"Every composer's music reflects in its subject matter and in its style the source of the money the composer is living on while writing it."
American Classics - Thomson: Symphony on a Hymn Tune, etc
(New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; James Sedares, conductor)
Virgil Thomson (1896-1989) was, during his long creative lifetime, one of the major voices in 20th-century American music. He was a noted critic, teacher and, above all, skilled composer. Like the American romantics of the 1930s (Roy Harris, Howard Hanson, and Samuel Barber, to name a few), Thomson drew from many sources, but mostly from 19th-century American folk music and dance theater (as did Aaron Copland). Captured on this disc are four of Thomson's better-known works, played with sympathy, warmth, and charm by the New Zealand SO, with American James Sedares at the helm. It's also part of Naxos's dynamic American Classics series that, so far, has yet to stumble. And, at midprice, it's also a steal. (review by Paul Cook)