Author Topic: The Copland Corral  (Read 94018 times)

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dtwilbanks

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #60 on: October 10, 2007, 09:10:29 AM »
Part of that is retro-fit;  the tune from the Largo did get 'adopted' as a spiritual.

Dvorak invented Americana! ;)

karlhenning

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #61 on: October 10, 2007, 09:22:08 AM »
Shh! The public must never know!

Offline BachQ

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #62 on: October 10, 2007, 09:42:38 AM »
Copland found a very personal mode of compositionally intersecting musical Americana with various musical lessons learnt from Stravinsky.  So no one had done that at all like Copland, before Copland.

.......So ......... And ..........

karlhenning

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #63 on: October 10, 2007, 10:45:46 AM »
(Mmm. Scrunchily elliptical.)

Joe Barron

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #64 on: October 10, 2007, 11:39:52 AM »
Before Copland, most movie music was written in the European romantic tradition of Strauss, and many of composers of motion picture music, like Korngold, were transplants, or influenced by transplants. The music was fat in sonority, with dense string textures, full brass, and lots and lots of cymbals. (Compare his scores to say, Max Steiner's music for Gone With the Wind or Casablanca, and you'll see what I mean.) Copland not only added American-sounding themes, but he thinned the textures, both harmonically and instrumentally, and his work really doesn't sound much like Dvorak. Nothing like the Red Pony or Our Town had been written for movies before. What makes his music sound American, even when he is not quoting cowboy music, is that he is American, and his music is unique. Much the same is true of Chalres Ives: He created an American simply sound by being an original.

karlhenning

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #65 on: November 19, 2007, 12:17:01 PM »
Much the same is true of Charles Ives: He created an American sound simply by being an original.

I was just preparing to disagree, but perhaps the potential quarrel just hinges on a phrase. Ives was original. The specifically American elements are imported objects;  the original elements (including his manner of employing the importations) sound specific to Ives, and do not necessarily point to a consensus 'American sound.'  But maybe that doesn't directly meet Joe's point . . . .

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #66 on: May 23, 2008, 04:43:13 AM »
Very nice new Copland CD.

I love "The Tender Land Suite" and feel that it should be as well known as the Appalachian Spring:

"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).

hornteacher

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #67 on: May 23, 2008, 01:53:20 PM »
I love "The Tender Land Suite" and feel that it should be as well known as the Appalachian Spring:

Yes, the "Promise of Living" is one of my favorite Copland melodies.

Offline drogulus

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #68 on: May 25, 2008, 04:31:31 AM »
What makes his music sound American, even when he is not quoting cowboy music, is that he is American, and his music is unique. Much the same is true of Chalres Ives: He created an American simply sound by being an original.

    Ives, Harris and Copland all sound American when they use folk material from American sources, as they all do. By associating this with the simplified harmony, as well as being composers worthy of notice, they created what became the American sound. Unlike Elgar, whose Britishness is almost entirely retrospective, these composers really did sound American (as Dvorak and...uh, Delius did before them, but less so).

    So the American sound in classical music, if it must be given an American identity for a source, should be traced to Ives first, and was more completely developed by Harris (1920's) and Diamond ('30's) much later (does Hanson sound American? Perhaps now he does, so I guess that's a no. Barber is just not in this group). Copland will always be recognized for producing the most popular as well as the most overtly American-inspired works, so it's only a little unfair that he gets so much credit.
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Mark G. Simon

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #69 on: May 25, 2008, 05:59:27 AM »
Nadia Boulanger also deserves a big share of the credit, since the whole school of American composers, the ones we think of as sounding "American", that came of age in the 20s and 30s studied with her and reflected her aesthetics in their compositions.

