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This release--part of a wave that will soon grow tidal in honor of the 100th anniversary of Aaron Copland in 2000--doesn't exactly rewrite the map on America's beloved composer. It collects three of his most familiar works created during (and, in varying degrees, reacting to) his country's experience of World War II: the version of "Appalachian Spring" for orchestral suite, the "Fanfare for the Common Man," and the Third Symphony (which incorporates the fanfare in its final movement and, as Copland himself wrote, reflects the "euphoric spirit of the country" following the war's conclusion). But the charismatic Eiji Oue proves to have a convincing and sensitive connection to these works.
A protégé of Leonard Bernstein, Oue was bequeathed the baton used by Bernstein in his final concert--the musical equivalent of a laying on of hands--and he opts to bring out a similar kind of multilayered American Romanticism, mixing transcendentalist vision with sinewy, driving vitality. The range of color and deep focus Oue elicits from the Minnesota Orchestra give yet another example of how the old "tier" hierarchy of American orchestras is eroding; there are excellent, tender wind solos, nicely balanced bodies of strings, and pulse-raising brass, especially in the Third. Oue finds a way to make the transitions between tempos and sections breathe effectively (above all when the music shifts to a faster gear), and his fine ear does justice to the vertical density of Copland's sound--as does the justly acclaimed Reference Recording range of clarity. While Oue doesn't really break any new interpretive ground (his Third feels too close in overall concept to Bernstein's own canonical recording--down to following the cut of several measures of triumphant D major on the score's final page), the glory of that ear-delighting dynamic range and subtlety is a definite advantage for audiophiles. --Thomas May
Thank you for making it possible for me to find the music I wantPublished 12 months ago by Joanne Bergman
Fantastic recording. I love listening to this all the time. Simple as that. I cannot say this is better/worse than other recordings, as I have nothing to compare with in my... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Michael C.
For me Copeland is a musical genius. and his "Fanfare for the Conmon Man" is his stand-out signature piece. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Stephanie Sullivan
Like most RR recordings, the sound was very much audiophile quality. The performance on the other hand was nothing special. I found it lethargic. Try Davies with St. Luke.Published 16 months ago by Diver
I couldn't be happier with this CD. The quality of the CD is very good and the orchestration is the best I've heard of Appalachian Suite and Fanfare for the Common Man. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Bookbam
I wish everyone could hear this work full volume. But I'm afraid younger folks will never listen and will never appreciate Copland's 3rd Symphony. Too bad.Published on March 24, 2013 by Dennis P. Leger
My first Copland's listenings were from two great LP's featuring Leonard Bernstein and the NYPO playing El Salon Mexico, Rodeo, and Billy the Kid. Read morePublished on October 11, 2012 by Colloredo von Salzburg
I felt the music of truly "America" when listening to this suite. Copland captures the spirit of the heartland and the comman man in a most soothing way. Read morePublished on September 28, 2012 by VMB
Maybe it's just me since the other reviewers rate it so highly. I find the high end weak. The horns and cymbals just don't shimmer with life like I've heard on other recordings. Read morePublished on June 15, 2010 by Richard K. Seastrand