Nov 10, 2014
In honor of their twentieth season together, Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony releaseMasterpieces in Miniature, a collection of short orchestral works, on the SFS Media label.
Masterpieces in Miniature includes Henry Litolff’s Scherzo from Concerto symphonique No. 4 featuring pianist Yuja Wang, Gustav Mahler’s Blumine, Charles Ives / Henry Brant’s “The Alcotts” from A Concord Symphony, Gabriel Fauré’s Pavane, Claude Debussy’s La Plus que lente, Franz Schubert’s Entracte No. 3 from Rosamunde, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, Antonín Dvořák’s Legend for Orchestra, Jean Sibelius’s Valse triste, Frederick Delius’s On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, Edvard Grieg’s The Last Spring, Léo Delibes’s Cortège de Bacchus from Sylvia, all recorded live in performance at Davies Symphony Hall. The collection shares some of MTT”s most treasured musical memories.
“The short pieces in this album exist in various versions,” says MTT about the album. “Many began as piano pieces but were, except for the Ives, orchestrated by their composers. They were often played as encores by musicians who took special delight finding the most personal way of presenting them. This recording pays homage to the tradition of these pieces. It marks the beginning of my twentieth season as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony and my seventieth birthday. On these occasions, I wanted to give a present to our whole San Francisco family and to our listeners everywhere. What better way than to fashion a garland of these charming pieces? Playing them is now nearly a lost art. The musicians and I have taken a wonderful voyage in creating these performances, which are a mixture of my musical memories and the imagination and virtuosity of my colleagues.”