Copland The Modernist

Copland The Modernist

by Michael Tilson Thomas

CD

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Overview

Copland The Modernist

When we think of Aaron Copland as a uniquely American composer, it's the music on the Copland the Populist that we usually have in mind. That highly acclaimed album by 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 this follow-up 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.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/15/1996
Label: Rca
UPC: 0090266854127
catalogNumber: 68541

Tracks

  1. Piano Concerto

    1. Andante sostenuto  (07:32)
    2. Molto moderato; Allegro assai  (09:37)
  2. Orchestral Variations, for orchestra (based on Piano Variations)  (13:37)
  3. Symphony No. 2 ("Short Symphony")

    1. Incisivo  (04:24)
    2. Espressivo  (05:00)
    3. Presto e ritmico  (06:00)
  4. Symphonic Ode, for orchestra  (20:07)

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