Copland: Orchestral Works - Symphonies
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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import, 5 January 2018
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- Product Dimensions : 14.2 x 12.6 x 1.19 cm; 115.95 Grams
- Manufacturer : CHANDOS
- Original Release Date : 2018
- Label : CHANDOS
- ASIN : B077BKK9HP
- Country of origin : USA
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: 100,675 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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The exploration by John Wilson of Coplands major orchestral output with the BBC Philharmonic has now reached Volume 3, with this invigorating programme recorded in surround-sound. It opens with An Outdoor Overture, a cheerful and breezy piece which Copland composed in 1938, intending to spearhead an initiative encouraging American Music for American Youth. Originally written for organ and orchestra, the First Symphony is presented here in its revised version (1926-28) for large orchestra. The six concise movements of Statements (1932-35) introduce a new style, their gritty soundscapes being stunning examples of what Copland later would refer to as hard-bitten pieces. The concluding work is the expressive, fantastical Dance Symphony (1929) which explores different styles of symphonic movements, its dark aura a residue of its origin as a ballet on a grotesque vampire theme, composed 1922-25 and named Grohg. The symphony has remained a highly controversial piece ever since.
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Copland's own reworking of his Symphony for Organ and Orchestra (see Vol. 2) was motivated by his desire to see the piece reach a wider audience.....the requirement for a full scale pipe organ in the original limited the number of venues available for performance. Wilson and the BBC Philharmonic are utterly persuasive in this 'revised' symphony. Of the other selections in this release I particularly welcomed the opportunity to hear the rarely performed 'Statements', at turns dramatic, edgy, melancholic and playful. Wilson and the BBC Phil are proving themselves to be a match made in heaven. These are superb interpretations by a conductor and ensemble who are quite simply 'in the zone'.
Listened to in sacd two channel stereo, the recorded sound achieved by the Chandos engineers is outstanding. Strongly recommend.
To my ears, superbly. There are two symphonies (mostly rarely played and recorded), an overture, and Statements, all of which may be new to many people. Is the relative unfamiliarity of these works for a reason? Not really: these may not be as familiar to most listeners as his ballet scores, or Fanfare, but the Copland touch is here, without a doubt.
The recording is superb, with the Chandos engineers doing a fine job including some wide frequencies, including a decent bass drum and timpani, and the soundstage is wide and expressive. The performance are excellent, although there is a dearth of comparative recordings to judge against. Having listened through this CD many times in the past two months, I discover new subtleties in the music and the performances. These works all date through the twenties and thirties, which was a time when Copland hit his stride and wrote some fantastic music. This is, despite it's relative neglect (which hopefully this CD will help reverse), wonderful music and well worth listening to. It may not stick in your brain the way Fanfare or Rodeo does, but that doesn't diminish the work one bit.
If you're a fan of Copland, listen to this CD. If you are not yet a fan, then try this series, in order, and you may well be converted. I'm pretty sure you'll want to listen to all you can of Copland!