It’s that day again. Time for family and football. Fights and frustrations. And most importanly…food! You guessed it – Thanksgiving! Whatever your view of the holiday is, it is always good to take some time off, enjoy the finer things of life and reflect on how lucky we actually are.
With that in mind we happily present our album of the week: Charles Ives, Holidays Symphony by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; conducted by Donald Johanos which can be found in the Classical section in row A2. The Holidays Symphony covers four holidays – George Washington’s Birthday, Decoration Day, The Fourth Of July, Thanksgiving And/Or Forefathers’ Day featuring the Southern Methodist University Choir with Lloyd Pfautsch directing. (So it seemed appropriate)
So who is Charles Ives? Born in 1874, he was a modernist composer. He was also one of the first American composers to gain international recognition. Unfortunately like many other artists, he was not very publicly known during his time. Stylistically Ives combined European art music with folk styles of American church and popular music. Stephen Foster (Oh Susanna) and hymns play important tonal themes in his compositions. He was very important in the beginnings of experimental music in the realm of music theory.
The actual composition, Thanksgiving And/Or Forefathers’ Day, is dedicated to his brother-in-law and is based on Ives’ experience as a church organist and one can here familiar themes from classic liturgical music – the last movement even includes an actual chorus.
Donald Johanos, the conductor, was born in 1928 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was a graduate of the Eastman School of Music with a distinction in conducting and violin. He studied under many prominent conductors in both the United States and Europe such as Eugen Ormandy and Sir Thomas Beecham as well as serving as a guest conductor for many other orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Union.
The Dallas Symphony was founded in 1900 and features 92 musicians at full strength. You can check them out at www.mydso.comA big thank you to Franklin and Marshall College for this donation. Happy Thanksgiving. Eat well, do good, and stay safe!