Victorian Scenes; Jerusalem – Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, Russian
National Orchestra, Alexander Vedernikov, conductor; San
Francisco Symphony and Chorus, Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor –
Pentatone PTC 5186 040 – Multichannel SACD, 63 min. ****:
When you’re a billionaire heir to an oil fortune, how does one spend
his time? Gordon Getty, youngest son of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty,
didn’t waste his; he graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of
Music, and composes choral works that hearken to a more romantic era.
Any of the works included here evoke a mood musically that easily could
have come from the pen of Beethoven or Schubert, and Getty’s texts are
derived from sources as diverse as Steven Vincent Benet, Edgar Allan
Poe, Tennyson and Housman. He also includes his own translations of an
excellent Welsh folk song cycle.
The performances are outstanding. Michael Tilson Thomas leads the San
Francisco Symphony and Chorus in both Young America and Annabel Lee,
while Alexander Vedernikov leads the Russian National Orchestra along
with the Eric Ericson Chamber Choir in the balance of the program.
Noteworthy is Getty’s arrangement of Welsh songs; the popular All
Through The Night is given a particularly moving performance.
Sound quality, as usual from Pentatone, is superb. Highly recommended,
especially for lovers of choral music, or anyone that yearns for a
— Tom Gibbs