Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Copland - Appalachian Spring Suite (1982)

Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic.

While I prefer Copland's other ballet music, particularly Rodeo and Billy The Kid, the suite adapted from Appalachian Spring is classic Copland. After all, it won him the Pulitzer Prize. While many people like the Shaker melody The Gift To Be Simple included near the end of the suite, I prefer the slow, moving coda that follows.

I have been familiar with El Salón México since college and I can't remember how I became familiar with it. I may have played a band transcription of it or, embarassingly, from a DCI drum corps recording.

On all 4 pieces included on this disc, Bernstein's interpretation is amazing. I've heard many different versions of these pieces, but still come back to these as the best versions. From what I can tell, these recordings were made in 1962, 1963, and 1967, when Bernstein was at his best as he was conducting more and composing less.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I believe I purchased this CD when I was working on a marching band arrangement of Appalachian Spring around 1994 or 95. It wasn't a great arrangement, but I wonder if the LHS still has a recording of it.

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