Online Szykneij

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #70 on: October 11, 2008, 02:00:11 PM »
I just picked up this CD:



Chandos released the CD in 2000, but my copy is a later Musical Heritage Society issue. It opens with Copland's "Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra, with Harp and Piano" , a piece I was unfamiliar with until now. Even though the work was apparently commissioned for Benny Goodman, it seems less Jazz-influenced to my ears than many of Copland's other compositions. This is the premier recording of the more virtuosic original version, which Copland later revised. I find the short "Cadenza" second movement particularly exhilarating.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

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karlhenning

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #71 on: October 11, 2008, 02:22:29 PM »
Looks very nice, Tony!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #72 on: April 04, 2009, 01:05:35 AM »
Excellent new Copland release (reissue) featuring some of my favourite works in very good performances:

"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 jowcol

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #73 on: April 07, 2009, 08:02:08 AM »
Without a doubt, my very favorite work of Copeland is the Organ Symphony, which did not have much of an "American" sound.  The last two movements have some of the most dynamic work I've heard from him.  The last movement was something that people on my dorm kept confusing with Emerson, Lake and Palmer-- it's rocks out very hard, and is wonderful when you feel the need to make the walls shake.
"If it sounds good, it is good."
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gomro

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #74 on: April 07, 2009, 03:41:09 PM »
Without a doubt, my very favorite work of Copeland is the Organ Symphony, which did not have much of an "American" sound.  The last two movements have some of the most dynamic work I've heard from him.  The last movement was something that people on my dorm kept confusing with Emerson, Lake and Palmer-- it's rocks out very hard, and is wonderful when you feel the need to make the walls shake.

And it was the Organ Symphony that elicited this comment from its conductor Walter Damrosch: ""Ladies and gentlemen, I am sure you will agree that if a gifted young man can write a symphony like this at 23, in five years he will be ready to commit murder." According to Copland, one of the newspapers reviewing the premiere headlined the review "YOUNG COMPOSER TO COMMIT MURDER!"  Critic Claudia Cassidy also blasted the piece: "It begins with a reverie, breaks into a squalling scherzo and ends, screaming like a bewildered banshee which by some twist of locale has found itself at the wailing wall."

It is probably my favorite Copland piece as well, though there are a few others in competition with it.

Offline Bogey

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #75 on: April 07, 2009, 06:23:47 PM »


Think I will throw on the above tomorrow morning for the drive into work.
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

hornteacher

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #76 on: April 08, 2009, 02:36:04 PM »


Think I will throw on the above tomorrow morning for the drive into work.

Excellent choice, sir.

Offline Moldyoldie

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #77 on: April 18, 2009, 01:50:55 AM »
I've just now come to this thread, reading it in its entirety.  The comments on the Organ Symphony are the most intriguing as I've just been introduced to it last night.  The following is pasted from "What Are You Listening To?":


Copland: Music for Films
-The Red Pony;  Our Town;  The Heiress Suite;  Music for Movies Suite: New England Countryside, Barley Wagons, Sunday Traffic, Grovers Corners, Threshing Machines;   Prairie Journal (Music for Radio)

Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, cond.
RCA

No one can elicit an unmistakably American nostalgia quite like Aaron Copland. In fact, I've often thought of much of Copland's music as I think that of Vaughan Williams to Britain.  Many music lovers may take exception, but there it is.  All the music here rings familiar, at least to those who've been the least bit exposed to American public radio and the Turner Classic Movies cable channel.  The meltingly nostalgic themes are often stark and cushy, but always memorable -- sigh-inducing in their simplicity and consummate in their expression of a yearning for a bygone era.  In my opinion, this is some of the most wonderful, if persistently and artfully manipulative music ever made for Hollywood. Despite Copland's inimitable way with developing and hammering home his marvelous themes, one still feels that in the wrong hands this can easily turn gooey and irrepressibly maudlin.  Not so here, however, as Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony prove to be every bit inside the idiom as Bernstein ever was, displaying an honest kinship with Copland's equally genuine American ethos and free of any overt Hollywood vulgarity.  I do love and enjoy this, and the recording is just as fabulous.

Copland: Symphony for Organ and Orchestra;  Dance Symphony;  Short Symphony (Symphony No. 2);  Orchestral Variations
Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, cond.
RCA

Perhaps surprisingly, this is my introduction to Aaron Copland's Symphony for Organ and Orchestra of 1924, a youthful work composed for his teacher Nadia Boulanger in early 20th century Paris, incorporating many of his now familiar stylistic cross-rhythms and undercurrents of American urban folk music.  Beginning pensively mysterious in the opening movement, becoming redolent of neoclassical Stravinsky in the delightful and often blathering scherzo movement, and finally winding down and driving home in a raucousness seemingly steeped in a distinctly French/Russian modernist vein; it actually presents a starkly moving and full-bodied expression which is ear-catching and original.   

