Stephenson: Symphony No. 3 "Visions"

Stephenson: Symphony No. 3 "Visions"

Commissions for, among others, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and the US Marine Band testify to James M. Stephenson’s standing in his homeland. Born in Greater Chicago in 1969, he was an orchestral trumpeter for almost two decades before launching his career as a self-taught composer. Rich in singable tunes, exuberant orchestral colors, and satisfying harmonies, his Symphony No. 3 “Visions”, from 2017, is clearly to the liking of the Lake Forest Symphony’s musicians. They revel in its Romantic, straight-to-the-heart musical language, and channel their enthusiasm into the work’s world-premiere recording, guided by conductor Vladimir Kulenovic’s precise tempos, elegant phrasing, and sensitivity to dramatic contrasts. Anyone looking for a modern orchestral composition that sounds like it belongs to the symphonic mainstream—and sounds great, too—will enjoy this very much.

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