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Copland: The Music of America

4.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

When it comes to light, folk-flavored listening, the music of Aaron Copland is some of the best and most popular. When it comes to crowd-pleasing conducting, Erich Kunzel is one of the great successes. This album contains most of Copland's essential compositions, in all or part: "Fanfare for the Common Man," four movements from "Rodeo," "Quiet City," "Billy the Kid," and "Appalachian Spring." All are performed in fine form; it would be nice to have all of "Rodeo," but this is otherwise all the Copland that most folks will need, and in one package. --Sarah Bryan Miller

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Fanfare For The Common Man
  2. Buckaroo Holiday
  3. Corral Nocturne
  4. Saturday Night Waltz
  5. Hoe-Down
  6. Quiet City
  7. Billy The Kid
  8. Appalachian Spring


Product Details

  • Orchestra: Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
  • Conductor: Erich Kunzel
  • Composer: Aaron Copland
  • Audio CD (July 9, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000003CZE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,021 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Seymour on April 1, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I grew up in Cincinnati and had many opportunities to hear the Cincinnati Pops, watch Erich Kunzel perform and listen to his ubiquitous recordings. Unfortunately, I usually find Kunzel's interpretations lacking in depth at any point just underneath the surface. However, I withdraw my usual criticism as this recording of five Copland masterpieces is an exact artistic match. Kunzel's talent for superficial flash puts his Fanfare for the Comman Man among the best on disc. His manic exuberance electrifies Rodeo, which has to be the signature soundtrack of America. The sound quality is so choice that it literally bounces out of your speakers. Quiet City and Billy the Kid leave you in no doubt that Copland had a huge influence on Bernstein both in rythmic and textural terms. Appalachian Spring reaffirms why it's great to be alive. This disc is a joy to listen to. The Cincinnati Pops is in peak form and Telarc's sonics from the first drum blast of the Fanfare are extraordinary. Allow Copland's music to become part of the fiber of your being.
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Format: Audio CD
This is Copland's "most accessible" (that is, least obscure) music, and it is appropriate to have it conducted by America's premiere conductor for making classical music accessible. For those who are not horrified at the thought of accessible classical music ("for the masses! the commoners!"), that is a fine recommendation already. This entire CD is very enjoyable, but "Quiet City" is without question the highlight of the disc. Kunzel is more conservative with the tempo than Bernstein (in the recording coupled with a digital Symphony #3, with one cracked note to mar an otherwise poignant and beautiful performance), and takes his time enough to enjoy the mood (as opposed to the Orpheus Chamber Orch., which in a technically accurate but musically unsatisfying performance seems more interested in finishing the piece than playing it). This piece is a trumpet player's dream, and the CD is a performance worthy of it.
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Format: Audio CD
What a combination! The Cincinnati Pops under the direction of Erich Kunzel playing Copland! I bought it as soon as I saw it. When I'm honest, I have to admit that I have a little bit of a music snob in me--but I knew this one would be great...And it is! Along with early Jazz, Copland's music IS the music of America. This disc contains his most popular pieces; and are they ever worthy of being popular. Even as a youth, a youth who did not care for most classical music, I loved Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. Eventually, I came to enjoy his other pieces, along with the music of Gustav Holst. In time, I came to love the complexity, variety and intensity of classical music in general.
The performances on this disc are majestic. The Fanfare is rock-solidly powerful. Kunzel does not rush through it. He takes his time; and the power of the piece shines through.
Rodeo, which is probably most familiar to non-classical music fans for its use in the "beef--its what's for dinner" television ads, is a masterpiece. Again, Kunzel spends a little more time here than other interpreters, but it is well worth it.
Quiet City is probably the least well known piece on the disc. However, it is one of the most beautiful pieces Copland ever wrote. Philip Collins plays the trumpet part to the piece exceptionally. This piece alone makes the disc worth recommending.
Billy the Kid is my least favorite piece on the disc. The Cincinnati Pops play it well enough here. I just don't care for the piece as much as the others.
The Crown Jewel of the disc is Appalachian Spring. There are few pieces of music which truly take up residence in a listener's heart. Appalachian Spring has done just that with me. My favorite version of it is Slatkin's. This one, though not matching Slatkin's in my mind, is still very worthwhile.
Get this recording. You will be hard pressed not to enjoy it.
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Format: Audio CD
Aaron Copland created classical music for about and by America. This extremely well performed and well selected album served as my true introduction to Copland's work. Vibrant,dramatic, passionate and utterly beautiful, this sampler of Copland's oevre really captivates the listener. I have lost many hours listening to "Quiet City" and "Appalacian Spring" two breathtakingly poetic pieces that approach religious like rapture. I have also used this CD in both my Writing and Acting classes as stimuli designed to inspire original performances and short stories. In short, this is a must own CD.
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Format: Audio CD
Aaron Copland (1900-1990)was the quintessential American composer of the 20th Century, and conductor Erich Kunzel with his Cincinnati Pops Orchestra is the leading popularizer of classical music.
This album brings together some of Copland's most well known pieces like "Fanfare for the Common Man," along with his three great ballets: "Billy the Kid," "Appalachian Spring" and "Rodeo." [The "Rodeo" extract "Hoe-Down" will be immediately recognized as the American Beef Council's theme music.]
Copland reamins the defining sound of American concert music and this recording is both accessible and very enjoyable. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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Format: Audio CD
This album is an inclusive anthology of Copland's most popular orchestral works. I don't know what a previous reviewer was referring to when he/she said that Rodeo was incomplete, it seems like it's all there to me, and I've played it.
Solid, energetic, musically sensitive performances by the Cincinnati Pops. The recording is well-balanced and vibrant. This is not just a pops CD. Classical music snobs (like me) will find it very satisfying.
Incidentally, I really like the cover art.
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