ClassicsOnline Home » FOOTE, A.: Francesca da Rimini / 4 Character Pieces after the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam / Suite / Serenade (excerpts) (Seattle Symphony, Schwarz) > Review List

FOOTE, A.: Francesca da Rimini / 4 Character Pieces after the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam / Suite / Serenade (excerpts) (Seattle Symphony, Schwarz)

Composer(s):Foote, Arthur
Artist(s) Schwarz, Gerard, Conductor • Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.559365
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps

Born in Massachusetts, Arthur Foote was unusual among 19th century American composers in that practically all of his training took place in the United States. His individualistic style recalls the classical structure of Brahms while reveling in exotic harmonies and colorful orchestrations typical of late romanticism. Foote’s ‘Symphonic Prologue,’ Francesca da Rimini, based on the story of the doomed lovers Francesca and Paolo as immortalized in Dante’s Inferno, is a thrillingly original musical vision, and offers a fascinating comparison to Tchaikovsky’s well-known tone poem of the same name. Also featured on this CD are exquisite character pieces inspired by the poetry of the medieval Persian mystic Omar Khayyám.


Review By Zach Carstensen,The Gathering Note,June 2009

Bernard Jacobsen, in his liner notes for this CD, points out American classical music didn’t begin with Aaron Copland. Composers like Arthur Foote paved the way long before Aaron Copland came along. Nevertheless, Foote’s music generally sounds more Germanic than American, an unavoidable consequence of composers, orchestras, and classical music boosters in America hewing to the Franco-Germanic tradition. This album is attractive, conservative, and uneventful. Not a bad thing because it makes for a CD that is easy to enjoy.


Review By David Denton, Naxos,June 2009

Arthur Foote was the first totally indigenous composer produced by the United States. Born in 1853, he was a gifted young pianist who went to University to study law, and returned to music when, by chance, he met his piano teacher in a summer vocation. Though only together for those few weeks it decided him to make a career as a musician, firstly as a teacher of piano and organ. He was twenty-nine before having a piece published, by which time a visit to the Bayreuth Festival had placed him under the spell of everything German. In total he composed only eighty pieces, but his influence on future generations came with a teaching post at the New England Conservatoire. His works were indebted to Brahms, and that was a double-edged sword as it left his music already



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