Harold Shapero - Symphony For Classical Orchestra - Nine-Minute Overture

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Album Name Length Format Sample Rate Price
Harold Shapero - Symphony For Classical Orchestra - Nine-Minute Overture 55:08 $11.98
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# Track Title Length Format Sample Rate Price
1 Nine-Minute Overture 09:30 44.1/16 Album only
2 1. Adagio - Allegro 12:20 44.1/16 Album only
3 2. Adagietto 15:14 44.1/16 Album only
4 3. Scherzo 05:39 $1.49 Buy
5 4. Finale - Allegro Con Spirito 12:25 44.1/16 Album only

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The Nine-Minute Overture was the very first orchestral piece composed by the twenty year old Shapero. It was written in 1940 while he was still a student of Walter Piston. So it is hardly surprising that the pupil's work reflects the neo-classical style of the master. The programme notes tell the story of how Shapero went off to study with Hindemith. He assumed that the new work would be given an 'airing' at Tanglewood. However Hindemith decided that there would be no student works performed that season. Aaron Copland came to the rescue. He ran a sort of scratch orchestra with the sole purpose of giving first performances of 'worthy' student compositions. Unfortunately the band was depleted and this resulted in a performance that left much to be desired. The work was not appreciated until it was given a performance by the CBS Symphony Orchestra a few years later.

This is an excellent work for a student composition. It is full of rhythmic interest and melodic variety and could never be regarded as 'pedantic'. There is a lovely second subject that haunts the remainder of the work. It would be easy to argue that the Overture is derivative and perhaps that it does not break new ground. Yet that is a spurious argument. It is a fine work that is exciting and thoroughly enjoyable. For this reason it deserves a place in the canon American music.

Reviews
"This nearly hour long symphony is impressively architectonic, rhythmically spiky and full of ideas..." - New York Times