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  • Orchestra: Boston Symphony Orchestra, Morton Gould Orchestra
  • Composer: Aaron Copland, Morton Gould
  • Audio CD (11 May 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Living Stereo
  • ASIN: B000003FEK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 180,598 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

COPLAND AARON

Amazon.co.uk

These sunny, lucid performances are the best Aaron Copland has ever given us of his own music. In truth, he was not a great conductor, and much of the credit for the success of this disc must go to the Boston Symphony--the orchestra that, along with the New York Philharmonic, has been most closely associated with Copland's music. In addition to the lovely Appalachian Spring ballet, Copland includes a charming suite from his rarely performed opera The Tender Land. It shares the same openly "American" style as the ballet, so if you like the one, you'll be sure to enjoy this novelty as well. Gould's Fall River Legend is a warmly melodic ballet on the Lizzie Borden story. It makes an apt coupling. --David Hurwitz

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first heard these performances many years on an LP borrowed from my local public library. The record made a lasting impact and it's been a delight to find it available on CD. Copland was a splendid conductor who I heard conduct a wide variety of American music with various British orchestras. On this occasion Copland had the great good fortune to be conducting the wonderful Boston SO recorded in the spacious acoustic of Symphony Hall, Boston. This recording of The Tender Land is, I think, the only one and whilst Appalachian Spring is available in many versions these performances are very special. The Gould is lots of fun too. The transfer to CD is impeccable, the cover is lovely and this disc is strongly recommended to all lovers of American Music.
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x88bc954c) out of 5 stars 18 reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88a60edc) out of 5 stars Copland & Gould conduct 20 Nov. 2003
By Robert E. Nylund - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Here are definitive performances of music by American composers Aaron Copland and Morton Gould, conducted by the composers themselves. These were originally issued on separate RCA Victor "Living Stereo" recordings in 1960 and 1961; typical of RCA recordings of that era, they had exceptional sound.

Aaron Copland conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra in his concert suites from the ballet "Appalachian Spring" and the opera "The Tender Land." He succeeded in getting top-notch performances from the Bostonians and left us a wonderful musical treasure.

"Appalachian Spring" is among Copland's greatest works and won the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Choreographed by dancer/choreographer Martha Graham, the complete ballet is seldom heard but is available on an RCA Victor CD with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in the fully orchestrated version. The ballet was originally performed with only 13 musicians and Copland himself made a recording of that original scoring for Columbia (later reissued on Sony). This writer had an opportunity to attend a performance of the ballet by the Martha Graham group in 1975, with the composer conducting the San Jose Symphony; what a special treat it was to see Copland and Graham together. She made a memorable entrance in the San Jose Performing Arts Center as she wore a long, flowing, red, chiffon dress.

This is one of Copland's very few recordings for RCA; he was long associated with Columbia and recorded many of his works for them, usually in London with British orchestras.

Some have said that Copland was not a great conductor; that may be so, but these recorded performances are among his best and compare well with other recordings by other conductors. I always especially liked Copland's setting of the Shaker tune "Simple Gifts;" it is quite moving and magnificent. CBS used this setting as the theme for some of its special news broadcasts in the 1950's and 1960's.

A special treat is the suite from "The Tender Land." This writer sang the lively tune "Stomp Your Foot" with the San Jose State Men's Glee Club in 1968; it's wonderful to hear a fully-orchestrated version of the song. There is also some very emotional and quite tender music in the suite. The Boston musicians play with great sensitivity.

Morton Gould recorded a suite from his 1948 ballet "Fall River Legend." The full ballet score can be heard on an Albany Records CD. Gould compiled the best moments from the score, depicting the tragic events in Fall River, Massachusetts, in the early 1890's, in which Lizzie Borden was accused of murdering her parents. The music was quite nostalgic and exuberant.

This CD also includes the two middle movements from Gould's popular "Latin American Symphonette." The second movement is quite haunting and seductive, while the third movement is jubilant and highly syncopated. The performances of Gould's music here are all very good. Gould also was generally associated with Columbia Records and wrote music for a number of CBS radio broadcasts. The original RCA Victor LP also included his piano concerto, "Interplay," which is another memorable and quite original work.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88a60f30) out of 5 stars Beautiful 22 Nov. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I always have thought that Copland's The Tender Land is probably one of the hidden treasures in American classical music. It's a beautiful piece of music, especially Acts 1&3. You will not be disappointed in this from one of America's most beloved composers.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88a656f0) out of 5 stars Excellent 16 Mar. 2007
By Vincent G. Marino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the best way to get Copland's "Tender Land" suite. This same recording has appeared on other RCA CDs, but this Living Stereo mix is the top.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88a653cc) out of 5 stars Definitive performances conducted by the composers for all four works + Excellent sound 20 April 2014
By Joseph Kline PhD, MD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Here we have the definitive recordings of Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring and Suite from The Tender Land as well as Morton Gould's Fall River Legend and Latin-American Symphonette, each conducted by their respective composer. The orchestras employed are the BSO for Copland and Morton Gould's own orchestra for his two works.

Of course, America - at least we older guys - knew Appalachian Spring as the theme music for the B & W TV show, 20th Century with Walter Cronkite. I was still a young teen when I was given the RCA LP of this recording. Like Appalachian Spring depicts, life was simple then. Copland was melodically inspired by the Quaker song "The Gift to be Simple" when he wrote the music for the Martha Graham-choreographed one-act ballet. He finished work on the music towards the conclusion of WW II, when life was indeed about to simplify for millions of Americans. Whether the war had any significant influence on Copland is unknown, but maybe it isn't just ironic that such a pastoral work would be composed well into the war by the leading American composer. Who knows. Copland provides the listener with a sensitive, tender, and energetic performance of both Appalachian Spring and the orchestral arrangement of music from his opera, The Tender Land. The two works represent his finest efforts and are also more imbued with emotion. Surprisingly, sonics are hardly dated despite a recording date of 1959, and they certainly present no detriment to the listening experience.

Morton Gould conducts his better known Fall River Legend, a ballet about Lizzie Borden who had actually been accused of axe-murdering her father and step-mother. She was acquitted and no one else was ever charged. The music Gould composed is simply beautiful. Morton Gould was overheard saying that he only knew how to write hanging music. Interesting, huh? I guess RCA didn't like monothematic albums! The orchestral performance sounds much more recently performed, although the recording date was 1960. The ballet is still frequently performed. The Latin-American Symphonette is given a spirited performance. The second "movement" is light-hearted and just plain fun to hear. By judging from the sound alone, Morton Gould's Orchestra was a better on than the BSO.

It is wonderful to have very-well recorded accounts of these four American works conducted by their composers. The music and sonics make the album self-recommending.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88a6557c) out of 5 stars I wonder if I will be able to listen to it in the Cloud after I die... 4 Jan. 2014
By Jeff Burton - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is by far the best performance of Appalachian Spring ever recorded, and it is extremely difficult to find. But I have been listening to it on vinyl, then cassette, followed by CD, and now Cloud over the past 40 years. Each medium eventually wears out, but with any luck, this time I will wear out before the Cloud does.
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