Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Classical Change Of Pace: The Most Magnificent Howard Hanson (1896-1981)

Mr. Hanson was one of the most underrated classical/symphonic composers of his time, mainly because he did not follow the trends of his era, between the world wars. The American concert hall was filled with much Stravinsky and Copland during that time. I have absolutely no problem with either of them. But Mr. Hanson, a Scandanavian-American from the Midwest, was a bit neglected because of his unabashed romanticism.

Some film buffs might recognize this as the piece that was played at the end of the 1979 Ridley Scott film Alien. By the way, this symphony, No. 2, "Romantic," debuted in Boston in 1930.

This one has moved me to tears. -- MJ

1993 ISSMA State Champion Carmel High School Symphony Orchestra performing Hanson's Symphony No. 2, 3rd Movement. Conducted by Thomas Dick at Valparaiso, IN.


T. Wildleek said...

A man what loves Hanson can't be all bad. Post the first movement of Harris's 3rd and we be bonded music buddies for life. Keep up the good work, Joe.

T. Wildleek - a closeted godless lib'rul Texas waddie in the geographic center of Jesusland

Manifesto Joe said...

Mr. Wildleek, hi:

I confess that I actually had never heard of Howard Hanson until around three or so years ago, when I started streaming music via Pandora, and later, London-based I am amazed at all the music I never heard all those years; and yet back in the days of vinyl and old-fashioned record stores, I thought of myself as an educated listener. The Internet has been an overrated tool in some respects, but the vast exposure of mass audiences to free music streams has been one of its great cultural triumphs.

Unknown said...

Hanson's 2nd and Harris's 3rd are two wonderful pieces of classical music by American composers. They are accessible, and could draw the younger crowd to the concert hall, but, strangely, they are seldom played live by most orchestras.