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Corigliano - Circus Maximus CD

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Univ of Texas Wind Ensemble
  • Conductor: Junkin
  • Composer: Corigliano
  • Audio CD (5 Jan. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B001LKLKP2
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 307,116 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

In his astonishing Symphony No. 3, subtitled 'Circus Maximus', the celebrated American composer John Corigliano both embodies and comments on the ''massive and glamorous barbarity'' of our present time, which he sees paralleling the decadence of Ancient Rome. Scored for a large concert band encircling the audience, it is a musical kaleidoscope of contemporary culture. In contrast, Gazebo Dances was inspired by ''the pavilions often seen on village greens in towns throughout the countryside, where public band concerts are given on summer evenings''.


''Corigliano could have made a comfortable living churning out film scores: his versatility, orchestral wizardry and fluency are undeniable.'' --BBC Music Magazine

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
..and that's why I like it. Circus Maximus (Symphony no 3) is a remarkable piece of writing for a wind band - superbly played and recorded here. John Corigliano has written with such facility that you barely realise that this isn't music for full orchestra.

This is a work with a strong narrative - a protest against the bombardment of 24 x 7 media images and sounds. A world where the most trivial is hyped to be profound and the most harrowing and distressing as light entertainment. This is an angry and bitter tirade by the composer with shades of others who have used stylistic clashes and layers to make a point. I think of Charles Ives or Alfred Schnittke for example. Corigliano's music is not so complex or challenging as either of these, so don't let the prospect of their music scare you off. Like Ives, he uses vernacular, popular, circus and Jazz styles with more chromatic and bluesy music. The difference is that Ives celebrates this world whereas Corigliano is lampooning it.

I do think, however, that other composers and artists have made this point about the transient and temporal nature of our modern day media bombardment rather more effectively and with more philosophical depth. Corigliano simply sounds angry and bitter about the world today. In short; he sounds like me on a good day. For all that, however, the music achieves what it sets out to lampoon - high entertainment. The hyper active movements are balanced by the night music movements, including the wolf howling, as mentioned by the other reviewer.

The finale provides the most spectacular touch and I don't want to spoil the remarkable ending for anyone who hasn't heard it: suffice to say the work goes out with a bang. So I enjoyed it very much even if the motives are dubious.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
The moment I heard the opening fanfare and the subsequent strains of fierce ambition I knew John Corigliano's Third Symphony "Circus Maximus" would be a fascinating tour de force. And I wasn't wrong. Entertaining throughout, feeding the listener with a robust mixture. Mischievous, comical, furious, dark, haunting, audacious, madcap, uncanny, bombastic etc - (I particularly like Night Music 1 where howling wolves are impersonated) ... It's difficult to know what more to say, other than it's a curious extravaganza of diversity well worth the entrance fee.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Corigliano's Circus Maximus 31 Jan. 2009
By Carlton L. Winston - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Back in December of 2008, I had the privilege of witnessing a live performance of this marvelous piece played by the Ohio State University Wind Symphony. After the concert, I was in shock because this piece was so beautifully played and the use of surroundings was mind boggling; I had no idea a band was capable of this (even though I'm in a band). So, I began to obsess over the piece until I could find a recording of it in its entirety. Well, my wishes came true when I found out a CD was being released, so, I waited patiently until it would arrive. Now that it has arrived, it feels like I'm falling in love with this piece all over again. To all you fans of band music (like myself) or fans of John Corigliano (he wrote the music to "The Red Violin"), I would strongly recommend this CD. Gazebo Dances, another one of his pieces that is on this CD, is a great piece as well, but, in my opinion, it doesn't match the epic proporitions of Circus Maximus. So, I highly recommend this CD to everyone, but I also recommend trying to see this piece performed live.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting music 20 Nov. 2009
By Hayward H. Siegel - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Circus Maximus is scored for a stage band, a surrounding band, and a marching band. Unfortunately, you cannot get the full effects of this combination on a CD. However, notwithstanding, this is an excellent recording. It is difficult to summarize the music, in this, Corigliano's 3rd Symphony. It is certainly something out of the ordinary! In this recording, a large wind ensemble is used. The grand and wild entertainment, with its brutality, which fixated the ancient Roman Empire, is portrayed. Yet, it is done with modern music, so this intends to insinuate, that the types of entertainment and amusement which fixate our modern day society, is just as decadent as that of ancient Roman Society. The Symphony also seems to demonstrate the difference between the peace and order found in Nature, and the confusion and mayhem found in Human Society throughout history. Gazebo Dances is a respite from the complexity of the preceding work, with four melodic and relatively simple dances. I do recommend this recording, as a fine example of late 20th Century and early 21st Century music.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An alien soundscape 1 Feb. 2013
By Sean - Published on
Format: Audio CD
If you're reading this review, you probably don't need the review, because, who'd ever consider buying this somewhat obscure advant-garde piece of work if she is not already a fan of John Corigliano and his unique dissonant sound? The first track "Introitus" is absolutely amazing. The music is so alien, horrifying and overpowering that it reminds me of reading H.P.Lovecraft's novels about cosmic horror. Do yourself a favor--don't pass on this gem.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars edge classical 15 Jan. 2013
By QuantumFrank - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Provocative classical that demands listening more than once. A great composer who pushes the envelope and doesn't care about critics.
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