If one is sympathetic with Copland's developing idiom, the Dance Symphony of 1929 and Short Symphony of 1933 are equally delightful and musically pithy.  In the latter work especially, one can hear the marvelous colorations and rhythms that will eventually come to full fruition in his mature ballet and symphonic scores.  Though the Orchestral Variations dates from 1957, it's actually an orchestration of his Piano Variations of three decades earlier.  While Copland may have felt it to be one of the first works where he garnered his own musical voice, this listener was not so easily enamored.   Also, unlike the works earlier on the disc, Slatkin here doesn't seem all that comfortable and confident in his direction, though the playing is committed and intense -- for fans only.


« Last Edit: April 18, 2009, 02:10:47 AM by moldyoldie »
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #78 on: April 18, 2009, 09:22:19 AM »
I've just now come to this thread, reading it in its entirety.  The comments on the Organ Symphony are the most intriguing as I've just been introduced to it last night.  The following is pasted from "What Are You Listening To?":


Copland: Music for Films
-The Red Pony;  Our Town;  The Heiress Suite;  Music for Movies Suite: New England Countryside, Barley Wagons, Sunday Traffic, Grovers Corners, Threshing Machines;   Prairie Journal (Music for Radio)

Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, cond.
RCA


Very interesting post. When I was about 16 I remember asking my classical music loving elder brother what Vaughan Williams's music was like, having seen some LPs in a shop, and he said 'like an English Copland' and as I liked my brother's LP of Copland's Third Symphony, I went on to explore Vaughan Williams with great pleasure. I am also a great fan of Copland's Organ Symphony - if you like that you might like Malcolm Williamson's Organ Symphony too.
No one can elicit an unmistakably American nostalgia quite like Aaron Copland. In fact, I've often thought of much of Copland's music as I think that of Vaughan Williams to Britain.  Many music lovers may take exception, but there it is.  All the music here rings familiar, at least to those who've been the least bit exposed to American public radio and the Turner Classic Movies cable channel.  The meltingly nostalgic themes are often stark and cushy, but always memorable -- sigh-inducing in their simplicity and consummate in their expression of a yearning for a bygone era.  In my opinion, this is some of the most wonderful, if persistently and artfully manipulative music ever made for Hollywood. Despite Copland's inimitable way with developing and hammering home his marvelous themes, one still feels that in the wrong hands this can easily turn gooey and irrepressibly maudlin.  Not so here, however, as Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony prove to be every bit inside the idiom as Bernstein ever was, displaying an honest kinship with Copland's equally genuine American ethos and free of any overt Hollywood vulgarity.  I do love and enjoy this, and the recording is just as fabulous.

Copland: Symphony for Organ and Orchestra;  Dance Symphony;  Short Symphony (Symphony No. 2);  Orchestral Variations
Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, cond.
RCA

Perhaps surprisingly, this is my introduction to Aaron Copland's Symphony for Organ and Orchestra of 1924, a youthful work composed for his teacher Nadia Boulanger in early 20th century Paris, incorporating many of his now familiar stylistic cross-rhythms and undercurrents of American urban folk music.  Beginning pensively mysterious in the opening movement, becoming redolent of neoclassical Stravinsky in the delightful and often blathering scherzo movement, and finally winding down and driving home in a raucousness seemingly steeped in a distinctly French/Russian modernist vein; it actually presents a starkly moving and full-bodied expression which is ear-catching and original.   

If one is sympathetic with Copland's developing idiom, the Dance Symphony of 1929 and Short Symphony of 1933 are equally delightful and musically pithy.  In the latter work especially, one can hear the marvelous colorations and rhythms that will eventually come to full fruition in his mature ballet and symphonic scores.  Though the Orchestral Variations dates from 1957, it's actually an orchestration of his Piano Variations of three decades earlier.  While Copland may have felt it to be one of the first works where he garnered his own musical voice, this listener was not so easily enamored.   Also, unlike the works earlier on the disc, Slatkin here doesn't seem all that comfortable and confident in his direction, though the playing is committed and intense -- for fans only.



