Track listing Complete description Also recommended...

Product details

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Charles Martin Loeffler 

Carl Ruggles

Howard Hanson

Henry Cowell




World première recording of Howard Hanson's Before the Dawn

Sleeve notes in English


October 2021

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1396-2


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Track listing

La Mort de Tintagiles, Op. 6 (1897)

Evocations (Orchestral version, 1943)
I. Largo

II. Andante con fantasia

III. Moderato appassionato

IV. Adagio sostenuto

Before the Dawn, Op. 17 (1920)

Variations for Orchestra (1956)

Also recommended...

Complete description

All four American composers on this new album by the Basque National Orchestra and conductor Robert Trevino wrote music that was known, played and esteemed during their lifetimes, but none of them ever had a huge “hit” and so the pieces here are likely familiar only to musical scholars.  Yet while it is uncommon enough to find Charles Martin Loeffler, Henry Cowell, Carl Ruggles and Howard Hanson sharing the same album, the conductor Robert Trevino has taken his exploration still further, into the recesses of their repertory – complete with a Hanson piece, Before the Dawn, that has had to wait a century for this, its premiere recording. Robert Trevino’s debut album with the Basque National Orchestra on Ondine featured orchestral works by Maurice Ravel and has received excellent reviews in music media around the world.


Charles Martin Loeffler’s (1861–1935) La Mort de Tintagiles from 1897 is based on a play by Maeterlinck. This impressive 25-minute orchestral work features a solo part for viola d’amore akin to the role of the violin in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade. Carl Ruggles (1876–1971) remains among the very greatest of American composers, despite having finished only a little more than an hour’s worth of music over the course of his 95 years. His Evocations exists both as versions for solo piano and orchestra. The orchestral version showcases in an excellent way Ruggles’ skill as an orchestral composer. Howard Hanson (1896–1981) was one of major figures in American 20th century music. Hanson was a conservative Romantic and sometimes likened to an ‘American Sibelius’. Prior to winning the Prix de Rome in 1921 Hanson had already written 20 opuses, including an orchestral work, Before the Dawn, Op. 17. It remains a mystery why Hanson hid this orchestral work in his archives. Hanson may have considered it juvenilia. Yet it is engaging from the start, filled with rich melodies, and sumptuously orchestrated. The album ends with Henry Cowell’s (1897–1965) Variations for Orchestra , written in Shah’s Iran, by the great American experimentalists who had a profound influence on the early music of John Cage and Lou Harrison.


The Basque National Orchestra, the leading symphony orchestra from an autonomous region nationwide, was created in 1982 on the basis of a project assigned to Imanol Olaizola, at that time music director with the Basque Government Department of Culture. Since Enrique Jordá took up the baton of a newly born formation as its artistic advisor and directed its first steps, different conductors have played their part in nurturing the quality and reach of the Basque Orchestra. Today Robert Treviño is its chief conductor. Jun Märkl, Andrey Boreyko (as principal guest conductor), Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Gilbert Varga and Cristian Mandeal, Mario Venzago, Hans Graf, Miguel Ángel Gómez Martínez, Matthias Kuntzsch, Maximiano Valdés and Jordá himself, its honorary conductor, have governed the fate of the Orchestra in its rising trajectory. A well-structured, dynamic activity with its roots in Basque cultural life has prompted the Basque National Orchestra to give more than 100 concerts every season, distributed into different cycles and in collaboration with different national and international institutions.


Robert Trevino’s star has risen rapidly among American conductors. The past years have seen his appointments as Music Director of the Basque National Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra. In 2021 The Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai (the RAI National Symphony Orchestra) announced the appointment of Robert Trevino as their new Principal Guest Conductor for the initial period of three years starting in the 2021/22 season. Trevino and the Malmö Symphony Orchestra (Malmö SymfoniOrkester) have also announced a mutual commitment for a further two years, with Trevino assuming the position of Artistic Advisor for the 2021/22 season. Trevino burst into the international spotlight at the Bolshoi Theater in December 2013, leading a new production of Verdi’s Don Carlo. He was nominated for a Golden Mask award, and one reviewer wrote, “There has not been an American success of this magnitude in Moscow since Van Cliburn.” Recent seasons have seen an ever-growing number of major debuts with orchestras around the world, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Tonhalle Zurich, San Francisco Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Sao Paulo Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Orchestre Nationale de France, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, and Helsinki Philharmonic, among others.

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