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American accents

Orchestral music by
David Stock -
reviewed by

'Strongly recommended.'

David Stock: American Accents. © 2004 David Stock

This disc is the newest release of music by David Stock (born 1939) and is a long-overdue full disc survey of some of his recent orchestral work. Also of note on the Innova label is a disc entitled Speaking Extravagantly of three of Stock's string quartets, played with verge and passion by the Cuarteto Latinoamericano.

Stock has been an active composer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA for many years. He is currently a professor of music at Duquesne University and is best known for his years as composer-in-residence with the Seattle Symphony and his many years as music director of the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, an organization which he founded.

The disc presents three varied, but equally compelling works from 1984 through 1997. The disc could have been titled 'From darkness to light ...' as that progression seems to inform the three works across the disc (and even the trajectory within the pieces themselves).

The Second Symphony (1996) is a work in three movements of unusual structural character. Two outer movements of nearly equal length (12-13 minutes each) surround a scherzo of less than 3 minutes! The scherzo ('Like the Wind') was originally written first, as a commission from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as part of a multi-composer suite called MOZAIKA! which was written to honor the appointment of Mariss Jansons as music director of that ensemble.

Stock felt the scherzo had potential as part of a larger work and, as a part of his residency, the Seattle Symphony commissioned him to write the entire symphony.

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Copyright © 9 December 2004 Carson P Cooman, Rochester, NY, USA


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