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NI 6258
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NI 6258

Augusta Read Thomas - Selected Works for Orchestra

The Classical Shop
release date: January 2014

Originally recorded in 2013


Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Chamber Orchestra

Fort Smith Symphony

Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW Ensemble

Southern Methodist University Wind Ensemble

Pierre Boulez

Oliver Knussen

Cliff Colnot

Jack Delaney

Greg Heustis

- (horn)

Christine Brandes

- (soprano)

Baird Dodge

- (violin)


Christopher L. Willis

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 79:50
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  Selected Works For Orchestra  

Aureole for Orchestra (2013)

 Cliff Colnot


Words of the Sea

2 I ... words of the sea ... 3:38
3 II ... the ever-hooded, tragic-gestured sea ... 4:13
4 III ... beyond the genius of the sea ... 2:53
5 IV ... mountainous atmospheres of sky and sea - homage to Debussy 6:09
 Pierre Boulez

In My Sky at Twilight

  for soprano and ensemble (2002)  
6 I Deeper than all roses 10:07
7 II Lament 8:29
 Christine Brandes - (soprano)
 Pierre Boulez

Carillon Sky

  for solo violin and chamber ensemble (2006)  
 Baird Dodge - (violin)
 Oliver Knussen

Terpsichore's Dream

  for chamber orchestra (2007)  
 Cliff Colnot

Silver Chants the Litanies

  for French horn & 18 players (2004)  
 Greg Heustis - (horn)
 Jack Delaney
  Total Time 79:51      

Among today’s composers, Thomas has remained consistent in blazing her own path. In this she has undoubtedly been aided by her cosmopolitan training, having studied with, among others, Alan Stout (Northwestern University, 1983-87), Oliver Knussen (Tanglewood, 1986, 1987, 1989) and Jacob Druckman (Yale University, 1988), as well as one final year in London at the Royal Academy of Music (1989). Her music has travelled worldwide over the years through the advocacy of figures such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Pierre Boulez, Daniel Baremboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Oliver Knussen, Esa Pekka Salonen, William Boughton and Sir Andrew Davis among many others. But names, appointments and honours in themselves cannot give an indication of what Thomas’ music sounds like. And the music itself defies any easy verbalisation. Divining influences can give some indication as long as it is borne in mind that knowledge of said influences is no substitute for listening to the actual music. Thomas’ long-standing study of Jazz has imparted a sense of rhythm notable for its combination of drive and elasticity. Figures as diverse as Byrd, Bach, Chopin, Mahler, Debussy, Berg, Stravinsky, Berio, Knussen, George Benjamin, Ellington, Coltrane and Dutilleux certainly furnish clues as to how Thomas’ music has attained its formal fluidity, a lyricism high-flown and diaphanous by turns, a harmonic language that can move between tart, flavoursome dissonance and warm consonance with an enviable naturalness, and an orchestrational instinct of pyrotechnic virtuosity.

                  Editor’s Choice - Orchestral

"... The performances are as persausive as expected given the involvement of such as Pierre Boulez and Oliver Knussen, while the quality of sound and the extensive booklet-notes are added anhancements. One can only await Vol 2 of this series with impatience."

Richard Whitehouse - Gramophone magazine- April 2014

"... a good sense of the vividly imaginative instrumental palaette that Thomas has at her fingertips, and which established her as one of the most distinctive and rewarding US composers of her generation... Thomas’s confident handling of a chamber orchestra is perhaps the most impressive aspect of the pieces in ths collection..."  ****

Andrew Clements - The Guardian - 7 February 2014

I'm a Chicago resident, and became familiar with the music of Augusta Read Thomas when she was Composer in Residence for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. A recent newspaper article mentioned this recording. I downloaded "Aureole" an "Terpsichore's Dream", as I already owned some of the others. Both pieces are good examples of modern music. They have interesting sonorities, a good sense of purpose and direction, and are well crafted. Good music for a listener who enjoys something a bit different.
C Sheahen