Capital Public Radio’s Afternoon Classical Host Cale Wiggins joins us for this week’s Sound Advice. He's featuring four new releases by American composers, including Danny Elfman, George Antheil, Randal Thompson, and Elena Roussanova.
DANNY ELFMAN - "Rabbit & Rogue: Gamelan"
From Elfman’s first ballet, created in cooperation with Twyla Tharp. Digitally released in 2016, but just received a full release last this Summer. This movement is named for a type of traditional musical ensemble of Indosnesia that uses a lot of brass percussion instruments, most notably, the Saron; a brass metallophone that creates the running “1 , 2, 1, 2, 1, 2” heard throughout Gamelan.
GEORGE ANTHEIL - "Archipelago: Rhumba"
American Composer George Antheil was a man of many interests. During WWII, he and actress Heddy Lamar invented a guidance system for Allied torpedoes, a technique that became known as spread spectrum and is still used in telecommunications. Focusing on avant-garde music in his early career, Antheil would eventually find his way to Hollywood. The move seemed to give him a keener appreciation for melody, and he would later disparage the years he spent resisting melodic development as a member in good standing of the musical bleeding edge. The Archipelago Rhumba is clearly from his later period, when he was drawing inspiration from many popular sources.
RANDAL THOMPSON - "Symphony No. 2: I. Allegro"
Thompson is best known for his choral works, but he also composed a few symphonies early in his career. This new recording of Thompson’s 2nd Symphony is the second recording of the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic; an ensemble of the nation’s top young orchestral musicians. While this recording may not displace Leonard Bernstein’s with the New York Philharmonic as the definitive recording of the work, it is a worthy companion, and is arguably better in certain passages.
ELENA ROUSSANOVA LUCAS - "Moments Of Arrival: I. Moving Forward"
Roussanavoa is a Russian transplant. She is an Associate Professor of Composition at the Berklee School of Music, and is increasingly gaining attention as a composer.