- Aaron Copland - The Gift To Be Simple [Recommended Recordings]
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28 October, 2012
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Aaron Copland
Recommended Recordings

"To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable."

Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, Billy the Kid (Bernstein Century)
(New York Philharmonic Orchestra; Leonard Bernstein, conductor)
Happy is the composer who has an advocate as passionate and talented as Leonard Bernstein. These Copland performances have been the preferred versions since they were first issued--better even than the composer's own, later recordings. Originally they were spread over two discs, but thanks to the extended playing time of the compact disc, you can now get all three great Copland ballets together, along with the ever popular Fanfare for the Common Man. Bernstein brings to this music the right sharpness of rhythm but also a typically open-hearted warmth. He coaxes a virtuoso response from the New York Philharmonic, which knows this music as well (or better) than anyone. Self- recommending. (review by David Hurwitz)

Celluloid Copland
(Eos Orchestra, Collegiate Chorale; Jonathan Sheffer, conductor)
Aaron Copland fans will be thrilled to hear that the EOS Orchestra and Telarc have unearthed four previously unreleased-to-CD works from the composer. On Celluloid Copland, we get to hear the composer's scores for four films: From Sorcery to Science, The City, The Cummington Story, and The North Star. These wonderful recordings are filled with trademark Copland-isms (Americana themes and bustling energy) and great playing.

Copland: Danzón Cubano, Billy the Kid, etc
(Eduardo Mata, Leonard Slatkin, et al.; Dallas Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra; Conducted by: Eduardo Mata, Leonard Slatkin)
The snappy rhythms of "El Salon Mexico" are zestfully rendered here along with other Copland classics.

Music for Films
(St. Louis Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Slatkin, conductor)
This is a great series of recordings. Leonard Slatkin has generally chosen the right balance of music for the composers used in the series (with terrific cover art from Thomas Hart Benton). This disc is devoted to Copland's film music. The treat here is a version of The Heiress Suite reconstructed by Arnold Freed. Copland's talent for writing for films rested in his ability to identify and maintain themes, at the same time not slacking on the transitional details. This belongs in any Copland collection. (review by Paul Cook)


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