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  • Copland: The Tender Land (complete opera)
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Copland: The Tender Land (complete opera) Box set


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Audio CD, Box set, September 23, 1992
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$15.00

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
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Release Date: 1-APR-1996

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Aaron Copland didn't have the theatrical instinct of a George Gershwin or even a Gian Carlo Menotti, but that didn't keep him from writing one of the best operas we have in the "American" vein. The Tender Land was composed in 1953 on a commission from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II--who since the premiere of Oklahoma! 10 years earlier could afford such largesse--and received its premiere on April 1, 1954 at the City Center in New York. Concerning a girl transformed into a young woman by her first experience of love, The Tender Land is set in the American Midwest during the 1930s. The libretto by Horace Everett (a pseudonym of Erik Johns) was inspired by photographs taken by Walker Evans of a rural, Depression-era mother and her daughter that had appeared in James Agee's book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. The music is cut from the same cloth as that of Appalachian Spring--the melodic, easygoing, folkish vein that Copland could manage about as easily as breathing. Lightly scored (calling for winds and brass in twos) and with spoken dialogue in the style of the musical stage, the score has come to be regarded as one of Copland's finest, as he himself believed it to be. You couldn't get a more authentic cast than the one heard here, consisting entirely of good American singers whose delivery is appropriately nonoperatic, and including Minnesota native Elisabeth Comeaux in the central role of Laurie. Philip Brunelle leads the forces of the Minnesota-based Plymouth Music Series in an idiomatic if slightly underpowered performance that comes from the Heartland and goes straight to the heart. --Ted Libbey

Disc: 1
1. The Tender Land: Prelude
2. The Tender Land: Act One, Scene 1: The Front Yard Of The Moss Home
3. The Tender Land: Act One, Scene 1: 'Two Little Bits Of Metal'
4. The Tender Land: Act One, Scene 1: The Arrival Of The Postman
5. The Tender Land: Act One, Scene 2: Opening The Package
6. The Tender Land: Act One, Scene 2: 'This Is Like The Dress I Never Had'
7. The Tender Land: Act One, Scene 2: Dance And Exit
8. The Tender Land: Act One, Scene 3: Laurie's Entrance: 'Once I Thought I'd Never Grow
9. The Tender Land: Act One, Scene 3: Ma's Entrance
10. The Tender Land: Act One, Scene 3: 'Remember The Boy That Used To Call'; Ma's Exit
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. The Tender Land: Act 2, Scene 1: The Graduation Eve Supper
2. The Tender Land: Act 2, Scene 1: The Supper Ends
3. The Tender Land: Act 2, Scene 1: Grandpa's Toast: 'Try Makin' Peace'
4. The Tender Land: Act 2, Scene 1: Laurie's reply: 'Thank You, Thank You All'
5. The Tender Land: Act 2, Scene 1: The Invitaition To Dance
6. The Tender Land: Act 2, Scene 1: The Dance: 'Stomp Your Foot Upon The Floor'
7. The Tender Land: Act 2, Scene 2: Dance Music And Dialogue
8. The Tender Land: Act 2, Scene 3: Party Music Back In The House
9. The Tender Land: Act 2, Scene 3: Top's Song: 'Oh, I Was Goin' A-Courtin'
10. The Tender Land: Act 2, Scene 3: The Dancing Resumes
See all 26 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Virgin
  • ASIN: B000002RZP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,979 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Cory Anderson on January 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I found this opera to contain a very well layed plot. To accompany the plot, Copland has added some very beautiful mealodies for both vocal and orchestral. The music is no surprise for the first time it is listened to. It's typical Copland. Out of my entire collection of music, I treasure this CD the most. The best part about it is that the oprea is in English! I can actually understand what the characters are saying. It's also a great opera to introduce to a preteen or a teen. There is no violence and a rape is only mentioned in a very 'proper' manner. I, myself, am a teen and I might not of ever started listening to opera if it wasn't for this one.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is first rate Copland (no doubt about it). Is it first rate Opera? Depends. If your ideal of Opera is Puccini or Verdi or Wagner -- Tender land is not these in American garb.(Wotan in blue Jeans - ? sorry, not this ). It's American Opera, in a style for American Composers. If you like Copland's "easier" style, you'll love this as well. The story is fine and the music serves its purpose - to convey the story's characters feelings and emotions. Brunelle does fine job and the singers serve Aarons music well. If you want the composers' ideas on this work, Copland conducted an abridged version of "Land" that is still available. Interested in other American operas?
Carlisle Floyd's "SUSANNAH" (Curtin, Triegle New Orlean Opera) An absolute must !
Douglas Moore's "THE BALLAD OF BABY DOE" ( Sills, Cassilly NYCO )
Edward Thomas' "DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS" (this is a real sleeper - the critics trounced it but it's a fine work in my opinion -besides, how can you go wrong with Jim Morris in the cast? )
Sam Barbers' "VANESSA".
Give these AMERICAN OPERAS' a try ( and throw out your preconceived notions of what Opera should be . Its new stuff !
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21 of 52 people found the following review helpful By "edmu03" on February 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Okay, I must admit that the instrumental music of the Tender Land is one of the most beautiful works of Copeland's illustrious career, but if you're looking for a big dramatic story with Wagner horn wails, then looks elsewhere. Brunelle's interpretations are good, however I found one of the male vocalists to be rather lack-luster. I don't condone public humiliation so I won't say who it was. I've not heard any other versions of the full opera, so I cannot make any comparisons. However if you have only heard the highlights of this opera (ie- The Promise of Living), you might want to buy a CD containing the orchestral suite because I find much of the reccitativo (sp?) in this opera very tedious to listen to. I recommend the RCA Victor "Composers Conduct" series because Copeland conducts the suite himself with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Included also on the CD is the Appalachian Spring Suite, Morton Gould conducting his "Fall River Legend Suite" and his "Latin-American Symphonette" Again, if you're a big fan of American Opera, then this is your CD, but if you're just a fan of Copeland, get the orchestral suite!
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