Cover American Romantics II

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  • Stephen C. Foster (1826-1864), Carl Busch (1862-1943):
  • 1Old Folks at Home (Arr. C. Busch for Chamber Ensemble)05:29
  • Felix Borowski (1872-1956):
  • 2Suite rococo: I. Caprice pompadour02:49
  • 3Suite rococo: II. Air à danser03:03
  • 4Suite rococo: III. Passepied03:14
  • 52 Pieces: No. 1, Crépuscle04:20
  • 62 Pieces: No. 2, Sérénade03:07
  • George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931):
  • 7Intermezzo04:59
  • Arthur Foote (1853-1937):
  • 8Theme & Variations10:55
  • Paul Miersch (1868-1956):
  • 92 Pieces, Op. 27: No. 2, Wiegenlied (Arr. for Chamber Ensemble)03:02
  • Ethelbert Nevin (1862-1901), Arr. Paul Miersch:
  • 10La guitare (Pierrot et Pierrette) [Arr. P. Miersch for Chamber Ensemble]02:21
  • Edgar Stillman Kelley (1857-1944):
  • 113 Pieces, Op. 2: No. 2, Confluentia (Version for String Orchestra)04:52
  • Martinus van Gelder (1854-1941):
  • 12The Lingac Boat Song02:09
  • Bernardus Boekelman (1838-1930):
  • 13In der Einsamkeit, Op. 705:20
  • Louis Lombard (1861-1927):
  • 14Elégie05:22
  • Arthur Bird (1856-1923):
  • 153 Pieces, Op. 39: No. 2, Valse menuet03:02
  • 16Suite in E Major, Op. 1: IV. Gavotte02:33
  • Charles Wakefield Cadman (1881-1946):
  • 173 Moods, Op. 47: No. 2, To a Vanishing Race (Version for String Orchestra)02:31
  • Stephen C. Foster, Arr. Carl Busch:
  • 18My Old Kentucky Home (Arr. C. Busch for Chamber Ensemble)05:12
  • Total Runtime01:14:20

Info for American Romantics II

“American Romantics II” is the second volume in a project initiated by conductor Reuben Blundell after he discovered several scores for string orchestra through the Fleischer Collection. These scores were all composed by American composers from the the last decades of the 19th century, both native born and recently immigrated. "American Romantics" presents the premiere recordings of these pieces, some of which draw on Americana melodies while others reflect the prevailing Central European compositional style of the day.

These world-premiere recordings are the second in conductor Reuben Blundell’s series promoting music by American composers, from the rich but underrepresented (at least in performance) music of the late 19th and 20th century. Some of these composers were born in America. Others, from Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, and the Netherlands, joined and influenced the musical life of their adopted country. Beyond these string orchestra works lie tantalizing, and mostly obscured, catalogs of compositions including operas, tone poems, symphonies, chamber music and songs.

Blundell unearthed these pieces from the rich troves of the Edwin A. Fleischer Collection of Orchestral Music at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The Fleisher Collection is the world’s largest lending library of orchestral performance material, lending to performing organizations worldwide. Alongside virtually the entire standard repertoire, it houses many rare and out-of-print works, with a current collection of over 22,000 titles and growing. Among them are two warm arrangements of iconic Stephen Foster songs by Kansas City based, Czech born Carl Busch and an extended Theme and Variations by Arthur Foote, who, among other distinctions, holds the honor of being the first recipient of a graduate degree in composition in the United States. The album’s program is balanced between natives of the United States (Foote, George Whitfield Chadwick, Ethelbert Nevin, Edgar Stillman Kelley, Arthur Bird, Charles Wakefield Cadman) and Europeans who became U.S. immigrants (Busch, Félix Borowski, Paul Miersch, Martinus van Gelder, Bernardus Boekelman, and Louis Lombard). In this way, these works are an ideal snapshot of the nascent musical community in the United States at the turn of the century — a moment in time that witnessed the gradual emergence of what flowered later into a rich American compositional tradition, through the different strains of Horatio Parker, Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, and eventually John Cage, Morton Feldman, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Lou Harrison, Ben Johnston, and countless others.

Gowanus Arts Ensemble
Reuben Blundell, conductor

Reuben Blundell
is Music Director of the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra, one of PA’s great artistic treasures, and was recently re-engaged to serve the orchestra for a sixth season (through its 2019-20 season). This year the LSO works with Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster David Kim, and completes its groundbreaking recording project, of unheard classics by American Romantic-era composers. Previous seasons have featured soloists including renowned soprano Lisa DiNolfo in Strauss’s Four Last Songs, and flautist David Cramer of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Reuben is also Music Director of the Riverside Orchestra in New York, collaborating with soloists from across New York including members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. He also performs with The Chelsea Symphony, as a conductor and when not conducting, often concertmaster.

His recent CD, American Romantics, Volume I, with the Gowanus Arts Ensemble, received glowing reviews, including Gramophone Magazine, and American Record Guide: “I was completely mesmerized by this lovely recording, one of the best I’ve heard in some time.” The CD continues to be played regularly on WQXR and other stations across the US. He is a voting member of The Recording Academy (responsible for the GRAMMY Awards).

Reuben has performed in his native Australia, in Austria, Chile (conducting the Orquesta Sinfonica de la Universidad de La Serena), Iraq, Japan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, and across the United States. He conducted the New World Symphony in their 2013 John Cage centennial: Making the Right Choices. For eight years he served as Assistant Professor at CUNY’s Hunter College, growing a small ensemble into a symphony orchestra, and he recently joined the conducting faculty at New York’s Trinity School and the Bloomingdale School of Music..

At Eastman, he earned a doctorate in conducting with Professor Neil Varon, also studying violin with Zvi Zeitlin. His violin was a gift from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and after studies in Melbourne (at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and School of Music), and Sydney with Alice Waten, he was a Tanglewood Music Center Fellow (2002 & 2003) and a principal violinist in the New World Symphony (2003-2004). He attended the Monteux School in 2004 and 2005 under Michael Jinbo, received additional instruction from Marin Alsop, Jorma Panula and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Booklet for American Romantics II

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