Ancestor Suite


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Composer's Notes

Ancestor Suite
  • For orchestra or piano
  • Duration: 27 minutes

Orchestration: piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 2 horns, 1 trumpet, 2 trombones, tuba, 2 percussion, 1 keyboard, strings

Zwei Walzer
Waltz of the Ancestors
Walt- Ländler 
Polka - Polonaise 
Gothic Waltz 
March - Sarabande - Presto 
Ewig Du 

Ancestor Suite is also available on the PENTATONE release of Gordon Getty's Orchestral Works, recorded by Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. 


Ancestor Suite (version for piano) : IV. Waltz-Landler

Ancestor Suite (version for piano) : IV. Waltz-Landler · Conrad Tao, piano


See review archive

Gordon Getty…composes facile but propulsive music, to which this CD makes a good introduction. In the space of 12 minutes, the delectable overture to his operaPlump Jack, based on Shakespeare’s immortal Falstaff, creates a juicy musical characterization of the Bard’s unforgettable fat man. The discs’ other works, which include the Ancestor Suite and the Homework Suite, have the same attractive qualities as the overture, and they are all played robustly by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields under Sir Neville Marriner.

Kevin Filipski
The Flip Side, 2014

It’s enjoyable enough, albeit in a slightly anodyne way…Getty’s Ancestor Suite, from his ballet based on Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher, is well crafted but ultimately rather leaden—not at all what one expects from a dance score. There are pleasing instrumental touches, the vaulting brass figures in the Waltz – Ländler especially attractive, and there are more than a few memories of Copland at his most homespun. As for the Polka – Polonaise, there’s a hint of Arnold’s Tam O’Shanter, the ensuing Gavotte most gracefully turned…” 

Dan Morgan
Music Web International, 2011

The eleven short sections of theAncestor Suite are from a Getty ballet which was premiered in Moscow in 2009 and is based on the 1839 Poe short story The Fall of the House of Usher. Some of the movements sound perfectly tuneful and upbeat, while others have a subtle macabre edge to them as befits the stimulus for the ballet…The usual excellent hi-res surround quality provided by PentaTone makes it easy for those of us not heavily into vocal music to get a taste of the instrumental compositional style of Gordon Getty.

John Sunier
Audiophile Audition, 2014