13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Appalachian Spring (Bernstein) (Audio CD)
This is indeed a very special disc. Bernstein had a great affinity with Copland during the course of his lifetime both personally and professionally and in these recordings that affinity is there for all to hear. There is one point during the course of Appalachian Spring where he builds the strings up to such an emotional crescendo that many a listener could be moved almost to tears. In Rodeo, his pacing is quick throughout culminating in a rip-roaring Hoe-Down finale that is completely invigorating. Billy the Kid is also meticulously performed with Bernstein bringing out every detail in a way that is utterly captivating. Rather than going for the popular version of Fanfare for the Common Man, Bernstein opts for the alternative version which forms part of Copland's Third Symphony. Those looking for the definitive "greatest hits" package may be disappointed at the inclusion of this alternative version. Equally, when performed as a stand alone piece, some may feel that this alternative version lacks a bit of cohesion and certainly some will find the sudden key change disconcerting when taken out of the context of the Third Symphony as a whole. However, for me that's one of the reasons why this disc is so special - Bernstein is presenting us with his own view of what Copland's music is all about. One final point to make - these recordings are all between 40 and 50 years old, but the quality of the remastering is so good that you would struggle to believe it.