San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas – Mason Bates: Works for Orchestra (2016) DSF DSD128 + Hi-Res FLAC

San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas – Mason Bates: Works for Orchestra (2016)
DSD128 (.dsf) 1 bit/5,6 MHz | Time – 71:18 minutes | 5,62 GB
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 71:18 minutes | 2,7 GB
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 71:18 minutes | 1,32 GB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: BlueCoast | Artwork: Digital booklet

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony release an exhilarating album of young, American composer Mason Bates’ large-scale works for orchestra and electronica. Hear the first-ever recordings of his colossal “Liquid Interface” and the SFS-commissioned The B-Sides alongside Bates’ supercharged work, “Alternative Energy”. One of the most creative and ingenuous synthesists of our time, these works show Bates reimagining the dimensions of symphonic music by integrating jazz, techno, drum-n-bass, field recordings of a FermiLab particle collider, and more.

The garden variety of orchestral pops music, whether it’s Gershwin or hip-hop that’s involved, grafts the orchestra onto the basic popular material. The music of California composer Mason Bates starts from the opposite premise: the music, in Bates’ own words, offers “an expanded symphonic palette.” Bates, who has been active in the worlds of both classical composition and electronic laptop dance performance, adds electronic components to a sound world rooted in the early 20th century: The B-Sides, which pays tribute in its final movement to the warehouse parties that were incubators of Detroit techno music, started life as a response to Schoenberg’s Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 16. Two exciting developments emerge from Bates’ decision. First, he finds that attaching the electronics to the orchestra in this way does not make them subordinate: the pictorial vocabulary of the music is expanded in such a way that the music leaves you with thoroughly contemporary images that wouldn’t have occurred without the electronics. Sample “Glaciers Calving” (track six), the first movement of the four-movement Liquid Interface, which Bates considers a kind of symphony: the disturbing picture of glaciers destroyed by global warming might have been possible to realize with the orchestra alone, but would not have had the same resonance. Second, Bates avoids the trap of creating a novelty encounter between orchestral music and electronica. His stylistic choices broaden out into jazz, progressive rock, southeast Asian ensemble music, hip-hop, and more. Here he is really in the realm of the DJ, where the entire musical world is available, and his merging of this outlook into a consistent orchestral framework is really quite remarkable. The works here were commissioned by various orchestras, but were brought together by San Francisco Symphony conductor Michael Tilson Thomas in a series of live 2014 concerts, recorded here with very little crowd noise and just enough applause to remind you of what you’re dealing with. The absolute commitment to the music of Tilson Thomas, still breaking new ground as he approaches éminence grise status, is inspiring; the optimism generated by Bates’ new stylistic fusion is deep.


01 – The B-Sides: I. Broom of the System
02 – The B-Sides: II. Aerosol Melody (Hanalei)
03 – The B-Sides: III. Gemini in the Solar Wind
04 – The B-Sides: IV. Temescal Noir
05 – The B-Sides: V. Warehouse Medicine
06 – Liquid Interface: I. Glaciers Calving
07 – Liquid Interface: II. Scherzo Liquido
08 – Liquid Interface: III. Crescent City
09 – Liquid Interface: IV. On the Wannsee
10 – Alternative Energy: I. Ford’s Farm, 1896
11 – Alternative Energy: II. Chicago, 2012
12 – Alternative Energy: III. Xinjiang Province, 2112
13 – Alternative Energy: IV. Reykjavik, 2222

San Francisco Symphony, Conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas
Mason Bates – electronica

Produced by Jack Vad. Engineering Support: Roni Jules, Gus Pollek, Jonathon Stevens & Denise Woodward.
Recorded on January 8-11, 2014 at Davies Symphony Hall, a venue of the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center, City and County of San Francisco.
Mastered by Gus Skinas.

Recorded and Mixed in 192 kHz, 24-bit WAV PCM.
The original digital file generation received from the artist or label. The DSD files are considered second generation and made from conversions using our Blue Coast conversion methods. After several blindfold tests, it is our opinion that the 192/24 WAV files sound the best, followed by DSF and FLAC 192/24. The difference is minimal. – BluCoastMusic store



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