America

America

by Boston Pops Orchestra

CD

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Overview

One might look to an album like this to test the health of American ideals. Or one might use it to examine the continuing viability of the pops ensemble in an era when connections between the pop and classical spheres seem to be fraying. Both results would be positive, and the thread that connects both positive results is the continuing skill of the Boston Pops under conductor Keith Lockhart in handling music that has a march beat underlying it somewhere -- the orchestra is rhythmically vibrant, and its brasses are rivaled in the United States only by those of the Chicago Symphony. This program of patriotic music, which would be just fine for any Fourth of July party or backyard fireworks display, incorporates pop songs into what would have been a Boston Pops Independence Day program 50 years ago, and the blending is seamless. The jazz accents of "Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy" are expertly handled by the brasses and percussion. Arlo Guthrie is on hand for "City of New Orleans" and "This Land Is Your Land," and pop-gospel chanteuse Yolanda Adams interacts in quite powerful ways with her orchestral accompaniment on "America the Beautiful." The Tanglewood Festival Chorus has perhaps the richest sound of any of the large, public-spirited American choirs active today. Of course, as with many other displays of American patriotism, there is blatant dishonesty on display here: Woody Guthrie was not "inspired" by Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" to write "This Land Is Your Land," as the booklet claims; he wrote it as a retort to Berlin and to Kate Smith, thinking "God Bless America" insufferably smug. Nevertheless, this is an album of patriotic music that even the jaded will enjoy. The engineering is consistently superb despite the mixture of material recorded at different times; the clarity of sound of Boston's Symphony Hall is exploited to maximum effect.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/21/2005
Label: Boston Symphony Orch
UPC: 0828020000325
catalogNumber: 3
Rank: 259862

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