Library Ed. Classical Genius 2007
CD ISBN 9781934488188 $14.95 One CDs
Classical Genius is a series of recordings summarizing the lives of great and near great composers against a backdrop of their music. This sixty-minute volume covers four twentieth-century American composers--John Philip Sousa, George Gershwin, Aaron Copeland, and, almost as an afterthought, Samuel Barber. The text, apparently intended for a younger audience, is corny and as misleading as it is informative. Why mention, for instance, that Gershwin was a womanizer and omit the facts of Copeland's and Barber's homosexuality? Certainly Gershwin's love life had far less impact on his music than, say, Barber's long personal and professional association with Gian Carlo Menotti. Mellow-voiced William Sargent reads sentimentally, with a touch of Yiddishkeyt in his inflections. Though music plays throughout, only a small selection from each composer (one from Barber!) is represented. Y.R. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine [Published: DEC 07/ JAN 08]
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