Symphonies 1 & 2
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World premiere recordings of the great American composers first and second symphonies. Hybrid SACD.

Throughout his composing career Don Gillis's avowed goal was "to reach the people." And for him the surest way to do that was with "melodies that they could sing and tunes that even kids could whistle in Waxahachie or Dubuque." Born in rural Missouri, Gillis hailed from the same heartland as Virgil Thomson and Roy Harris. While still a teenager, he moved with his Depression-wracked family to Texas and it is with that iconic prairie land of cowboys and oilmen that he and his music are most often associated, thanks to works like Portrait of a Frontier Town, The Alamo and the ballet Shindig. A graduate of Texas Christian University and the North Texas State Teachers College, he pursued music with a vengeance, conducting, performing, arranging, instructing and cobbling ensembles together. Although the highlight of his professional career was producer of Arturo Toscanini's NBC broadcasts for ten years, he labored zealously at the great constant of his life, composing, with the three aspects of his personal credo - love of country, love of God, love of a good laugh - shining through piece after piece in his large output of works. This is especially true of his Symphonies. And it rings out loud and clear in the three comprising this CD - Symphonies 1 and 2, never commercially recorded before, and that bubble burst of orchestral mirth, Symphony No. 5 1/2, his best-known composition.
Don Gillis, composer
Symphony No. 1: An American Symphony
Sinfonia Varsovia, Ian Hobson, conductor

Don Gillis, composer
Symphony No. 2: A Symphony of Faith
Sinfonia Varsovia, Ian Hobson, conductor

Don Gillis, composer
Symphony No. 5 1/2: A Symphony for Fun
Sinfonia Varsovia, Ian Hobson, conductor

"The performance by Sinfonia Varsovia under Ian Hobson is perfect - one could hardly imagine how it could be better...If you think classical composers have produced anything of merit since Copland wrote Billy the Kid, then is this event for you." (All Music Guide)

"This is wonderfully entertaining and life-affirming music; and Ian performing a fantastic service by bringing to CD a large volume of Gillis' output. me, you will love this disc and thank me for recommending it." (Fanfare)
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