Magazine article Gramophone

Copland

Magazine article Gramophone

Copland

Article excerpt

Copland Appalachian Spring. Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Detroit Symphony Orchestra / Leonard Slatkin Naxos American Classics (M) 8 559806 (72' * DDD)

Appalachian Spring is most frequently heard in the 1945 concert suite for full orchestra, which omits around nine minutes of music from the original chamber score of the year before. As with his previous recording with the St Louis Symphony for EMI, however, Leonard Slatkin opts for the full length orchestral version of the ballet prepared by Copland in 1954 at the behest of Eugene Ormandy. Most of the material restored to the ballet takes the form of an extended passage that immediately precedes the majestic final variation of the Shaker hymn 'Simple Gifts'--a discursive interruption perhaps, but one that adds a degree of emotional weight to the work. Slatkin's new interpretation is vigorous and communicative, and the playing is distinguished too, but the recording has a close-up perspective that's not always conducive to conveying the music's repose and atmosphere; in this respect the plusher EMI recording is preferable, as is RCA's recording for Tilson Thomas.

Set in a courtroom during a murder trial, Copland's ballet Hear Ye! …

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