In TRASATLANTIC a third CD release by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, with Louis Langrée conducting, the selections are wide ranging stylistically, but nautically sailing steadily towards the United States.
With Gershwin, whose two versions of An American in Paris occupy two of the tracks on this double CD, its Americanness still permeates the Paris setting of the composition. With Edgar Varése, his first shot at an American composition, its flavor is spiced with the European seasoning of an avant-garde French-born composer newly arrived in the New York of the early 1920’s. In both cases it is music about a world getting smaller.
And finally, in Stravinsky’s Symphony in C we hear the work of a brainy composer of pure music writing during a time in which he lost three members of his immediate family, suffered a near-fatal stroke, and barely managed to get out of Europe on the brink of WWII. Again here we are listening to European music commissioned by an American – music that remains a bridge between to worlds.
Two European émigrés, and a musical rube-made-good barely out of Tin Pan Alley all three of which do not walk into a bar, but instead take a transatlantic journey vividly fleshed out by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in tip-top form with a maestro who knows his way in and out of a thousand styles.
The results promise to be richly rewarding in this Fanfare double CD (FC 016) if you come on board. I did and it was smooth sailing.
Rafael de Acha
**** Very good indeed!