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Aaron Copland: The Essence of America
     

Aaron Copland: The Essence of America

by Michael Tilson Thomas
 
When we think of Aaron Copland as a uniquely American composer, it's the music on the second disc of this box set that we usually have in mind. Previously issued separately as Copland the Populist, this highly acclaimed album my Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony contains the ballet scores Appalachian

Overview

When we think of Aaron Copland as a uniquely American composer, it's the music on the second disc of this box set that we usually have in mind. Previously issued separately as Copland the Populist, this highly acclaimed album my Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony contains the ballet scores Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, and Billy the Kid in perhaps the finest recordings they have received since Leonard Bernstein's classic versions, full of vigor and vivid orchestral painting. But no less quintessentially American are the earlier works from the 1920s and '30s collected on the disc entitled Copland the Modernist. The raucously jazz-inspired Piano Concerto (with soloist Garrick Ohlsson) is full of bluesy tunes, bouncy rhythms, and an overlay of the pungent harmonies Copland would leave behind in his later, populist style. The Short Symphony may be Copland's most undeservedly neglected work; its unpredictable melodic and rhythmic twists and turns are utterly delightful. The Symphonic Ode and Orchestral Variations (a 1957 arrangement of the earlier Piano Variations) feature more abstract visions of the landscapes Copland would evoke so unforgettably in his popular ballets. Between the modernist and populist sides represented here, a three-dimensional portrait of Copland emerges, thanks in large part to the excellence of the performances. But there's more. A third bonus disc includes spoken commentary by Tilson Thomas about all of the featured music, reminiscences about the composer, and a rousing performance of the ever-popular Fanfare for the Common Man.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/12/2000
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0090266372027
catalogNumber:
63720

Tracks

  1. Piano Concerto  - Aaron Copland  - Michael Tilson Thomas  - Garrick Ohlsson  -  San Francisco Symphony  - Joseph J. Stelmach
  2. Orchestral Variations, for orchestra (based on Piano Variations)  - Aaron Copland  - Michael Tilson Thomas  -  San Francisco Symphony  - Joseph J. Stelmach
  3. Symphony No. 2 ("Short Symphony")  - Aaron Copland  - Michael Tilson Thomas  -  San Francisco Symphony  - Joseph J. Stelmach
  4. Symphonic Ode, for orchestra  - Aaron Copland  - Michael Tilson Thomas  -  San Francisco Symphony  - Joseph J. Stelmach
  5. Billy the Kid, complete ballet  - Aaron Copland  - Michael Tilson Thomas  -  San Francisco Symphony
  6. Appalachian Spring, concert suite  - Aaron Copland  - Michael Tilson Thomas  -  San Francisco Symphony
  7. Rodeo, selections from the complete ballet  - Aaron Copland  - Michael Tilson Thomas  -  San Francisco Symphony
  8. Fanfare for the Common Man, for brass & percussion (from Symphony No. 3)  - Aaron Copland  - Michael Tilson Thomas  - Daniel Guss  -  San Francisco Symphony

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