Author Topic: The Copland Corral  (Read 87342 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #420 on: November 09, 2020, 04:12:07 AM »
Been enjoying some Copland lately, mostly the Bernstein recordings on DG and Columbia/Sony. The 3rd symphony is pretty impressive. There's still a good deal of his music I have yet to hear; the Dance Symphony, Organ Symphony, Short Symphony and all that other good stuff.

Just out of curiosity, why did Naxos record so much Copland?! They've recorded Appalachian Spring at least 3 or 4 times.

The Organ Symphony is a particular favourite. You should try the craggy 'Symphonic Ode' as well. I think that the Appalachian Spring is very popular (like Vaughan Williams's 'The Lark Ascending') so that is probably why it is often recorded.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Biffo

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #421 on: November 09, 2020, 04:12:41 AM »
Been enjoying some Copland lately, mostly the Bernstein recordings on DG and Columbia/Sony. The 3rd symphony is pretty impressive. There's still a good deal of his music I have yet to hear; the Dance Symphony, Organ Symphony, Short Symphony and all that other good stuff.

Just out of curiosity, why did Naxos record so much Copland?! They've recorded Appalachian Spring at least 3 or 4 times.

No idea but they do have an 'American Classics' series that has much more than Copland.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #422 on: November 09, 2020, 03:29:51 PM »
The Organ Symphony is a particular favourite. You should try the craggy 'Symphonic Ode' as well. I think that the Appalachian Spring is very popular (like Vaughan Williams's 'The Lark Ascending') so that is probably why it is often recorded.

That was just an example; beyond Appalachian Spring, there's about a dozen or more Copland Naxos discs in general, with a bunch of different conductors: Gunzenhauser, Schwarz, Alsop, Judd, Falletta, etc... They really put a lot of effort into their Copland series. I suppose they see him as a central part of their "American Classics" series.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #423 on: November 09, 2020, 04:22:04 PM »
Been enjoying some Copland lately, mostly the Bernstein recordings on DG and Columbia/Sony. The 3rd symphony is pretty impressive. There's still a good deal of his music I have yet to hear; the Dance Symphony, Organ Symphony, Short Symphony and all that other good stuff.

Just out of curiosity, why did Naxos record so much Copland?! They've recorded Appalachian Spring at least 3 or 4 times.

That was just an example; beyond Appalachian Spring, there's about a dozen or more Copland Naxos discs in general, with a bunch of different conductors: Gunzenhauser, Schwarz, Alsop, Judd, Falletta, etc... They really put a lot of effort into their Copland series. I suppose they see him as a central part of their "American Classics" series.

You answered your own question. ;) For me and I can’t speak as to why Naxos has recorded what they have (or even feel the need to try to understand it), but I look at Copland as one of the great American composers. He created a sound-world that was completely his own and, in this regard, he has one of the most characteristic and unmistakable musical voices in all of classical music. Those wide-open vistas of sound, the galloping rhythms and even in his more Modernist works there’s a certain approach in the harmony that can only be classified as ‘Copland-esque’. When you listen to a work like Prairie Journal and then turn around and listen to Connotations, you’re never in question of who the composer is and I think that is one of his many achievements.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2020, 04:23:45 PM by Mirror Image »
Don’t forget your four A’s, folks: Alex, Arnie, Alban and Anton


Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #424 on: November 10, 2020, 12:41:50 AM »
That was just an example; beyond Appalachian Spring, there's about a dozen or more Copland Naxos discs in general, with a bunch of different conductors: Gunzenhauser, Schwarz, Alsop, Judd, Falletta, etc... They really put a lot of effort into their Copland series. I suppose they see him as a central part of their "American Classics" series.

I suspect that when Naxos got Slatkin to sign a deal with them part of the agreement was to allow him to record several Copland discs given this is something of an omission in his discography to that date

Offline Jo498

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #425 on: November 10, 2020, 01:28:32 AM »
I don't much care for the "American Idyll" (or "populist") music but there is a different side (or more or some music that could be classified as in between) to Copland I find more interesting. Tilson Thomas accordingly has one album calls "the modernist" (which I recommend), one "the populist" (which I have not heard).


Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #426 on: November 10, 2020, 01:32:46 AM »
I don't much care for the "American Idyll" (or "populist") music but there is a different side (or more or some music that could be classified as in between) to Copland I find more interesting. Tilson Thomas accordingly has one album calls "the modernist" (which I recommend), one "the populist" (which I have not heard).


That MTT Copland 'Modernist' disc is one of my favourites, uniquely I think, it includes both the Symphonic Ode and the Symphony for Organ and Orchestra.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #427 on: November 10, 2020, 02:14:09 AM »
I ordered the Modernist disc. Thanks, Jo. "American Idyll" is a good way to put it. Copland's music from the 1940s is not unlike an American equivalent to the "English Idyllics" like Finzi, Delius etc.

He created a sound-world that was completely his own and, in this regard, he has one of the most characteristic and unmistakable musical voices in all of classical music.

When you listen to a work like Prairie Journal and then turn around and listen to Connotations, you’re never in question of who the composer is and I think that is one of his many achievements.

Well said. I think this development of a very unique individual voice is a trait he shares with Stravinsky, and few others.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #428 on: January 11, 2021, 12:30:11 PM »
This interview may be of interest:

Part 1 -

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/JiK5C6OJDjk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/JiK5C6OJDjk</a>

Part 2 -

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/UO18NxUaIgk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/UO18NxUaIgk</a>
Don’t forget your four A’s, folks: Alex, Arnie, Alban and Anton


Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #429 on: January 11, 2021, 12:37:57 PM »
In my mind, Copland is the equivalent of Sibelius in Finland as he’s done that much for American music. He's a national treasure, but, unfortunately, he’s unknown to a large percentage of Americans nowadays and it does feel his reputation is a bit in decline. I truly hope this man’s music continues to thrive and flourish.
Don’t forget your four A’s, folks: Alex, Arnie, Alban and Anton


Offline Jo498

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #430 on: January 12, 2021, 02:39:16 AM »
Wouldn't Ives be a closer analogue to Sibelius as "pioneering beginner of serious classical music in cultural backwater x"? The big difference is of course that Sibelius became a national musical hero rather quickly whereas Ives remained mostly obscure. But Copland does seem very late for a "pioneer" even regardless of Ives.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #431 on: January 12, 2021, 02:53:35 AM »
I remember that when I first came across an LP by Vaughan Williams I asked my classical-music loving elder brother what his music was like and he replied 'a bit like a British Copland'. That intrigued me as I already liked Copland's music. Their music, of course, sounds different but I know what he meant.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #432 on: January 12, 2021, 08:18:31 AM »
Wouldn't Ives be a closer analogue to Sibelius as "pioneering beginner of serious classical music in cultural backwater x"? The big difference is of course that Sibelius became a national musical hero rather quickly whereas Ives remained mostly obscure. But Copland does seem very late for a "pioneer" even regardless of Ives.

I think it’s important to remember that before Copland, the US didn’t have a national musical voice or someone they could turn to when there was a national crisis to move everyone with their music. Copland’s Populist period is what gave him the national and international recognition. Ives never achieved this nor did any other American composer at this time. I have a special relationship with Copland’s music as I remember watching a commercial on TV when I was around 5 or 6 yrs. old for US beef that featured the Hoe-Down movement from Rodeo and this has stuck in my mind throughout my entire life. I suppose you could say this was first exposure to any kind of classical music.
Don’t forget your four A’s, folks: Alex, Arnie, Alban and Anton


Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #433 on: January 12, 2021, 08:24:43 AM »
I remember that when I first came across an LP by Vaughan Williams I asked my classical-music loving elder brother what his music was like and he replied 'a bit like a British Copland'. That intrigued me as I already liked Copland's music. Their music, of course, sounds different but I know what he meant.

That is interesting, Jeffrey. I think the Populist period of Copland does have nods to Vaughan Williams’ pastoralism. I’m thinking here of works like Quiet City, Down a Country Road, Letter From Home, Our Town, etc. Of course, as you pointed out, the differences between the two composers couldn’t be more apparent outside of the afore mentioned works.
Don’t forget your four A’s, folks: Alex, Arnie, Alban and Anton