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  San Francisco Symphony -
  SFS 0038
  Ives/Brandt, Copland - Michael Tilson Thomas
  Ives/Brandt: A Concord Symphony, Copland: Organ Symphony

Paul Jacobs (organ)
San Francisco Symphony
Michael Tilson Thomas (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:
  A Concord Symphony recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, February 3-6, 2010.
Organ Symphony recorded live at Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, September 22-25, 2010.

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Related titles: 2

Reviews: 3

Review by gonzostick February 14, 2011 (10 of 13 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is excellent! The Ives/Brandt is as craggy as the Concord Sonata in its piano version, but the orchestral color makes it less severe. The recording quality is first-class. For an excellent version of Concord on piano, check out Aimard or Hamelin on RBCD.

The Copland Organ Symphony is quite dissonant, but also incredibly beautiful. There are sections in this work that anticipate Stravinsky's "Symphony of Psalms" and "Symphony in Three Movements."

This will become a demonstration SACD. The organ is quite powerful, though it is that huge, so-so instrument at Davies. The 32 foot stops are electronic. The recording is finally the replacement for the RBCD versions from Bernstein/Biggs (CBS), and Slatkin/Preston (RCA). The performance dances, sings, screams, and does everything the work should do.

Not recommended for casual listening, but essential to any library of 20th Century American music.

These are live performances and the audience is unheard until the applause.

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Review by hiredfox April 21, 2011 (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Whether or not your musical appetite sharpens to American Modernism, this is a disc to be treasured. A rare treasure at that. Michael Tilson Thomas knows instinctively what these composers were about emotionally and drives his way spectacularly to the very heart of their creative expression. The results here are astonishing. Electrifying and scintillating live performances of these less well-known and recorded symphonies by the San Francisco Symphony hold the listener in thrall from beginning to end.

Recorded absolutely breathlessly in a pin-sharp and huge three-dimensional sound-scape; unsurprisingly the experienced and knowing hands of Mark Donahue & Dirk Sobotka have been deeply involved.

Of the two pieces my preference slightly is for the Organ Symphony but only just - both performances will delight listeners who have not heard them before. In the Organ Symphony, Paul Jacobs plays at perfect intensity to blend into the orchestration rather than dominate, exactly as the composer intended. The 'Finale' may well be the finest recorded sound on disc I have heard in my lifetime.

Take it from me, I am off the bed tonight a very happy man indeed. This disc is at the cutting edge of hi-res art if the sound matters more than the music - as it does for some - but for most these are surely benchmark performances that will be hard to surpass.

If one were permitted to score 11/10 then I would do so on Performance and Sound as well, as it is I'll give them 11 anyway. Just be thankful that SFS Media are still committed to DSD and SACD and forget about all the out-of-band noise nonsense of the DSD naysayers.

You cannot afford to be without this disc - it is as some would say over here 'a stonker!" (with an 'o'), a no-brainer, a slam-dunk!

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Review by avoigt April 30, 2011 (2 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
I was present for the live performance of the Ives and feel this recording captures the music perfectly. The Brant orchestration
is fantastic beyond belief...this was a project he held very dear and worked on perfecting it for many years. MTT is bringing it back again if you wish to hear it live...but second to that this is as good as it gets!

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