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Thursday, October 27, 2016

John Corigliano, Symphony No.1, Michael Torke, Bright Blue Music, Aaron Copland, Appalachian Spring Suite, National Orchestra Institute Philharmonic, David Alan Miller

We have at hand three brilliant orchestral works played with spirit by the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic under David Alan Miller. All three works hail from last century and embrace a modern tonal approach but without anything formulaic about them.

Aaron Copland's "Appalachian Spring" (1945) Ballet Suite is a quintessentially inimitable treatment of the Shaker Hymn "Simple Gifts" along with fiddle tune harmonies and a beautiful lyrical demeanor. This is a very serviceable, cleanly direct reading of a work of huge appeal and very Coplandian treatment.

John Corigliano's breakthrough "First Symphony" (1989) combines lyrical appeal with briskly modern spiciness, all within a brilliantly orchestrated four movement structure.

Michael Torke's "Bright Blue Music" (1985) translates the personal color associations of the composer onto a dynamic musical canvas, bright and bubbling over with spirit.

The inclusion of three important modern scores well played gives this album an edge and satisfying fullness that should make of it a very attractive listen for those who would like something moving in the modern tonal zone. The orchestra and Miller give everything an excellent spin. You cannot go wrong at the Naxos price.

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