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|Barber: Adagio for Strings / Ives: Symphony No. 3 / Copland: Quiet City
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Barber: Adagio For Strings / Copland: Quiet City / Ives: Symphony No.3, etc. by Academy of St. Martin in the Fields [Orchestra]
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|Best of L.A.G.Q.
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Best of L.A.G.Q.
|Copland: Appalachian Spring; Billy the Kid; Rodeo: Classic Library Series
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|Railroad Rhythms: Classical Music About Trains
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|Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man, Appalachian Spring Suite, Third Symphony
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This release--part of a wave that will soon grow tidal in honor of the 100th anniversary of Aaron Copland in 2000--doesn't exactly rewrite the map on America's beloved composer. It collects three of his most familiar works created during (and, in varying degrees, reacting to) his country's experience of World War II: the version of "Appalachian Spring" for orchestral suite, the "Fanfare for the Common Man," and the Third Symphony (which incorporates the fanfare in its final movement and, as Copland himself wrote, reflects the "euphoric spirit of the country" following the war's conclusion). But the charismatic Eiji Oue proves to have a convincing and sensitive connection to these works.
A protégé of Leonard Bernstein, Oue was bequeathed the baton used by Bernstein in his final concert--the musical equivalent of a laying on of hands--and he opts to bring out a similar kind of multilayered American Romanticism, mixing transcendentalist vision with sinewy, driving vitality. The range of color and deep focus Oue elicits from the Minnesota Orchestra give yet another example of how the old "tier" hierarchy of American orchestras is eroding; there are excellent, tender wind solos, nicely balanced bodies of strings, and pulse-raising brass, especially in the Third. Oue finds a way to make the transitions between tempos and sections breathe effectively (above all when the music shifts to a faster gear), and his fine ear does justice to the vertical density of Copland's sound--as does the justly acclaimed Reference Recording range of clarity. While Oue doesn't really break any new interpretive ground (his Third feels too close in overall concept to Bernstein's own canonical recording--down to following the cut of several measures of triumphant D major on the score's final page), the glory of that ear-delighting dynamic range and subtlety is a definite advantage for audiophiles. --Thomas May
|Piano Sonatas by Ives and Copland; Piano Sonata No. 2 "Concord Mass, 1840-1860"
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Few pianists have had the courage to tackle Ives' "Concord" Sonata in public. Easley Blackwood made it his signature piece. Blackwood earned high praise for his concert performances of Ives' "Concord" Sonata, a set of transcendentalist meditations named for Emerson, Hawthorne, the Alcott family and Thoreau, all of whom lived in Concord, Mass. Critic Max Harrison of The London Times declared Blackwood's performance of the piece "the finest account I have ever heard."
Chicago Symphony Orchestra flutist Richard Graef, a Blackwood colleague in the Grammy Award-winning Chicago Pro Musica chamber music ensemble, performs in the sonata's "Thoreau" movement.
Copland's Piano Sonata, long overshadowed by his populist works, represents his most profound and personal thoughts. A surprisingly lively middle movement explores fast rhythms in irregular, rapidly changing meters. "I never would have thought of those rhythms if I had not been familiar with jazz," Copland remarked.
|Copland: Appalachian Spring; The Tender Land Suite / Morton Gould: Fall River Legend
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Two of America's greatest composers-Aaron Copland and Morton Gould-conduct their own works.
These sunny, lucid performances are the best Aaron Copland has ever given us of his own music. In truth, he was not a great conductor, and much of the credit for the success of this disc must go to the Boston Symphony--the orchestra that, along with the New York Philharmonic, has been most closely associated with Copland's music. In addition to the lovely Appalachian Spring ballet, Copland includes a charming suite from his rarely performed opera The Tender Land. It shares the same openly "American" style as the ballet, so if you like the one, you'll be sure to enjoy this novelty as well. Gould's Fall River Legend is a warmly melodic ballet on the Lizzie Borden story. It makes an apt coupling. --David Hurwitz
- Copland Conducts Copland - Expanded Edition (Fanfare for the Common Man, Appalachian Spring, Old American Songs (Complete), Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes)
- Bernstein Century - Copland: Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, etc / Bernstein, New York PO
- Copland: Music for Films
- Copland Conducts Copland: Our Town; The Red Pony Suite; El Salón México; Danzón Cubano; Three Latin American Sketches
- The Copland Collection: Orchestral & Ballet Works, 1936-1948
- Copland: Symphony No. 3 / Quiet City
- Copland: The Music of America
- Copland: Billy The Kid, Rodeo / Grofe: Grand Canyon Suite
- Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, A Night on Bald Mountain and Other Russian Showpieces
- Copland: Fanfare, Rodeo & Appalachian Spring
|Copland: Third Symphony & Music for Theatre
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|Benny Goodman Collector's Edition
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|The Green Album
Lowest new price: $4.15
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