Fabled Cities
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Big-scale American works by the veteran West Coast composer.

City Upon a Hill and Inscriptions at the City of Brass are both for Chorus and Orchestra. City Upon a Hill was commissioned by the Boston Winterfest of 1965 where it received a terrible performance. Ten years later during the Bicentennial celebrations it was performed with the Portland Youth Orchestra and the Governor of Oregon as the speaker. The reviewer for the Portland Oregonian called it a work of "moving beauty." Inscriptions At the City of Brass was premiered by the Schola Cantorum of New York under Hugh Ross, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1957, with Vera Zorina as Sheherezad. Avshalomov began work on his Symphony: The Oregon in Portland in 1960 and it was completed there in 1962. Between these dates much of the music was written in Munich where the composer was on sabbatical. The premiere was given by the Portland Youth Symphony. On this disc we hear only the third and fourth movements. Up at Timberline has an unusual history. It was commissioned by the Friends of Timberline to note the Lodge's 50th anniversary. Situated on the slopes of magnificent Mt. Hood, the Lodge is one of the most enduring projects of the WPA (Works Progress Administration). It was dedicated in 1937 by President Roosevelt. It was premiered in 1987 at the Lodge.
Jacob Avshalomov, composer
City Upon A Hill
University of Oregon Chorus, Gov. Tom Lawson McCall, speaker

Jacob Avshalomov, composer
Inscriptions at the City of Brass
Lewis & Clark College, Portland State College and Oregon State University Choruses, Mara Stahl, soprano

Jacob Avshalomov, composer
Symphony: The Oregon (The Rose, The Glistening City)
Portland Youth Philharmonic, Jacob Avshalomov, conductor

Jacob Avshalomov, composer
Up At Timberline (The Action)
Portland Youth Philharmonic, Jacob Avshalomov, conductor

"Albany again treats us to the music of the talented Avshalomov family, this time Jacob, who conducts the Portland Youth Philharmonic in four of his own works: two large-scaled cantatas - one based on John Kennedy's "City on a Hill" speech, the other on the 339th Tale of the 1001 Nights - and two symphonic pieces celebrating Oregon landscape and history. A native of China and a student of Copland and Toch, Jacob Avshalomov has a Coplandesque open sound combined with an exotic oriental flavor based on his own non-Western scales and colors....Not the least of the album's pleasure is the composer's witty, self-deprecating notes. I especially enjoyed his description of Paul Henry Lang fleeing the hall in horror after the first five minutes at the 1957 premiere of Inscriptions at the City of Brass, then complaining in the New York Herald Tribune that the music had made him expect :Fu Manchu to appear at any minute." This one belongs in Nicolas Slonimsky's Lexicon of Musical Invective." (American Record Guide)
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