Album: Michael Tilson Thomas, American Mavericks: Cowell, Harrison, Varèse SFS (Media)


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The Independent Culture

Michael Tilson Thomas's time at the helm of the San Francisco Symphony has been marked by a courageous dedication to modernist American outsiders, and American Mavericks bears out the orchestra's experience with such outré material.

Henry Cowell's Synchrony and Piano Concerto, both from 1930, are landmark works in the development of his signature tone-cluster style; there are echoes of the bustling Asiatic percussion and grinding organ of Lou Harrison's Concerto For Organ with Percussion Orchestra (1973) in contemporary works by The Residents and Terry Riley; and Edgard Varèse's Amériques (1927) evokes an immigrant's concern about pre-war US power.

Download: Synchrony; Ameriques; Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra