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The Chamber Music Of Aaron Copland

The Chamber Music Of Aaron Copland

March 1, 2006

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2006
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Arabesque Recordings
  • Copyright: 2006 Arabesque Recordings
  • Total Length: 2:02:51
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000QQPRC4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,617 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 17, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With the 1990 Musicmaster recordings with Dennis Russell Davies no longer available, this album of Copland's abstract chamber works from the late 1920s to early 1950s is a splendid introduction to his less popular, more classical compositions. Indeed, the addition of a second disc provides a greater exploration. The album is an Amazon CD-R and like its ilk, liner notes or insert are lacking. Indeed, you would have no idea that this 2006 Arabesque Recording includes the following musicians from Copland House: Derek Bermel, clarinet; Michael Boriskin, piano; Paul Lustig Dunkel, flute; Nicolas Kitchen, violin; and Wilhelmina Smith, cello. Thus, with a first-rate ensemble residing in Copland's own home, we could expect a proper and worthy recording; and it is. These are chamber pieces, but you will still hear a jazzy tempo (in Ukulele Sernade and the first movement of the Sextet) and a folkloric tune (in the piano-percussive Vitebsky). On the other hand, the piano quartet is a 12-tone composition. For more chamber pieces, listen to his Complete Music for Solo Piano [e.g., Leo Smit/Sony]. Despite all the various abstract, often stringent pieces, the Americana Copland is just below the surface, as his beautiful, lyrical Sonata for Violin and Piano indicates. This album is for all Copland fans and collectors of 20th-century American classical music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Leonard on February 4, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This recording contains brilliant performances of Aaron Copland's chamber music. As the previous reviewer indicated, the packaging does not identify any of the performers. The insert leaflet merely lists the contents of the two CDs, and the back inlay card is basically a blank. Who was the marketing genius that decided on this presentation? Five stars for performance, negative five stars for packaging.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Leith on November 17, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Fans of Aaron Copland's more famous works for orchestra will, I believe, find a much different side of this composer's music to enjoy here. However, while listening to these chamber works, on many occasions I thought that even if I didn't know whose music this was I'd guess it was Aaron Copland due to the many moments where his signiture sound is evident (one of the pieces for flute & piano sounds quite similar to "Fanfare For The Common Man" for example).

Throughout these works there are some common themes: mild dissonance, severity & a spacious, spare style. Not that there are no crashing climaxes, there are indeed. But overall there is a very interesting, often mildly disconcerting mood to the just over 2 hours of music.

Though atonal and/or dissonant music is not to everyone's taste, those of you who enjoy this style (similar to, but not quite as drastic as Charles Ives' string quartets) will find this a pleasurable listen. But Copland does not go completely all-out in this respect, and there is enough harmony that keeps this music listenable to those less disposed to this form of 20th century composition...MILDLY dissonant is the key word here.

Of note also is the rarity factor; these works are not oft recorded, let alone all of his chamber music contained in one set like the 2 CDs here. This music is hard to find and you should consider this when deciding whether or not to buy.

The playing of these works and the recorded sound quality are excellent throughout and for a mere $10 or so this collection is easily and heartily recommended by this listener.

Enjoy & God bless :-)
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