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American Spectrum ()

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The American Spectrum title of this disc doesn't really do it justice; "spectrum" is one of those throwaway terms that put people off concert music, and the disc really is quite focused on a particular strand of American music. The combination of program and performers, moreover, displays a canny understanding of the American scene on the part of Sweden's BIS label, which could easily have engaged one of the country's big-name orchestras. Instead, the label chose a good regional ensemble, the North Carolina Symphony under Welsh conductor Grant Llewellyn, which has had to fight for an audience in a way that European groups generally do not, and put that ensemble together with some generally unfamiliar music relevant to the longstanding encounter between American concert music on one hand and jazz and pop on the other. The result is an energetic program that examines several forms that relationship has taken. Michael Daugherty's Sunset Strip, one of his consistent crowd-pleasers, sets a sort of... Hide synopsis

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