning of the music that would define our country. His European training provided him with the superb compositional technique that shines in his orchestral works, which in his day were played and heard with great enthusiasm.
Knowles' intellectual imagination and love for literature colored his music with gorgeous imagery, and his unique combination of profound emotion and whimsy created a body of work with a distinct personality. His admiration for the German masters like Robert Schumann forms the basis for his symphonic output, but his style sets the stage for a truly American school or repertoire.
With the addition of the second CD of Paine's work, Naxos has captured the entire orchestral output of this vital figure in American music.”
The late 19th century witnessed unprecedented musical growth in the United States, and it is impossible to imagine a Copland, an Ives or even a Gershwin without the pioneering groundwork of the ‘Boston Six’, of whom John Knowles Paine was the senior member. Favorite among his own works, Paine’s Second Symphony was described on its New York première as “a serious, important and totally beautiful work.” His Prelude to the tragic play Oedipus Tyrannus was an immediate hit, while An Ocean Fantasy was his last orchestral piece. The first of this set of two volumes of Paine’s complete published orchestral works is available on 8.559747.
Watch video footage of the recording session
Listen to an extract from Symphony No. 2: IV. Allegro giojoso
Listen to JoAnn Falletta in conversation with Mark Simmons in the podcast A forgotten founding father
About the Artists
JoAnn Falletta serves as music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and Virginia Symphony and is the principal guest conductor of the Brevard Music Center of North Carolina. She was principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra from 2011 to 2014 and has guest conducted over a hundred orchestras in North America, plus many of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. A champion of American music, she has presented over five hundred works by American composers including 110 world premières. Her Naxos recordings include the double GRAMMY® award winning disc of works by John Corigliano and GRAMMY® nominated discs of works by Tyberg, Dohnányi, Fuchs, Schubert, Respighi, Gershwin, Hailstork and Holst.
Since its beginnings in 1966, the Ulster Orchestra has brought together people from all backgrounds and walks of life on an exciting, diverse and life-enriching musical journey. As Northern Ireland’s only professional symphony orchestra, it performs for more than 100,000 people every year, averaging eighty to ninety performances that include more than forty main season concerts, lunch-time concerts, BBC invitation concerts and performances at venues across Great Britain.
“JoAnn Falletta and her Buffalo players also put on a virtuosic display, clearly relishing the many opportunities that Corigliano gives them to strut their stuff. Phantasmagoria truly is, well, phantasmagorical. The whole production is engineered with vivid but unobtrusive naturalness. A total winner.” – ClassicsToday.com
“Pride of place this year goes to JoAnn Falletta’s magisterial new recording of Glière’s Il’ya Muromets … No one has a better sense of its overall dramatic structure than Falletta – and no one has a cannier sense of the flavor of its special sound world. A classic.” – Fanfare