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Copland: Works for Chorus
     

Copland: Works for Chorus

by Camerata Singers
 
For a composer whose reputation is so closely connected with the idea of Americanness, Aaron Copland's output of choral music, the central genre of American community music-making, is remarkably sparse. To make an album's worth it's basically necessary to employ the solution chosen here by the Camerata Singers and director Timothy

Overview

For a composer whose reputation is so closely connected with the idea of Americanness, Aaron Copland's output of choral music, the central genre of American community music-making, is remarkably sparse. To make an album's worth it's basically necessary to employ the solution chosen here by the Camerata Singers and director Timothy Mount: to perform the two sets of "Old American Songs," as arranged for chorus by Irving Fine. These are delightfully done by Long Island's youthful Camerata Singers, with the words clearly articulated (a good thing, since no texts are given), all the jokes intact (sample "I Bought Me a Cat" if you're in the mood for a laugh), and a restrained attitude that puts across the cleanness of Copland's lines. That cleanness was a legacy of Copland's French neo-classic training, on view in the "Four Motets" composed in 1921, during his years as a student of the Paris pedagogue Nadia Boulanger. It is striking how much of Copland's personality comes through in these little works, even as they reflect various French models; they're little crowd-pleasers that deserve to be better known than they are. Indeed, it is the smaller works that provide the real attractions for the potential buyer of this album. Try track 16, "Las Agachadas" (The Shakedown), a fascinatingly compact slice of Copland's Mexican idiom (it is in Spanish, with an English translation provided). Two choral songs from 1925, on texts by Ezra Pound and Edwin Arlington Robinson, are also worthy and neglected early Copland works. The sound has a high-school-gymnasium quality, but it doesn't detract from the listener's enjoyment -- it's appropriate, somehow, and the texts aren't obscured. The only major negative is the booklet, which needed editorial oversight; among the numerous problems is the appearance of Robinson's name as Edwin Arlington in the track list.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/14/2007
Label:
Koch Int'l Classics
UPC:
0099923767725
catalogNumber:
7677

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Old American Songs, for voice & piano, Book 1
  2. Motets (4), for chorus
  3. Old American Songs, for voice & piano, Book 2
  4. Choruses (2): An Immorality
  5. Las Agachadas (The Shake-down Song), for soprano, alto, tenor, bass & chorus
  6. Choruses (2): The House on the Hill
  7. Lark, for baritone & chorus

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