Hibernia, Vol. IV
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A major American composer is achieving long overdue rediscovery with this series.

This is the third release on Albany Records of the music of Edward Collins. (Irish Rhapsody) from 1929, is the fullest realization of Collins's thoughts on the Irish folksong "O! The Taters they are small over here!" a tune he used in several compositions between 1927 and 1932. In Hibernia, the composer's imagination, his gift for orchestral tone painting and his ability to establish a reflective mood are lovingly in evidence. No doubt Collins's Irish heritage manifested itself, permeating the nineteen-minute work with an atmospheric mixture of gaiety and wistful melancholy. While it reflects all the technical facility Collins had gained from his musical training, it is the antithesis of an academic piece. It is scored for a large orchestra. Considering Collins's training in composition and success as a concert pianist, his urge early on to tackle a piano concerto was not surprising. Ultimately, Collins wrote three concerti, manifesting growing assurance as a composer with numbers two and three. The first, which William Wolfram describes as a "pastoral" work, came before stylistic influences had jelled into something more personal. The first performance took place in December, 1924 under Frederick Stock and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with the composer as soloist. On November 18, 1940, Collins reminisced in his journal somewhat enviously about his friend Alfred Wallenstein. Once a section cellist in the Chicago Symphony, "Wally" was invited by Toscanini to audition for the solo cello position with the New York Philharmonic. Collins wistfully remarks that his friend "took the job and shook the dust of Chicago from his shoes." Collins went on to note that Wallenstein later became music director of New York City's WOR radio station and then conductor of several concerts immediately following the Toscanini series. In the same journal entry, Collins wrote: "Wally asked me to make some arrangements for him and I intend to begin with 'Li'l David." The work heard on this recording was completed in 1940. Submitted by Collins in response to a Chicago Symphony Orchestra commission on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee, Lament and Jig was the sixth of a set of twelve variations written by a dozen different composers under the collective title, Variations on an American Folk-Song. Other composers included Leo Sowerby, John Alden Carpenter and Rudolf Ganz. The theme was "El-A-Noy, an Illinois pioneer recruitment song, perhaps selected by Frederick Stock who conducted the premiere on April 17, 1941.
Contents:
Edward Collins, composer
Hibernia (Irish Rhapsody)
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Marin Alsop, conductor

Edward Collins, composer
Concerto No. 1 for Piano
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Marin Alsop, conductor, William Wolfram, piano

Edward Collins, composer
Lil' David Play On Yo' Harp
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Marin Alsop, conductor

Edward Collins, composer
Lament and Jig
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Marin Alsop, conductor

Review:
"This is...a splendid record of some superb music which is all too little known." (International Record Review)

"This is a fine introduction to a worthy, unfairly neglected American composer." (American Record Guide)
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