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Getty: Young America
Choral Works by Gordon Getty
Young America
Three Welsh Songs
Annabel Lee
Victorian Scenes
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor) with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus; Russian National Orchestra (Alexander Vedernikov, conductor) with the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir
Pentatone SACD

Acclaim for Getty: Young America

"Getty's choral works feature a real affinity for the rhythms of the English language... Indeed, there is such a wonderful feeling for the prosody of English in Getty's compositions that he is able to imbue the poems of Benet, Housman and Tennyson with a freshness that invites a reappraisal of the poetry of the pre-Modernists.... These are choral works in which the chorus takes center stage. I was particularly impressed with "Jerusalem," a scene from Getty's opera Plump Jack, which is based on the Falstaff/Henry plays of Shakespeare. Getty's attention to word-painting is such that he can have Clarence announce that Henry IV is "exceedingly ill" and do so on the interval of the tritone, the disquieting "diabolus in musica" of yore. Getty's genius is in knowing that tonal music is alive and well and has a level of referentiality and self-reflexivity that is beyond the limited palettes of the atonalists. " (November 2005)

"For any listener who enjoys robust choral writing, good tunes, lively rhythms, and ethereal beauty, this disc can be enthusiastically recommended.... All of the performances here are excellent... This is an extraordinarily engaging disc, one to which I shall return many times."

Fanfare Magazine (November 2005)

"There's clearly a strong personal voice here [and] the results are consistently winsome, sometimes even hauntingly beautiful.... Those attracted to the spirit behind this music will find that the performances are fluent and that the sound — as usual with PentaTone — is exceptionally natural."

International Record Review (November 2005)

"Much of the lyrics are written by the composer and he has an easy direct way, producing what could easily be taken for traditional or folk poetry.... Tilson Thomas catches the character of the parlante or speech rhythm to give these the feeling of immediacy and directness of expression. It comes right to you.... The orchestration is selective and effective, and the restraint in the orchestral writing in all the music on the CD is admirable.... The choral and orchestral performances throughout this CD are elegant, the music in its style and expressiveness, human, warm and sympathetic, giving song and voice to these poems."

San Francisco Classical Voice (September 2005) [more]

"...the works included here evoke a mood musically that easily could have come from the pen of Beethoven or Schubert, and Getty's texts are derived from sources as diverse as Steven Vincent Benet, Edgar Allan Poe, Tennyson and Housman. He also includes his own translations of an excellent Welsh folk song cycle. The performances are outstanding. Sound quality, as usual from Pentatone, is superb. Highly recommended, especially for lovers of choral music, or anyone that yearns for a bygone age."

Audiophile Audition (September 2005)

"Gordon Getty has mastered the art of traditional tonal composition. After spending some time with the composer in person, you would conclude further that he thoroughly enjoys doing it. This enjoyment is easily shared by listeners who do not insist that contemporary music must be complex and dissonant. The texts of these choral works are of 19th-century vintage: poems by Tennyson, Poe and A. E. Housman, arrangements of Welsh folk songs, a scene from an opera about Falstaff, with text mostly by Shakespeare. The music is limpid and beautifully presented." (August 2005)

What They’re Saying

"The Russian National Orchestra's performances are as close to perfect as one could hope for."

Trinity Mirror, England