A genuinely gorgeous evening spent watching this DVD set charting the history of the Louisville Orchestra – formerly known as the Louisville Philharmonic Society.
An exhilarating introduction to a number of American composers some of whom I had – shamefully – dismissed because I’d assumed their musical language was impenetrable. The brilliant photography undoubtedly helped although there were times when my lack of familiarity with every US city led me to believe that every view was one of Louisville and its environs.
Focussed as the 100 minute doc is on the origins of the band and the way in which conductor Robert Whitney and staunched mayoral advocate Charles Farnsley secured the orchestra’s future through subscription recordings, the success of the film set up my expectations for a complete history.
I was left wanting more, in particular some reference to the US orchestral scene. This flags up my lack of knowledge as well as demonstrating the skill of the documentary maker capturing the recollections of a whole host of engaging contributors. Given the orchestras’s present state of affairs going further as far as the present day may have made for a bit of an unresolved ending. One hopes something will get sorted out at some point given that its early history is so proudly and passionately retold in this film.
A must-see for anyone who’s interested in orchestral music. An excellent introduction to contemporary American music or anyone looking for an overview of what was going on in American orchestral music during the mid-twentieth century.