Copland: Rodeo; Billy the Kid; Appalachian Spring; Fanfare for the Common Man; Quiet City

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Copland
LABELS: Telarc
WORKS: Rodeo; Billy the Kid; Appalachian Spring; Fanfare for the Common Man; Quiet City
PERFORMER: Cincinnati Pops Orchestra/Erich Kunzel
CATALOGUE NO: CD-80339
Don’t be fooled by the name of the orchestra – the Cincinnati Pops – because this is the Cincinnati Symphony in all its thoroughbred splendour. In a generously filled disc, the music from three of Copland’s great ballet scores positively fizzes under Erich Kunzel’s direction. This is Copland, the all-American composer wearing his heart on his sleeve, marvellously accessible and appealing, drawing on America’s special musical attributes – jazz and folk (in the shape of cowboy tunes). These three ballets, Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942) and Appalachian Spring (1944) show Copland the brilliant orchestrator, a brilliance heartily endorsed by effortless virtuosity from the Cincinnati orchestra. Too bad that the names of the wind and brass principals are missing, in particular the humorous trombone in ‘Buckaroo Holiday’, and the oboe and bassoon, blending marvellously, in ‘Corral Nocturne’. Philip Collins and William Harrod are the named soloists (trumpet and cor anglais) in Quiet City, Collins at times a touch fruity but with spectacular high notes. Fanfare for the Common Man, a 1943 CSO commission, reveals the reverberant balance, but clarity is never compromised. Annette Morreau

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