Harry Freedman: The Concert Recordings

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Call Number: CD 1732
Ensemble/Performer: Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Media Type: CD
Year of Release: 2017
Record Label: Centrediscs / Centredisques

Harry Freedman (1922 – 2005) was a master of orchestration, an art that was informed by his 25 years as English horn soloist in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He wrote for many other genres, but his orchestral works contain much of his very finest work, a cannon that is not only large, but also diverse, both in style and creative approach. This compilation of orchestral works by Freedman displays five vivid examples of Freedman’s imaginative takes on orchestral composition, all recorded in live performances for broadcast on CBC Radio.

Freedman was one of Canada’s most frequently performed composers. His output consists of some 200 compositions, including three symphonies, nine ballets, two hour-long stage works, as well as various works for orchestra, choir, chamber groups, and much incidental music for stage, TV and film.

1. BOREALIS (1997) 17:20
Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Danish National Radio Choir
Elmer Iseler Singers
Swedish Radio Choir
Toronto Children’s Chorus
Jukka-Pekka Saraste, conductor / chef d’orchestre

2. GRAPHIC IX: for Harry Somers (2000) 13:11
Esprit Orchestra
Alex Pauk, conductor / chef d’orchestre

3. INDIGO (1994) 12:46
Composers’ Orchestra
Gary Kulesha, conductor / chef d’orchestre

4. MANIPULATING MARIO (2003) 15:10
Esprit Orchestra
Alex Pauk, conductor / chef d’orchestre

5–7. IMAGES (1960) 18:02
Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Sir Andrew Davis, conductor / chef d’orchestre

"As the liner notes for the CD assert and as my ears affirm, Freedman was a masterful orchestrator. The sound palette is ever of the most subtly brilliant sort, regardless of the stylistic variables of Freedman's music over time. There is mystery in the music, all informed by a Modernist expression but not all of a piece. There is change, development, constant creative thrust to be heard.[...] This might be the sleeper of the year! What is clear is that Freedman was a master of the Modern Orchestral Arts! Put this one on and pay attention if you will! It is well worth your eartime. (Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review)

"All the tracks are exceptional [...] I feel this is one of the most significant releases from Centrediscs’ in recent years and as we enter Canada’s sesquicentennial an important reminder of our artistic heritage." (David Olds, The WholeNote)

"Make no mistake, however; while this is genuine Canadiana, it has a much wider appeal, not only because of its beauty, but also because of its power." (Paul E. Robinson, Musical Toronto)

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