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Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 Naxos 8.559227


Composer: Roy Harris

Conductor: Marin Alsop

Orchestra: Colorado Symphony Orchestra

Choir: Colorado Symphony Orchestra Chorus


Strongly influenced by his native Oklahoma, Roy Harris studied in Paris with
Nadia Boulanger, returning to America to establish himself as one of the leading
composers of his generation. The backbone of his output is the series of
thirteen symphonies, which span his career from 1933 to 1976. Described by the
conductor, Serge Koussevitzky, as 'the first great symphony by an American
composer', Symphony No. 3 is remarkable for its broad, sweeping melodies
evoking vast landscapes, and for its affecting fusion of plainsong, Renaissance
polyphony, hymnody and folk song. In Symphony No. 4 'Folk Song Symphony',
Harris draws on an eclectic mix of folk material from a variety of regional and
ethnic roots that include cowboy songs, frontier ballads, spirituals and
marching songs. This is the first release of a projected Naxos cycle of the
thirteen Roy Harris orchestral symphonies.

Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 Review

…Symphony No. 3 (1938), like much of Copland's music, builds melodic
moods with the black notes, moods he and his fellow romantics have accustomed us
to so they no longer feel dark in and of themselves. They have become the cast
we put on our romanticism. Here in Harris's work, we go up and down the scale
in some unnamed minor key, first with strings, then with strings and woodwinds.
At some point a solo bassoon, oboe, and flute are feathered in, and finally the
brass are

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