If you're lucky enough to take one of Jett Hitt's guided tours of Yellowstone
National Park on horseback, the chances are that he'll describe himself
as an 'Ozark Mountain Hillbilly' and tell you all about his horse training
and photographic activities, about how he comes from a long line of cowboys,
and about how his grandfather was locked up in the 1930s for distilling
moonshine. What you may not discover is that Arkansas-born Jett Hitt also
holds a doctorate in composition.
Spectacular landscapes have a big effect on Jett Hitt, and Yellowstone
for violin and orchestra is full of the grandeur of the park's 2.2 million
acres, inspired by the composer's close association with the territory and
by memories of particular incidents and experiences there.
The music -- a three movement concerto dedicated to Anne-Sophie Mutter
-- is unashamedly romantic, with soaring violin melodies. I find it difficult
to come to terms with its composition at the very end of the twentieth century
(between 1995 and 1999). It would make a super score for some Spielberg
cinematic blockbuster [listen -- track 3, 10:41-11:41].
The copious reverb on this recording helps to create the feeling of space,
and first class performances by Czech violinist Frantisek Novotny (soloist
with the Prague Chamber Orchestra) and the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
under their principal guest conductor Kirk Trevor (originally from England),
complete the scene.
Copyright © 9 November 2002
Keith Bramich, Worcestershire, UK
YELLOWSTONE WILDERNESS PUBLISHING
Yellowstone for Violin and Orchestra
91045 91162 DDD NEW RELEASE 45'40" 2002 Jett Hitt
Frantisek Novotny, violin, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Kirk Trevor, conductor
Jett Hitt: Yellowstone for violin and orchestra - a concerto in three movements (Yellowstone; Dunraven; Hoodoos) (1995-9)
Record Box is Music & Vision's
regular Saturday series of shorter CD reviews