WORKS: Billy the Kid Suite; Waltz from Billy the Kid; Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo. Grand Canyon Suite
PERFORMER: Utah SO/Maurice Abravanel
CATALOGUE NO: UMD 80396 ADD
Copland’s intoxication with wide open spaces is perfectly served by the expansive, generous playing of the Utah SO. Brash when need be, always full of gusto, it never makes excessive claims for these exuberant slices of the American West. Grofé’s suite on the other hand – Strauss meets Gershwin – is more heavy-going, everything except the gorgeous ‘Sunset’ overstaying its welcome and too earnest for successful light music.
The fault is not the orchestra’s, whose 40-year-old recording still glows. Christopher Wood