Ferguson Archive

Barbara HARBACH: Orchestra Music III, Portraits in Sound – London PO/ David Angus – MSR Classics 

Barbara HARBACH: Orchestra Music III, Portraits in Sound – London PO/ David Angus – MSR Classics 

Barbara HARBACH: Orchestra Music III, Portraits in Sound – London Philharmonic Orchestra/ David Angus – MSR Classics MSR 1614, 62:54 [Distr. by Albany] ****: Volume 11 in this impressive series proves a winner This is the eleventh volume of MSR’s extraordinary commitment to Barbara Harbach, polyglot extraordinaire, by the looks of her resume one of the busiest musicians on the planet, wonderful keyboardist (organ and harpsichord), and, at times, a very fine composer. In fact, her prolific output defies all normal ideas of time management, and she must spill out music like Mozart with a never-ending sense of inspiration. If I seem cautious it is because I detect an unevenness in the composer’s output. Of course, one could argue this about any composer, but sometimes Harbach’s music seems incomplete to me, or at least lagging in ideas that were perhaps put down on final paper too soon. I am happy to report that most the works on this symphonies disc fall into the “excellent” category, and are quite moving and enthralling. Her style doesn’t vary too much—I can’t see her music existing without other of the “American” school like Harris and Thomson—but her ideas, in many instances, bolster the exceptional […]