Customer Reviews

11
4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
10
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item
Share your thoughts with other customers

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Here are definitive performances of music by American composers Aaron Copland and Morton Gould, conducted by the composers themselves. These were originally issued on separate RCA Victor "Living Stereo" recordings in 1960 and 1961; typical of RCA recordings of that era, they had exceptional sound.

Aaron Copland conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra in his concert suites from the ballet "Appalachian Spring" and the opera "The Tender Land." He succeeded in getting top-notch performances from the Bostonians and left us a wonderful musical treasure.

"Appalachian Spring" is among Copland's greatest works and won the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Choreographed by dancer/choreographer Martha Graham, the complete ballet is seldom heard but is available on an RCA Victor CD with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in the fully orchestrated version. The ballet was originally performed with only 13 musicians and Copland himself made a recording of that original scoring for Columbia (later reissued on Sony). This writer had an opportunity to attend a performance of the ballet by the Martha Graham group in 1975, with the composer conducting the San Jose Symphony; what a special treat it was to see Copland and Graham together. She made a memorable entrance in the San Jose Performing Arts Center as she wore a long, flowing, red, chiffon dress.

This is one of Copland's very few recordings for RCA; he was long associated with Columbia and recorded many of his works for them, usually in London with British orchestras.

Some have said that Copland was not a great conductor; that may be so, but these recorded performances are among his best and compare well with other recordings by other conductors. I always especially liked Copland's setting of the Shaker tune "Simple Gifts;" it is quite moving and magnificent. CBS used this setting as the theme for some of its special news broadcasts in the 1950's and 1960's.

A special treat is the suite from "The Tender Land." This writer sang the lively tune "Stomp Your Foot" with the San Jose State Men's Glee Club in 1968; it's wonderful to hear a fully-orchestrated version of the song. There is also some very emotional and quite tender music in the suite. The Boston musicians play with great sensitivity.

Morton Gould recorded a suite from his 1948 ballet "Fall River Legend." The full ballet score can be heard on an Albany Records CD. Gould compiled the best moments from the score, depicting the tragic events in Fall River, Massachusetts, in the early 1890's, in which Lizzie Borden was accused of murdering her parents. The music was quite nostalgic and exuberant.

This CD also includes the two middle movements from Gould's popular "Latin American Symphonette." The second movement is quite haunting and seductive, while the third movement is jubilant and highly syncopated. The performances of Gould's music here are all very good. Gould also was generally associated with Columbia Records and wrote music for a number of CBS radio broadcasts. The original RCA Victor LP also included his piano concerto, "Interplay," which is another memorable and quite original work.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2002
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I always have thought that Copland's The Tender Land is probably one of the hidden treasures in American classical music. It's a beautiful piece of music, especially Acts 1&3. You will not be disappointed in this from one of America's most beloved composers.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2007
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
This is the best way to get Copland's "Tender Land" suite. This same recording has appeared on other RCA CDs, but this Living Stereo mix is the top.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2014
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
This is by far the best performance of Appalachian Spring ever recorded, and it is extremely difficult to find. But I have been listening to it on vinyl, then cassette, followed by CD, and now Cloud over the past 40 years. Each medium eventually wears out, but with any luck, this time I will wear out before the Cloud does.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I first came to know this recording as a boy in high school five or six years after its first release in LP form (1959, I think). I replaced the vinyl LP album twice as I kept listening to it into the 80's, having worn out each succeeding copy, then moved to CD when it became available in that media. I bought it originally for the music from Appalachian Spring, but soon fell in love with the Suite from The Tender Land as well; through all of the changes and deepening of my listening tastes over the years (and all the other versions of this music that I own), this recording has held up. It still moves me very much. James Leonard's review in the All Music Guide is very succinct about the artistic worth of this recording.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2014
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Here we have the definitive recordings of Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring and Suite from The Tender Land as well as Morton Gould's Fall River Legend and Latin-American Symphonette, each conducted by their respective composer. The orchestras employed are the BSO for Copland and Morton Gould's own orchestra for his two works.

Of course, America - at least we older guys - knew Appalachian Spring as the theme music for the B & W TV show, 20th Century with Walter Cronkite. I was still a young teen when I was given the RCA LP of this recording. Like Appalachian Spring depicts, life was simple then. Copland was melodically inspired by the Quaker song "The Gift to be Simple" when he wrote the music for the Martha Graham-choreographed one-act ballet. He finished work on the music towards the conclusion of WW II, when life was indeed about to simplify for millions of Americans. Whether the war had any significant influence on Copland is unknown, but maybe it isn't just ironic that such a pastoral work would be composed well into the war by the leading American composer. Who knows. Copland provides the listener with a sensitive, tender, and energetic performance of both Appalachian Spring and music from the ballet, The Tender Land. The two works represent his finest efforts and are also more imbued with emotion. Surprisingly, sonics are hardly dated despite a recording date of 1959, and they certainly present no detriment to the listening experience.

Morton Gould conducts his better known Fall River Legend, a ballet about Lizzie Borden who had actually been accused of axe-murdering her father and step-mother. She was acquitted and no one else was ever charged. The music Gould composed is simply beautiful. Morton Gould was overheard saying that he only knew how to write hanging music. Interesting, huh? I guess RCA didn't like monothematic albums! The orchestral performance sounds much more recently performed, although the recording date was 1960. The ballet is still frequently performed. The Latin-American Symphonette is given a spirited performance. The second "movement" is light-hearted and just plain fun to hear. By judging from the sound alone, Morton Gould's Orchestra was a better on than the BSO.

It is wonderful to have very-well recorded accounts of these four American works conducted by their composers. The music and sonics make the album self-recommending.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Beautiful composition: you can hear strands of old tune in it. Perfect listening while relaxing or reading.My little grands even like this classic.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on November 17, 2012
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
Aaron Copland was a musical genius, and it definitely shows in these selections. Morton Gould's compositions are also very impressive. A great selection of music from two of the greatest American composers ever!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
This is a magnificent piece of the music of Aaron Copland. Since he is one of my favorite musicians, every piece of music I can listen to is a treat. This one is no exception. Enjoy
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on April 13, 2015
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Love Copland and this CD has a nice selection of his work. He's my favorite modern classical composer.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed


 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.