Copland: Symphony No. 3, etc.by Leonard Bernstein
After conducting the premiere of Aaron Copland's Organ Symphony, Walter Damrosch turned to the audience and announced: "If a young man at the age of 23 can write a symphony like that, in five years he will be ready to commit murder!" That was in 1925, long before the composer wrote "Rodeo," "Appalachian Spring," and "Billy the Kid," the three folksy ballet scores that made him an American musical hero. But although the Organ Symphony's modernist edge may have shocked music lovers of the '20s, it sounds pretty tame today. The Third Symphony (1946) is even more immediately accessible. This is Big Sky music. It's idealistic and tuneful, and if it's occasionally gritty, it's always forthright. Leonard Bernstein was a close friend of Copland, and Copland's music never had a better friend than Bernstein. Bernstein dances through the scores' tricky rhythms and brings out the tough-guy tenderness that makes Copland's work sound so unmistakably American.
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Performance CreditsLeonard Bernstein Primary Artist
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