American Classics - Charles Griffes

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American Classics - Charles Griffes


Gramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2004



Catalogue No:




Release date:

1st March 2004




56 minutes


CD (download also available)
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American Classics - Charles Griffes


The White Peacock

Three Poems of Fiona Macleod

Barbara Quintiliani (soprano)



Three Tone Poems

Poem for flute & orchestra

Carol Wincenc (flute)

The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan



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Charles T. Griffes: The White Peacock

The White Peacock

Charles T. Griffes: 3 Poems of Fiona McLeod, Op. 11

The Lament of Ian the Proud

Thy Dark Eyes to Mine

The Rose of the Night

Charles T. Griffes: Bacchanale


Charles T. Griffes: Clouds


Charles T. Griffes: 3 Tone-Pictures

The Lake at Evening

The Vale of Dreams

The Night Winds

Charles T. Griffes: Poem

Poem for Flute and Orchestra

Charles T. Griffes: The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan, Op. 8

The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan

Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“Griffes represents the high point of American post-Romanticism. From his European training he inherited both the German and French traditions of Strauss and Debussy, fused them into something rich and strange, and in his later years became involved with Scriabin and oriental music. Much of his music has been regularly available on record, but this all-Griffes CD now makes the best showing for his hyper-sensitive responses to both literature and landscape.
Many of the works here are piano pieces fastidiously scored, with significant additions. TheWhite Peacock, just possibly a cousin of Stravinsky's firebird, is the first of the Roman Sketches for piano, all prefaced with stanzas by Fiona McLeod (a nom-de-plume for William Sharp): the impressionistic Clouds is the last of these.
The orchestral opulence of the Three Poems ofFiona McLeod, steeped in baleful Celtic twilights, makes the piano version seem anaemic; they're compellingly sung here by Barbara Quintiliani.
In the Three Tone-Pictures every picturesque detail of harmonically qualified melody is subtly imagined. The same applies to the Poem for flute and orchestra, where the continuity has the instinctive flow of Delius, beautifully realised by Carol Wincenc. The Pleasure-Dome of KublaKhan, the most extended work in this anthology, is an ecstatic response to Coleridge's opium- saturated masterpiece.
Conductor JoAnn Faletta is completely sympathetic throughout, and there are neatly delivered solos from many of the Buffalo players. This is a revelatory Griffes release, decently recorded with a wide dynamic range: strongly recommended.”

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