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Appalachian Spring


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Audio CD, March 22, 2005
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Billy the Kid21:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Appalachian Spring (2004 Remastered)35:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Rodeo: Buckaroo Holiday 7:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Rodeo: Corral Nocturne 3:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Rodeo: Saturday Night Waltz 4:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Rodeo/Hoe-Down (2004 Remastered) 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 22, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B0007INY3K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,304 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
The playing here is at the very highest level.
R. Trimble
I have other recordings of the "Spring," but this one will be my mainstay.
Gary Graf
You can just tell how much fun the musicians were having.
Michael P. Mossey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. Trimble on August 19, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD of Copland's Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid and Rodeo is music-making at its finest. And at its most rewarding. I've been listening to Bernstein's Appalachian Spring for 30 years and I know it like the back of my hand- I never thought any other performance would relegate it to 2nd place on my preferred list. But this recording has accomplished that.

Each of these performances demand the listener's full attention. It's amazing how effective it can be to put just a little "space" into a performance; subtle tempo changes, different kinds of articulations, a tiny bit more time taken in just the right places, etc. There are so many dramatic opportunities capitalized upon in this Appalachian Spring that it's impossible to not listen closely. Although the Bernstein version has a wonderful sense of forward momentum and is completely satisfying in its own way, yet the Thomas performance is more dramatic, more "intentional" and more emotionally involving, and leaves the impression that the score had far more to say than we might have thought. The playing is also more refined here- it has none of the raggedness that the Bernstein suffers from. The playing here is at the very highest level.

I don't find the inclusion of the 9 minute "revivalist" section to be a plus. Perhaps I've just gotten too accustomed to the familiar version of the score that I'm having trouble adding 35% more music in the guise of "new" material, but for me the whole feel of the piece changes and is rendered less connected, and it's ultimately less satisfying. For that reason I made a copy of the performance and excised the section; a much better result, in my opinion. (There's a reason that composers make cuts in their work- see Vaughan Williams' Symphony #2, "London".
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael P. Mossey on March 24, 2009
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Copland. His music can be dramatic, sad, joyful, and just plain fun. I also think his music is a good vehicle for personal expression of the performer/conductor. I don't think this is true for all composers---I cringe at some interpretations of Bach---but I usually enjoy it when a performance of Appalachian Spring or Bill the Kid contains some individual stamp that indicates the performer is really feeling and enjoying what they are doing. The combination of Copland's timeless compositions and subtle playing effects can be very sophisticated indeed.

Michael Tilson Thomas is truly crafting this music, measure by measure. His ability to get organic effects from the orchestra is wonderful. In Billy the Kid, when the music is exciting, you can just feel every player bound together in energy... and then the mood changes character, it becomes slow and soft, and the transformation is astonishing, every instrument now singing a sad song together.

Some reviewers have said that his Appalachian Spring is too dramatic. First you have to realize that the sound on this recording is extremely dynamic. Too often modern recordings of orchestras sound pinched or constrained. Orchestral fortississimos don't have their true impact. Here, RCA has captured much of the power and impact of the low drums and the brass. So any part in the music that calls for drums and brass (and Appalachian Spring often does) is going to be very powerful. If you don't like it, maybe you would have liked it at an actual concert. Recordings never "work" perfectly---effects which sound great live sometimes fail to translate.

For me, I'm very glad to have a recording with such dynamics and impact.

Overall I like the Appalachian Spring here.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gary Graf on May 12, 2007
Format: Audio CD
There are so many performances of this work that it has practcally become cliche. I have searched for years for a particular performance which has a small fugue in the violins. No, it is not the "Simple Gifts" theme. This performanc has it. It is exquisite and performed with sensitivity and skill under the baton of Tillson-Thomas. The entire work is played excellently with quality sound (concert hall experience). I have other recordings of the "Spring," but this one will be my mainstay.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer L. Fawcett on October 15, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I, like other reviewers have the Bernstein edition of these works; but Tilson Thomas brings a new rhythm, strength and clarity of vision to these arrangements. This is my new favorite.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By maestra on July 4, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I must confess to an anti-Tilson-Thomas bias; but only as a result of this recording (and DVD) of Copland's Appalachian Spring. T-T has taken so many liberties that the piece is barely recognizable; well, okay, you can recognize it, but you wonder what the hell happened to it. It sounds like robots trying to play the blues, which is to say it's stiff, choppy, and doesn't swing. It slows down and speeds up with no apparent reason, other than perhaps their circuits going haywire. The music has so much inherent emotion and grandeur, T-T really shouldn't have made such a point of making it his own: Copland's is much better.

That said, the reason I gave it two stars instead of one (or none) is that it did make me listen to the score differently, and hear things that I hadn't heard in a more traditional interpretation. But I so disliked T-T's take on it in its entirety, that it just made me want to go back to the original and listen with perked-up ears, not listen to T-T's version again. Ever again.
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