Daugherty: Route 66
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I like the pieces and generally like Daugherty's work... The only complaint I have is that the title piece, Route 66, sounds awfully similar to Niagara Falls and uses quite a bit of the content from that piece... Orchestra sounds good and I always enjoy Alsop's work, but ya... Hard for me not to hear Niagara Falls all over this and not feel at least a tad cheated...
I have been waiting for a studio recording of Route 66 to come along for years! I actually have a concert recording (the premiere performance in fact) that was broadcast on Performance Today. Interestingly enough, there are noticeable differences between the original version and this recorded version, but this version is great.
The rest of the album shows Daugherty's American voice to great effect. I was discussing his music with a friend, and we agreed that Copland and Daugherty both have the "American" musical language, with Daugherty possessing the less obvious one. While Copland hits you over the head with the American voice, Daugherty allow the voice to permeate the music. It's American music by an American composer, but without the folksong quotations. For example, part 1 of Ghost Ranch sounds like a soundtrack to a Western, but without the quotations of cowboy ditties. Such a great representation of a skilled modern American composer.