Michael Tilson Thomas is an expert Ivesian. His 1970 recording debut was with Three Places in New England, still available from DG. Here, he redoes the work with the interpolation of a chorus singing the poem on which the last movement, "The Housatonic at Stockbridge," is based--unusual, not as effective as the orchestral version, but fascinating. Tilson Thomas cites Ives's desire for performers to creatively shape his music, and this disc vindicates his editorial liberties by making Ives's surprising music even more unpredictable. The choral contributions are fine, too, but baritone Thomas Hampson steals the show with seven songs that display his empathy with Ives's varied styles and the range of the composer's music, from cowboy songs to touching elegies. The way Hampson bellows a Brooklynese "Coytin" (for "Curtain") at the end of the first song of Memories is worth the price of purchase. Here's a disc to be entertained by, and moved as well. The recording was made at SFS concerts, and we're privileged to share the audience's experience. A must-have for Ivesians and the curious. --Dan Davis
89482NMichael Tilson Thomas - Ives: An American Journey (CD)http://oldies.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/i/boxart/large/37/090266370320.jpg?v=38.988.08USDInStock/Genre/Classical-Music/Labels/RCARCACDClassical-MusicMichael-Tilson-Thomas2009-10-30
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