MICHAEL DAUGHERTY (b.1954): Mount Rushmore for Chorus and Orchestra, Radio City: Symphonic Fantasy on Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra, The Gospel According to Sister Aimee for Organ, Brass and Percussion.

Catalogue Number: 05O012

Label: Naxos

Reference: 8.559749

Format: CD

Price: $11.98

Description: All of these works (from consecutive years 2010-12 in the order listed above) were commissioned either entirely or in part by the performers here. You won't be surprised to hear that this is dynamic, dramatic and high-octane music, punctuated by necessary quieter and more reflective passages and using various types of American popular music as inspiration because that's what Daugherty does. Mount Rushmore uses a William Billings hymn tune and a fragment of a Washington letter in the George Washington part, an Italian song composed for Thomas Jefferson in 1786 by an American woman he met in Paris, Teddy Roosevelt's speech of 1903 at the Grand Canyon with music intended to evoke the majesty of the great American western outdoors (with Rock of Ages lurking in the background) while the largest movement is the Lincoln finale setting the Gettysburg Address, using its own rhythmic cadences. Radio City's three movements imagine various aspects of Toscanini's wartime New York exile (you'll hear some Vivaldi and Verdi in the first two movements while the finale is intended to capture the conductor's tempestuous temperament and the controlled frenzy of many of his performances. Gospel paints pictures of three significant moments in the spectacular career of Aimee Semple McPherson in what is effectively an organ concerto but with brass and percussion instead of strings and woodwinds accompanying, punctuating and leading the way much of the time. Texts included. Paul Jacobs (organ), Pacific Chorale, Pacific Symphony; Carl St. Clair.


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