add to wish list | library

12 of 16 recommend this,
would you recommend it?

yes | no

Support this site by purchasing from these vendors using the paid links below. As an Amazon Associate earns from qualifying purchases.
  Telarc -
  Jennifer Higdon: City Scape, Concerto for Orchestra - Spano
  Jennifer Higdon: City Scape, Concerto for Orchestra

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Robert Spano (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

delete from library | delete recommendation | report errors
Related titles: 5

Berlioz: Requiem - Spano        

Reviews: 2

Review by DSD October 8, 2005 (6 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Jennifer Higdon is a major discovery for me and I will be looking for more of her music in the future. This SACD was purchased after hearing her "Blue Cathedral" which is the ending piece on Telarc's "Rainbow Body" SACD.

I would say Higdon's music is modern-impressionist-romantic as she has elements of all three, her music is very original, melodic, hauntingly beautiful and powerful. In both "Concerto for Orchestra" and "City Scape" she uses percussion to excellent effect much like Hovhaness does, however I hear NO influence of Hovhaness or any other composer she is very much an original. Her music is expertly orchestrated and crafted has a large scale grandioseness about it and I believe will stand the test of time quite well.

This SACD offers the usually Telarc state of the art realistic sonics and is totally breathtaking.

I highly recommend this SACD. I listened in 2 channel Stereo.


Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Review by lenw July 18, 2005 (6 of 16 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is another outstanding Telarc stereo SACD with lots of glowing reviews. It is top rate in terms of dynamic range, imaging, and hall amibience with a wide and deep soundstage. The musical score is certainly a different kind of classical music than I'm used to hearing. If there is a term called 'progressive' classical I guess this is it. I have to admit I'm still trying to get into the music, but I have absolutely no quarrel with the sonics of this disk.

This Telarc album was a 2005 Grammy Award Winner for Best Engineered Album, Classical OutMusic Award for Outstanding New Instrumental Recording.

"...a lustily played program from a resourceful ensemble..." -- Los Angeles Times

“One of the most valuable of Higdon's musical assets is her feeling for dramatic structure. Both the concerto and City Scape (2002)—Higdon's three-panel portrait of Atlanta—are expansive yet tautly constructed...Kudos to Telarc for giving us this impressive sample of an extraordinarily gifted composer.” -- Gramophone

“Unquestionably Higdon has it all as a composer: a generous fund of ideas, terrific technique, an excellent sense of musical timing, and enough concern for her audience to write music that can be enjoyed at first hearing but that never panders or sounds derivative...she's one of the best American composers on the scene today.” -- Classics Today

“Jennifer Higdon is a masterful colorist whose music is immediately appealing, full of energy and dash, but also with lyrical movements that grab you and hold your interest with their variety and melodic freshness...It's a brilliant piece brilliantly played by the Atlantans. Add Telarc's usual terrific sound and this disc becomes a must for fans of accessible modern music.” -- Amazon

“After decades in which writing orchestral music to please was frowned upon, along comes Jennifer Higdon's Concerto for Orchestra, with enough persuasive arguments to give populism a good name...and a fine impression it made, thanks to Higdon's tingling sonorities, her superb technical confidence and the bright, blazing energy of her idiom.” -- Financial Times

“...more often it showed a playful and original sensibility, with a nice mixture of naivety and formal subtlety. Higdon has an intriguing way of launching a texture of bare, arresting strangeness, which gradually becomes wrapped in a "normal" context.” -- Daily Telegraph

"Higdon's work is traditionally rooted yet imbued with integrity, freshness and a desire to entertain. A promising mixture. More, please." -- The Times

“Both works are lovingly performed by Spano and the ASO. When a conductor has such a special affinity for a composer's music, you can hear it.” -- Creative Loafing

“In short, this CD of Jennifer Higdon’s music is a real winner; beguiling the ear, captivating the heart and thrilling the mind. Brava!” --

“Ms. Higdon clearly is a skilled orchestrator with plenty of ideas. Hers is likable, immediately appealing music.” -- Dallas Morning News

“[Concerto for Orchestra] It's a glittering, often wild 30-minute composition that feels fresh and original, and causes even a skeptical listener to feel not just respect, but affection.” -- Hartford Courant

“Higdon is a composer of skill and humor. Her music is unfailingly pleasant, substantive without growing difficult for even a casual listener.” -- The Philadelphia Inquirer

“… Higdon’s full-scale recent orchestral pieces, confirms her arrival as a bright new star in the compositional firmament.... Performances by Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony are polished and lustrous. Telarc’s sonics are vivid…” -- American Record Guide

“Jennifer Higdon writes shimmering, kaleidoscopic music that has high listener appeal… If you want to celebrate the 4th of July with great American music performed by some of America’s finest musicians in the best possible recorded sound, this disc is for you.” --

“Higdon shares with Berlioz a superb grasp of orchestration that is evidenced by the deft manner with which she combines instruments or groups of instruments to achieve the rainbow of sound this composition [Concerto for Orchestra] exudes.” --

“…a stunning gift for vivid orchestral writing is apparent.…and the ASO’s spectacular playing for Spano demonstrates that 2002’s Grammy (for ‘A Sea Symphony’) was no fluke. Telarc’s sound is spacious and full-bodied, with generous low-end weight.” -- Fanfare

“Having already raved about this release's artistic and sonic excellence...the SACD sounds even better than the standard stereo disc...Whether in stereo or multi-channel formats, buy it!” 10/10 --

Billboard’s Top 10 Classical List for 2004 -- Billboard

“The rapport between composer and conductor is clearly reflected in the orchestra’s dazzling interpretation of these pieces. Higdon’s compositional style caters to performers and the spark of freshness and familiarity in her music style appeals to audiences as well.” -- The Instrumentalist

“The second movement, River Sings a Song to Trees, shows Higdon at her mystical best: Musical events are ordered with infallible intuition rather than logic in a long-evolving, constantly unfolding journey of orchestral color into increasingly ecstatic realms.” -- Stereophile

“Spano and the Atlanta Symphony make a persuasive case for both works, and the recording is a knockout too. If you’ve been turned off by a lot of new American music, you’ll find Higdon’s works a most refreshing tonic for sore ears.” -- Chicago Tribune

“This concerto for orchestra is one sensational piece of music…Jack Renner is, at this best, a formidable electronics artist and it’s at his best that he is here. The sound is highly dynamic, with great, huge orchestra crescendos and percussive explosions; and the way Renner has recorded it lets you hear into Jennifer Higdon’s complex scoring in a way that moves both heart and intellect...Watch this woman’s work. A star is being born.” -- Harry Pearson for The Absolute Sound

Was this review helpful to you?  yes | no

Works: 2  

Jennifer Higdon - City Scape
Jennifer Higdon - Concerto for Orchestra