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Copland: Symphony No. 3 / Quiet City CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product Description

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Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
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Release Date: 18-MAY-1990

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Late in his career, Leonard Bernstein returned to the greatest orchestral work by his lifelong friend, Aaron Copland, with a performance that eclipsed all others, including Bernstein's own previous recording of the Symphony no. 3 on Sony. Though Copland's stock still hadn't climbed back to its present height, Bernstein gave the music a grandeur that made you forget how much of a cliché the Fanfare for the Common Man--which was worked into the finale of the Third--can be. In fact, many of the world-stopping qualities Bernstein brought to his second Mahler cycle for Deutsche Grammophon seem much in evidence here, with the New York Philharmonic playing as though its collective life depended on it. --David Patrick Stearns
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: New York Philharmonic
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Composer: Aaron Copland
  • Audio CD (November 10, 1986)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001G7A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,393 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent CD in all respects: musicianship, conducting, recording quality, etc. The string sound at the opening is serene and beautiful and the brass and percussion are strong but never out of balance. The opening of the second movement on this CD is one of the finest brass orchestral passages that I've heard.
This is also Leonard Bernstein in outstanding form. He made a number of excellent recordings later in his life with DG, including this and his Mahler Symphony cycle, and I have yet to hear a bad CD from the lot. Bernstein recorded an earlier Copland Third that is (I believe) presently out as part of the Bernstein Century series on Sony. Both are excellent readings, but if you have to pick one, the later DG wins out.
The addition of Phil Smith, who is in the top handful of trumpeters in the world, playing Copland's beautiful and reflective "Quiet City" makes this hard to turn down. If you are a Copland enthusiast, interested in American music, or simply in search of a beautiful CD, this will not disappoint.
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Format: Audio CD
This was one of Leonard Bernstein's last recordings, and turns out to be one of his most memorable ones as well. Copland's Third Symphony uses his "Fanfare for the Common Man" as its climax, and Bernstein mines every bit of emotion you might expect. I'm not completely convinced that the symphony is necessarily one of the composer's tightest works, but Bernstein makes every minute sound essential, and the New York Philharmonic plays with terrific nobility and panache.
"Quiet City" is also beautifully done, with Bernstein capturing its plaintive, idyllic qualities perfectly. The orchestra has an excellent brass section, and some gorgeous work here just confirms it. The sound quality is excellent, not the least in the gleaming, closing pages of the Third Symphony that may have you cheering. A great document of Bernstein's electricity, a quality that was still present right up until the very end.
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Format: Audio CD
This represents, to me, one of Leonard Bernstein's best efforts. Copland's Third Symphony is one of the best symphonies ever written. It has never received the type of recognition it deserves. This is the best recording of it. The New York Philharmonic gives Leonard Bernstein some of their best playing and they play wonderfully. As a trumpet student I have enviably seen and looked at Quiet City. It is one of the harder pieces in the trumpet repertoire. Philip Smith is one of the best trumpet players in the World, next to Adolph Herseth, he the best symphonic trumpet player in the United States. In Quiet City he shows off his tone and precision, and the it comes off nicely! This CD is very recommended!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Aaron Copland is probably one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century, and is definitely the creator of the "American symphony". A gifted composer, he studied composition and harmony with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Inspired by the great symphonies of the European masters, Copland wrote two symphonies in a classical style. After coming back to the United States, he started composing and incorporated elements of American folk music in his works, creating a genre between the classical symphony and the different influences of American music: spirituals, folk songs, hymns, and Native American melodies. The American symphony was born. Thus, Copland created masterpieces of the orchestral repertoire that are truly American in nature.

His third symphony is one of his most famous works, due to the inclusion of the "Fanfare for the Common Man" in the fourth movement. Originally written as a separate work, the fanfare was conceived to pay tribute to the American soldiers as they were fighting the evil Nazi empire in Europe. The success of this work influenced the composer to reuse the material in his symphony. Although this movement is truly heroic in nature, the climax in the symphony is very varied. The first movement (molto moderato) is a quiet and peaceful one, starting with the strings. The second movement (allegro molto) is a dynamic piece that is close to a scherzo, with a trio. The third movement (andantino quasi allegretto) is a joyful, free-flowing piece conceived with the flute as the center of the piece. The forces of the orchestra are reduced to only the strings and a section of woodwind instruments. It leads without interruption to the fourth movement (Molto deliberato - Allegro risoluto) which comprises the fanfare.
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Format: Audio CD
If you want Copland, but who also collects only Grammophon CDs, you're lucky, because there are plenty of Copland CDs performed by Leonard Bernstein. I guarantee you that if you want Copland, you best buy the recordings of the composer himself, or Lenny. Lenny had been friends with Copland, and he was able to perform Copland's music into the Grammophon world of music, after recording with Sony. If you love Copland's music, you will love Copland's third symphony, including the famous Fanfare to the Common Man. For peace-lovers on music, Quiet City is an excellent piece to listen to.
So far, I listened to both Sony's and Grammophon's third symphony by Copland, performed by Lenny with the New York Phil. Both CDs are truly excellent, and shows the powerful aspect of Lenny, but I love the DG's recording better. The Sony one does sound brilliant, but the DG one sounds even better, and bit more triumphant and moving in the finale.
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