- Billy the Kid, orchestral suite from the ballet
- Symphony No. 9 in E minor ("From the New World"), B. 178 (Op. 95) (first published as No. 5)
15.44 In Stock
Launching the National Symphony Orchestra's recording label, Gianandrea Noseda and his musicians present two works that are historical touchstones for the Americana style in classical music, Antonín Dvorák's "Symphony No. 9 in E minor, From the New World" (1893), and Aaron Copland's "Billy the Kid ballet suite" (1940). These works loom large in the American repertoire, with Dvorák's enormously popular symphony often being cited for possible allusions to American folk songs ("Turkey in the Straw)" and African American spirituals ("Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"), and is beloved for the long English horn melody of the Largo, which was later adapted as a spiritual itself, "Goin' Home." Yet Dvorák's symphony, written during his sabbatical in Spillville, Iowa, has also been described as Bohemian in flavor or imbued with a nostalgia for his own country that made "From the New World" seem like a letter home. There is little ambiguity about Copland's "Billy the Kid," however, and its catchy themes and bucking rhythms evoke the rough and tumble atmosphere of the bygone Old West, or rather, of one imagined by a 20th century modernist composer from Brooklyn, New York. His use of familiar melodies, such as "Git Along, Little Dogies," "The Old Chisholm Trail," and "Goodbye Old Paint" follows the method Dvorák advocated for composers to create their own national identity, and provided a populist model for those seeking an alternative to the avant-garde movement in Europe. Recorded in concert at the Kennedy Center in June, 2019, this recording presents a spacious and resonant sound that bodes well for audiophiles just discovering this label.