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Copland: Music for the Theater

Aaron Copland , Hugh Wolff , St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
  • Conductor: Hugh Wolff
  • Composer: Aaron Copland
  • Audio CD (June 20, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Teldec
  • ASIN: B000000SD0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,399 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Music For The Theatre: Prolouge
2. Music For The Theatre: Dance
3. Music For The Theatre: Interlude
4. Music For The Theatre: Burlesque
5. Music For The Theatre: Epilogue
6. Three Latin American Sketches: Estribillo
7. Three Latin American Sketches: Paisaje Mexicano
8. Three Latin American Sketches: Danza de Jalisco
9. Quiet City - Gary Bordner/Thomas Tempel
10. Appalachian Spring: Very slowly
11. Appalachian Spring: Allegro, vigoroso
12. Appalachian Spring: Moderato
13. Appalachian Spring: Much slower, poco rubato
14. Appalachian Spring: Fast
15. Appalachian Spring: Malto moderato
16. Appalachian Spring: Allegro
17. Appalachian Spring: Presto
18. Appalachian Spring: Meno mosso
19. Appalachian Spring: As at first (Slowly)
20. Appalachian Spring: Thema and variations ('The Gift to be Simple')
See all 27 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Hugh Wolff's well-recorded disc offers a splendid account of the complete Appalachian Spring ballet in its original chamber scoring--perhaps even lovelier than the more familiar arrangement for full orchestra. --Ted Libbey

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtakingly beautiful! September 6, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
These performances of familiar and unfamiliar Copland works were recorded as a memorial to the composer by Hugh Wolff shortly after Copland's death. "Appalachian Spring" appears here in its complete score (about 7 minutes longer than the familiar suite) and, more importantly, in its original, intimate scoring. Copland himself was fond of this version, and it's easy to see why -- the clarity and intimacy is breathtaking, while lacking none of the beauty of the full orchestral scoring. If you love Appalachian Spring, you will love it even more after hearing this version. The sonorities of the less familiar works (Music for the Theater; Dance Suite) are astonishing and delightful -- it's a wonder that these works aren't better known. So even if you have a recording of "Appalachian Spring," this CD is worth having for the substantial additional works.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Copland In A More Intimate Setting November 13, 2010
Format:Audio CD
When people think of Aaron Copland, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a big, bold, uniquely American sound, whether it's in rural settings, the hustle and bustle of big cities like Copland's native New York, or the wide open spaces of the West that were depicted in his ballet scores "Billy The Kid" and "Rodeo."

But there is even more to the man referred to as the Dean of American Music--a more intimate side that can sometimes get lost amongst the big, bold pronouncements of works like "Fanfare For The Common Man." It is that intimate side that is explored in this 1991 recording made by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and its music director Hugh Wolff, one that explores works of Copland's that aren't heard all that much in the concert halls. The quirky "Music For The Theatre"; the intimate "Quiet City" for English horn, trumpet, and strings; and the south-of-the-border exoticism of the Latin American Sketches are excellent showcases for Wolff and the SPCO, who dedicated their recording in the memory of the composer, who passed away in 1990.

The big highlight on the album, however, is the original, and uncut, version of the ballet score that Copland composed for Martha Graham's dance company that became known as "Appalachian Spring." What a lot of people may not realize is that Copland had to pare down the scoring for the ballet because the hall where the ballet was to be premiered in 1943 could only accommodate thirteen orchestral players in all. It is this chamber version that the SPCO performs on this recording, which gives one the sense of a touching occasion, not that the bolder full orchestral version (now a basic staple of the American musical diet) is any less important.
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