PCE’s recent CD release, Dvorak and America, has just been named Album of the Week by New York’s Classical Music Radio Station, WQXR and Minnesota Public Radio!
ABOUT THIS RECORDING…
At the center of this ambitious recording is the premiere of a work for actor and orchestra called Hiawatha Melodrama. It was conceived and assembled by the author and music entrepreneur Joseph Horowitz, with contributions from NYU musicologist Michael Beckerman. The piece consists of the narration of a condensed version of Longfellow’s 1855 poem “The Song of Hiawatha” flavored with a score drawn largely from Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony. The idea is to draw links between a poem that had been hugely popular when Dvorak arrived in America, and the composer’s Symphony, which captured some of the soulfulness of black spirituals. Baritone Kevin Deas is the fiery and affecting narrator here.
The recording also features examples of Dvorak’s American-influenced compositions such as the Violin Sonatina in G, his Humoresques, Op. 101 for piano, his American Suite, Op. 98, plus three works by American composer and Native American music scholar Arthur Farwell. The fine Benjamin Pasternack is the soloist on the piano works.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING…
“This compendium of music and words provides a genuinely interesting and difficult-to-describe musical experience that provides considerable insight into the ways in which America influenced Dvořák and the way the great Czech composer returned the favor.” – Mark Estren, infodad.com
An excerpt from the Hiawatha Melodrama: