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.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Copland - Billy The Kid/Rodeo (1986)


Leonard Slatkin conducting the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. Recorded October 8 & 9, 1985, in Powell Symphony Hall, St. Louis.

Copland's two cowboy ballets.  Honestly, I prefer Bernstein's recordings of Copland with the NY Phil from the '60s.

Billy The Kid (1938), ballet commissioned by Lincoln Kerstein.  It's nice to hear the full ballet instead of the more often performed suite.  Slatkin was at the height of his popular in the late '80s, but his interpretation here isn't very exciting. 

Rodeo (1942), ballet originally choreographed by Agnes de Mille.  Much better composition, much better performance and interpretation.  All 4 movements are wonderful; this ballet is possibly my favorite Copland work.  I'm not a go-the-ballet guy, but if I had the opportunity to see this, I'd probably check it out.  If I didn't like the dancing, I could just close my eyes and enjoy the music.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Even though I bought this CD while in college, listened to the Rodeo tracks of this CD mainly when I was working on a marching band arrangement of Rodeo around 1994 or 95. It wasn't a great arrangement, but I wonder if the LHS still has a recording of it.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Appalachian Spring Suite (1982)

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