A bargain price collection of Coplandiana of CBS/Sony
tapes which have not otherwise found their way into other themed series
and sets on this label. This handful of recordings functions well as
a conspectus for the timorous explorer as well as for the collector
who wants to fill gaps. Both will bless the bargain price.
After a rather languid Fanfare comes an idiomatic
Rodeo with Louis Lane and the Cleveland Pops slurring and jazzing
it to their (and our) heart's content. A good version with some theatrical
trumpet contributions reminding me of the cross-echoes between Copland
and Malcolm Arnold. Three years down the turnpike the same trumpeter
treats us to some grass-roots liquid playing in An Outdoor Overture.
This overture is great entertainment - think of it as a sort of counterpart
of Moeran's Overture to a Masque or Bax's Overture to Adventure
- a sort of American ENSA wartime overture. The parallels are pretty
close. This version does not have the vivacity of Copland's own recording
with the LSO but is very good.
The Red Pony suite
is in seven movements. Previn's sense of theatre predictably benefits
the music which is given with the sort brilliant pointillistic colouring
you find in good Janáček and Prokofiev interpretations.
This music is innocent and poignant - close to Arnold's music for Whistle
Down the Wind.
The disc's culmination comes with the grandeur of Lincoln
Portrait. Adlai Stevenson is not as dramaturgically impressive as,
say, Charlton Heston (Vanguard) but his sincerity is patent. The effect
is spoiled because his voce sounds as if it was dubbed after the music
had been recorded. That sense of scale and space so powerful in James
Earl Jones recording on Delos and in the Heston is rather watered down
These are healthy analogue recordings from 1958 to
1963. Decent notes are provided. Documentation is pretty good; better
than the same series' Tchaikovsky concertos disc just reviewed.
A couple of weaker moments (both coincidentally
Philadelphian) do not unduly disturb the recommendation for this gentle