Here’s a refreshing take on the idea of an American album. Instead of the ubiquitous Copland, Bernstein, and Gershwin, Robert Trevino conducts the Basque National Orchestra in terrific performances of four wonderful yet little-known orchestral works by Loeffler, Ruggles, Cowell, and Hanson, whose “Before the Dawn” here receives its premiere recording. Loeffler’s La mort de tintagiles, from 1897, is a powerful tone poem combining Russian orchestral color with flashes of Impressionist magic while Ruggles’ Evocations suite (1943) is more modernist in style, recalling the progressive music of Charles Ives. Cowell steered clear from his usual experimentalism for the atmospheric and highly original Variations for Orchestra, from 1956, which sparkles with textural invention. The Hanson symphonic poem is a jewel of a piece—a sumptuous, post-Romantic portrait of dawn that’s rich in melody and orchestral effects. 

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