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  Albany -
  Harris, Gould: Symphonies - Miller
  Roy Harris: Symphony No. 2
Morton Gould: Symphony No. 3

Albany Symphony Orchestra
David Alan Miller
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 2

Review by Edvin February 9, 2006 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Roy Harris is one of the most original voices ever, I can spot his music within two seconds. However, this second symphony is not where you should start. Harris withdrew the symphony and it has been remade with the aid of the orchestal parts. Maybe once in a while the composer´s wish should be respected.
I first encountered Harris during the early seventies when I heard his Kentucky Spring on the radio. I immediately recognized a very original voice and hurried to buy what was available on LP -the third symphony with Bernstein and a Louisville LP of the fifth.
The third is still, in my opinion, the greatest symphony produced by an American composer (and a new recording is issued next month by Marin Alsop and the Colorado Symphony, coupled with the overrated fourth - the interludes are the best. RBCD only, Naxos you know).

The second symphony was written in 1934, the year after the first, called Symphony 1933 and recorded by Koussevitsky. The first is an energetic piece full of surprises and lyrical parts. The second is neither here nor there really. Three movements that speaks the Harris language without having so much to say. I can well understand why he withdrew it. So if you are interested in Harris, please try the third first, and then No 7 or 6. Maybe Naxos will provide satisfactory recordings of these (No 7 is available in a quite good performance on Naxos). But if you are only interested in SACD this will not give you an idea what Roy Harris is about, not at all.

The coupling, symphony No 3 by Morton Gould is a well written piece of no great originality. But I must say, I have never heard this amount of slow music in a Gould score before. It doesn´t help though. It is more gestures than genuine symphonic thinking and the lack of a voice of his own adds up to a piece of Americana that I find not so impressive. There are moments of vitality, but no thanks. The finale is noicy..

Now, why so high marks? Because the performances and recordings are of quite a high order. Two channels only, but with a wonderful feeling of the hall.

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Review by Chris February 8, 2004 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I bought this record without really knowing anything about the music beforehand.My initial reactions were so, so.Not really world class pieces compared to the big names in contemporary music.
But the more I listen ,the more I like both pieces. Harris´s 2nd is IMO the weaker of the two.But it certainly has its inspired moments. And Gould´s 3rd is quite captivating especially in the jazzy "whirlwind" 3rd movement.
The recording is very realistic with sweet velvety, good natural string tone, and a pleasing abscence of spotmiking and other nuicances that spoil so many of todays recordings.For a dive into the unknown ,a trip off the beaten track and the good recording I can recommend it.

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Works: 2  

Morton Gould - Symphony No. 3
Roy Harris - Symphony No. 2