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Howard Hanson: Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 21, "Nordic"
I. Andante solenne - Allegro con forza
II. Andante teneramente, con semplicita
III. Allegro con fuoco
Howard Hanson: Merry Mount Suite, Op. 31
II. Children's Dance
III. Love Duet
IV. Prelude to Act II and Maypole Dances
Howard Hanson: Pan and Priest, Op. 26
Pan and Priest, Op. 26
Howard Hanson: Rhythmic Variations on 2 Ancient Hymns
Rhythmic Variations on Two Ancient Hymns
“The Nordic Symphony was completed when Hanson was in Rome studying with Respighi – stylistically it brings Sibelius south to Italy. The Nashville performance can be compared with the Seattle orchestra under that fine Hanson interpreter, Gerard Schwarz. Schermerhorn is more spacious, taking a good two minutes longer overall – no bad thing in such hyperactive music, as it constantly strives towards the next climax. Schwarz is faster in the final Allegro but both performances are exciting and well recorded: the issue is settled by coupling and price. There are many attractive features in the Merry Mount Suite – Charleston syncopation in the 'Children's Dance' and characteristic Hanson harmony oscillating between two chords at the start of the ecstatic 'Love Duet'. All supremely operatic, but the stage work still remains in limbo. The least-known piece here is the Rhythmic Variations, considered lost until recently, and cited as such in the New AmericanGrove. This seems distinctly careless of someone, since Hanson recorded this late work himself in 1977. It's serenely spacious, utterly diatonic but no great rediscovery. Pan and the Priest, a vivid symphonic poem reaching pagan intensity, completes a bargain Hanson package that's well recorded, too.”
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