COPLAND Appalachian Spring, Quiet City, Short Symphony. Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Brilliant Classics

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Copland Appalachian Spring Quiet City Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Brilliant Classics

COPLAND

Appalachian Spring

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

1 Appalachian Spring 25’26

1945 Suite

Very slowly – Allegro – Moderato – Fast –

More deliberate tempo – Molto moderato –

Allegro – Presto – Meno mosso – As at first (sloly)

Doppio movimento – A trifle slower – Broadly

Susan Palma flute; David Singer clarinet; Frank Morelli bassoon

Wu Han piano

Short Symphony (No.2)

arr. Dennis Russell Davies

2 I. Tempo = 144 (incisivo) 4’27

3 II. Tempo = circa 44 5’27

4 III. Tempo = 144 5’46

(Preciso e ritmico)

5 Quiet City 9’26

Slow – Slower – Largamente – Tempo I

Raymond Mase trumpet

Stephen Taylor cor anglais

Three Latin American Sketches

6 No.1 Estribillo 3’11

(Bold, sharply accented)

7 No.2 Paisaje Mexicano 3’30

(Soft and sad, in a moderate tempo)

8 No.3 Danza de Jalisco 3’39

(Lively and fast)

Aaron Copland was born in Brooklyn in 1900. His early works gained him a reputation as a modernist. His music featured angular melodies, bold outlines, forceful and piercing orchestration, and above all, jazz rhythms. He depicted in music urban, mechanised America.

His 2nd Symphony typifies this aspect of his music from this period. Deemed almost unplayable by most American conductors of the period, it was premiered in 1934 conducted by his friend and fellow composer Carlos Chavez. It was not until 1944 before it was performed again in the US this time under Stokowski. It is a remarkable work for its time, and the influence of Stravinsky, though his Symphonies in C and in 3 movements were yet to be written.

The three ‘American Ballets’ Billy the Kid, Rodeo, and Appalachian Spring are probably his best known works. The blend of American folksong and hymnody combined with the rhythmic precision of Copland’s orchestration produce music that sounds ‘American’ in that it could not have emerged from any other country. In a sense, Copland invented the soundtrack for American life in music as countless movie and TV series soundtracks draw upon his sound world.

Quiet City is a recasting of the incidental music Copland wrote for the play by Irwin Shaw. Scored for trumpet, cor anglais and strings, it is a nocturne depicting a sleeping city. It is tremendously atmospheric music. Finally the Three Latin-American Sketches are based on tunes from Venezuela and Mexico. Started in 1959 as two Mexican Pieces, he added the Venezuelan movement in 1971.

Recording made in 1988

Booklet notes

‘The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s collection makes for a very distinctive Copland record….In all this music the cutting edge of Copland’s invention is enhanced in performances as immaculately drilled as these’ Gramophone August 1989

Brilliant Classics 9207

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