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Silvestre REVUELTAS (1899–1940)
Angel Gil-Ordóñez, Conductor
Joseph Horowitz, Executive Director
An iconic product of the Mexican Revolution, Redes (1935) combines the talents of a master composer, Silvestre Revueltas, and a master cinematographer, Paul Strand. Its marriage of music and the moving image attains heights of epic grandeur. The co-directors are Fred Zinnemann (en route to Hollywood) and Emilio Gómez Muriel. Because dialogue rarely overlaps music, it is possible to rerecord Revueltas’s galvanizing score and discover musical riches inaudible on the original monaural soundtrack. As the Redes concert suites by Revueltas and Erich Kleiber omit much, the present DVD is the world première recording of Revueltas’s full score, one of the highest achievements in the history of film music.
Playing Time: 2:53:52
Other releases from the PostClassical Ensemble
COPLAND, A.: City (The) (NTSC)
Made for the 1939 New York World’s Fair (“The World of Tomorrow”), The City is a seminal documentary film distinguished for the organic integration of narration (scripted by city planner Lewis Mumford), cinematography (Ralph Steiner and Willard Van Dyke), and music (Aaron Copland). The score, arguably Copland’s highest achievement in film, was also his ticket to Hollywood; it has been called “an astonishing missing link not only in the genesis of Copland’s Americana style but in American music and cinema” (Mark Swed, The Los Angeles Times). As the film contains no dialogue, it is possible to create a fresh soundtrack and discover musical riches inaudible on the original monaural recording. As Copland created no suite from The City , the present DVD at the same time marks the WORLD PREMIÈRE RECORDING of this music in its entirety.
“[The] soundtrack is largely excellent, with the Post-Classical Ensemble exemplifying the understated, light, and precise style of playing needed for Copland’s music.”
THOMSON, V.: Plow that Broke the Plains (The) / The River (NTSC)
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.
“The performances are lively and stylish.”
THOMSON, V.: Plow that Broke the Plains (The) / The River
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 realized 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”.
“Very well played and recorded”
DVOŘÁK AND AMERICA
The centrepiece of this programme is the first ever recording of the Hiawatha Melodrama, a concert work for narrator and orchestra designed to show the kinship between Dvořák’s New World Symphony and Longfellow’s poem The Song of Hiawatha, which Dvořák said had inspired him in the symphony. It takes music from the symphony, as well as passages from the American Suite and Violin Sonatina, and fuses them with the poem, which is recited by a bass-baritone. Also included is music by Arthur Farwell, who was influenced by Dvořák, and was a proponent of Native American music. This recording thus celebrates the crosscurrent of influences between the Czech composer and American music and culture.
“The performances are unfailingly excellent”
Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group