"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 Moldyoldie

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Re: The Copland Corral
« Reply #79 on: April 19, 2009, 01:55:28 AM »
Please forgive me, Vandermolen, but I had to separate your comments from mine lest there be misconstrual or confusion.
Quote from: vandermolen
Quote from: moldyoldie
I've just now come to this thread, reading it in its entirety.  The comments on the Organ Symphony are the most intriguing as I've just been introduced to it last night.  The following is pasted from "What Are You Listening To?":

Copland: Music for Films
-The Red Pony;  Our Town;  The Heiress Suite;  Music for Movies Suite: New England Countryside, Barley Wagons, Sunday Traffic, Grovers Corners, Threshing Machines;   Prairie Journal (Music for Radio)

Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, cond.
RCA

No one can elicit an unmistakably American nostalgia quite like Aaron Copland. In fact, I've often thought of much of Copland's music as I think that of Vaughan Williams to Britain.  Many music lovers may take exception, but there it is.  All the music here rings familiar, at least to those who've been the least bit exposed to American public radio and the Turner Classic Movies cable channel.  The meltingly nostalgic themes are often stark and cushy, but always memorable -- sigh-inducing in their simplicity and consummate in their expression of a yearning for a bygone era.  In my opinion, this is some of the most wonderful, if persistently and artfully manipulative music ever made for Hollywood. Despite Copland's inimitable way with developing and hammering home his marvelous themes, one still feels that in the wrong hands this can easily turn gooey and irrepressibly maudlin.  Not so here, however, as Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony prove to be every bit inside the idiom as Bernstein ever was, displaying an honest kinship with Copland's equally genuine American ethos and free of any overt Hollywood vulgarity.  I do love and enjoy this, and the recording is just as fabulous.

Copland: Symphony for Organ and Orchestra;  Dance Symphony;  Short Symphony (Symphony No. 2);  Orchestral Variations
Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
Leonard Slatkin, cond.
RCA

Perhaps surprisingly, this is my introduction to Aaron Copland's Symphony for Organ and Orchestra of 1924, a youthful work composed for his teacher Nadia Boulanger in early 20th century Paris, incorporating many of his now familiar stylistic cross-rhythms and undercurrents of American urban folk music.  Beginning pensively mysterious in the opening movement, becoming redolent of neoclassical Stravinsky in the delightful and often blathering scherzo movement, and finally winding down and driving home in a raucousness seemingly steeped in a distinctly French/Russian modernist vein; it actually presents a starkly moving and full-bodied expression which is ear-catching and original.   

If one is sympathetic with Copland's developing idiom, the Dance Symphony of 1929 and Short Symphony of 1933 are equally delightful and musically pithy.  In the latter work especially, one can hear the marvelous colorations and rhythms that will eventually come to full fruition in his mature ballet and symphonic scores.  Though the Orchestral Variations dates from 1957, it's actually an orchestration of his Piano Variations of three decades earlier.  While Copland may have felt it to be one of the first works where he garnered his own musical voice, this listener was not so easily enamored.   Also, unlike the earlier works on the disc, Slatkin here doesn't seem all that comfortable and confident in his direction, though the playing is committed and intense -- for fans only.

Very interesting post. When I was about 16 I remember asking my classical music loving elder brother what Vaughan Williams's music was like, having seen some LPs in a shop, and he said 'like an English Copland' and as I liked my brother's LP of Copland's Third Symphony, I went on to explore Vaughan Williams with great pleasure. I am also a great fan of Copland's Organ Symphony - if you like that you might like Malcolm Williamson's Organ Symphony too.

Needless to say, it's gratifying that someone shares my assessment of Copland vis-à-vis Vaughan Williams, at least as it pertains to the more pastoral aspects of their respective idioms.   

Is the Williamson composition you reference the Organ Concerto?  I can't seem to find an Organ Symphony.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 02:00:53 AM by moldyoldie »
"I think the problem with technology is that people use it because it’s around.  That is disgusting and stupid!  Please quote me."
 - Steve Reich