Reflections of the Northwest
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American music that shows the influence of Howard Hanson.

Here is a real feast for lovers of contemporary American orchestral music. All three works contained on this CD are world premieres. The Northwest Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1987. In the last five years, it has performed 27 different works by 19 different northwest American composers. This disc is a great example of their work. About The Raven Speaks Mr. Short writes: "It is a suite for orchestra based on songs of northwest Native American cultures living along the coast of northwest Washington, Canada and southern Alaska." Mr. Short received his doctorate from the University of Oregon. His interest in ethnic music and incorporating ethnic music and culture in his compositions has been documented in more than 300 compositions written in the last 30 years. In 1923, George McKay received the first composition degree ever granted at Eastman. Shortly thereafter he became a professor at the University of Washington where he remained for more than 40 years. IN 1925, a competition was held by the Rochester Philharmonic to perform American music. George McKay was selected as one of the composers, along with Aaron Copland and Bernard Rogers. William Bergsma was educated at Stanford University and the Eastman School. He joined the faculty of Juilliard in 1946. He became associate dean in 1961. In 1963, he became director of the School of Music at the University of Washington in Seattle. The subtitle of his Serenade is "Because, of course, she might not come." The moon referred to in his piece is the moon of lovers, not astronauts. The music therefore is a restless nocturne, full of longing, anticipation and uncertainty.
William Bergsma, composer
Serenade: To Await the Moon
Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Anthony Spain, conductor

George McKay, composer
Symphony for Seattle
Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Anthony Spain, conductor

Gregory Short, composer
The Raven Speaks
Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Anthony Spain, conductor

"It's always a joy to find new, rewarding music to enjoy. That joy is made all the better when by composers one knows little or not at all, as with the three orchestral works on this handsomely played disc devoted to serious contemplations of nature... Skill and dedication mark all three performances, and the recording is very fine. Recommended as fresh adventures." (InTune)