Artur Balsam And Henri Nosco Play The Music Of Edward Burlingame Hill – 1945 – Past Daily Weekend Gramophone

Unsung hero - the go-to guy for the NBC Symphony.
Henri Nosco: Unsung hero – the go-to guy for the NBC Symphony.

Click on the link here for Audio Player: Edward Burlingame Hill – Concertino for Piano and Orchestra – June 28, 1945 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

I originally posted this a few years ago on my other long-gone site, but the sound was awful and the player made everything sound worse. I’ve finally gotten around to re-transferring it with hopefully better sound, which is the least I can do for a piece of music and a composer who are both undeservedly obscure in musical history.

Edward Burlingame HIll was an early 20th Century composer whose style closely resembled the Romantic period of music. Conservative in his execution, he composed a lot of pleasant, but not terribly memorable music to begin with. And the passage of time has only heaped on the obscurity.

Still, music of American composers has been a rare commodity for quite some time, save for the usual suspects; Copland, Bernstein and a handful of others. Edward Burlingame Hill is but one of countless American composers going back to the beginnings of this country who have fallen very much by the wayside.

Today it’s HIll’s Concertino for Piano and Orchestra, played by that venerable champion of 20th Century American music Artur Balsam with the NBC (Radio) Concert Orchestra led by Assistant conductor Henri Nosco. The performance, recorded on June 28th 1945 was part of a weekly series NBC put together to spotlight these lesser-lights, Music Of The New World.

A little under 10 minutes and not at all painful to listen to, the music of Edward Burlingame Hill does its level-best not to assault the listener and asks no potent or earth-shattering sociological questions in the process.

It occurred to me that not all music has an unwritten obligation to change the world. Some music can just be the charming and engaging dinner guest and nothing more.

I can go along with that.

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  1. You’ll be happy to know that the Austin Symphony Orchestra and I are recording Hill’s Concertino No. 1, Concertino No. 2 (world premiere), and Divertimento for Piano and Orchestra the week of Jan. 6, 2014 with pianist Anton Nel. The world premiere performance and recording of his Fourth Symphony is already in the can. It is wonderful music, and we look forward to releasing the disc later in 2014.

    Peter Bay

    • That’s fantastic! Let me know when it’s released and I’ll post a piece on it. Thanks for letting me know and keeping it all alive and fresh and new for everyone!

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