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Classical Music Review

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Three Orchestral Works (EP)


Composer: Dwight Beckham, Sr.
Conductor: Petr Vronský
Performed by: Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra
Label: Navona Records
Release Date: 13 October 2017

Dwight Beckham, Sr.'s Three Orchestral Works marks an impressive sample of the American composer's lyrical style and command of the orchestra. Based in Kansas, Beckham is part of an important generation of composers who, in the latter half of the twentieth century, persisted in their pursuit of a classically Romantic aesthetic. To this end, Beckham’s orchestral music is stalwartly thematic, crisply orchestrated, and centred on dramatic melodic and harmonic ideas...

Three Orchestral Works is more an EP than a full album, containing just 5 tracks (22 min, 07 sec). The music is more in the vein of some of Britain's great classical composers. In fact, if you didn't know better, you could almost believe that this was composed by Edward Elgar (1857-1934). It certainly has the pomp and circumstance to carry it through. There's something regal and it certainly brings forth patriotic feelings of what it must have been like to be proud to be British. So it's particularly pleasing to discover that it's the work of an American who is still very much with us.

It's big and bold. It's a beautiful, romantic, chest beating, patriotic collection of so many emotions. If Elgar were still alive today he'd be standing and applauding this phenomenal work.


Darren Rea

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