COPLAND (1900-1990) Fanfare for the Common Man (1942) [3:39] Appalachian
Spring (1943) [36:42] El Salon Mexico (1932) [10:50] Old American Songs (1951) [24:55]
de la Ciudad de Mexico/Enrique Batiz (Fanfare)
Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin (Appalachian)
Dallas Symphony Orchestra/Eduardo Mata (Mexico)
Bruce Hubbard (baritone)
Orchestra of St Luke's/Dennis Russell Davies (Songs)
rec. March 1985, Sala Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico City (Fanfare);
October 1985, Powell Symphony Hall, St Louis, Missouri
(Appalachian); May 1986, Cliff Temple Baptist Church,
Dallas, Texas (Mexico); 27, 31 October 1989,Manhattan
Center, New York City (Songs). DDD EMI AMERICAN
CLASSICS 2066342 [76:31]
Copland collections from EMI
are not exactly rare. The company’s shelves are well stocked
with material from which to choose. This disc has been
assembled from digital tapes made in America during the
We have an unexpectedly staid
and understated Fanfare. It's a nice contrast with
the neon rhetoric of the composer and of Bernstein. Slatkin
delivers an effective version of the complete ballet Appalachian
Spring with some superbly calculated and controlled
textures, touching eloquence (Meno mosso, tr. 7),
surging heroics and in the Allegro - solo Dance
of the Bride a tight and taut rhythmic snap. The Saint
Louis principals are permitted personal profiles and identity
in their various solos as in the Moderato (tr. 4).
There is much here that is pleasing but the composer's
original with the LSO is to be preferred if this work
is your priority. Both Mata and Batiz hail from South America.
In simplistic terms it is fitting that Mata is heard in El
Salon Mexico. It's a great version and superbly recorded.
Perhaps he scouts over emotional detail as at 2:49 (far
too fast) but this is sappy spectacular stuff. Bruce Hubbard
leads us in fine authentic style through the cheery-poetic-gawky Old
American Songs. His enunciation is excellent and he
acts the songs - pouring in shovel-loads of character.
Who would have thought that the first five of these songs
were premiered in 1951 by Copland's friends Peter Pears
and Benjamin Britten. By the way there's no sign anywhere
here of the atonal Copland of Inscape and the other
works of the 1960s and 1970s.
A generous, capable and engaging
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