JOAN TOWER (b.1938): Made in America, Tambor, Concerto for Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 06I098
Description: The concerto (1991) is the major work here, a large orchestral canvas of a half-hour's duration which uses the orchestra boldly and with Tower's characteristic vividness of color. Tower is a conservative, eschewing serial techniques in favour of a straightforward harmonic language in which occasional apparent references to Bartók - not entirely surprising in a work with this title - and Shostakovich do not seem out of place. Big, bold and energetic music to be enjoyed, not analysed. The other two are world premiere recordings: Made in America, a 13-minute commission from a consortium of 65 small American orchestras (all of whom will have performed it by the end of June), is a fantasy on America the Beautiful in which the full tune hardly ever appears complete, instead offering a starting point for a mini-concerto for orchestra whose orchestral color matches the colors and landscape of the U.S.. Tambor (1998), of similar length, is a percussion-driven Pittsburgh Symphony commission in which rhythm and color take the place of motives and melodies. Nashville Symphony; Leonard Slatkin.