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Part of the series America‘s Composers, this segment features Hanson conducting one of his own, lesser-known works. Fantasy Variations On A Theme Of Youth for pIano and orchestra featuring the Eastman School Symphony along with Alfred Mouledous, piano.
The series America’s Composers was a fascinating look at what was a rather busy and productive outpouring of what at the time was considered Contemporary American Classical music. Sadly, very few of the names mentioned in this series are remembered today; some barely, and only by way of one or two pieces.
Dr. Howard Hanson was a vigorous supporter of Contemporary Music, and his tenure at the Eastman School of Music is legendary. As a composer himself, Hanson achieved a modicum of success, but even his work has falled into obscurity in recent decades.
So maybe a reminder now and then about the vast untapped libraries of undiscovered and long-forgotten works might be a good thing.
For now, here is that performance of Hanson’s Fantasy Variations On A Theme Of Youth, as broadcast on February 9, 1953.