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COUNTRY MUSIC?

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GREG BARNS muses on an Elliott Carter recording
by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra

 

When my friendly CD distributor handed me a recording by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra I was immediately curious. Nashville is a place most of us in Australia, and in my case the small island state of Tasmania, associate with country music, not the classical idiom. But this collection of works by that giant of twentieth century American music Elliott Carter, is helping to change any perceptions of Nashville I, or anyone else who buys this CD, may have had.

The Nashville Orchestra's rendition of Carter's Symphony No 1 and the Piano Concerto featuring the Blair School of Music's Mark Wait and the Orchestra's long standing conductor, Kenneth Schermerhorn is first rate. And perhaps just as importantly it's readily accessible to music lovers around the world because it's recorded by Naxos -- the fast growing global CD label. And a label that ensures its recordings are available at a fraction of the price charged by the larger more established recording companies.

American Classics - Elliott Carter: Symphony No 1 and Piano Concerto. CD cover © 2004 Naxos Rights International Ltd
American Classics - Elliott Carter: Symphony No 1 and Piano Concerto. CD cover © 2004 Naxos Rights International Ltd

The decision by the Nashville Orchestra to record Carter and to work with Naxos is both clever in marketing and creative terms. It's a prime example of what lesser known orchestras need to do to enhance their future in a world that is deluged with new creative output every day of the week.

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Copyright © 21 April 2004 Greg Barns, Hobart, Tasmania

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