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Copland: Appalachian Spring, Nonet, 2 Pieces For String Quartet / Davies, Et Al


Release Date: 07/08/2008 
Label:  Nimbus   Catalog #: 2506   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Dennis Russell Davies
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"There’s something very fresh and innocent about the original score for Copland’s ballet Appalachian Spring. The background to the composition of the work is now well known – especially how, as Copland has said, the composer wasn’t informed of the title of the work until after he had completed the score! Yet how well the music fits its title! This is the well known orchestral suite played by the thirteen instruments for which it was conceived. Much as I love the full orchestral version it can, at times, seem overblown for such simple, straightforward, homely, music – ’tis the gift to be simple, as they say – and in this performance simplicity is to the fore...
A mere seven seconds separate this from the thornier Nonet for
Read more strings. During the 1950s Copland took an interest in serialism and wrote several works with his own distinctive use of the technique – the Piano Fantasy (1955), and the orchestral works Connotations (1962) and Inscape (1967). Written in this, new style, Nonet was not favourably received at its première but these days it poses no problems, indeed, it is a most lyrical work. The scoring, for three each of violins, violas and cellos, is clear and clean, with no heaviness in the bass, which could so easily happen. This is a lovely performance, warm and friendly.
A too short nine second pause separates mature Copland from early Copland – the Two Pieces for string quartet. The second piece was written first as the second part of an Hommage à Fauré and it’s based on the letters of his name, married to a bit of jazz and bi-tonality. The first piece is an intense Lento molto which is eloquent in its straightforward way. It’s not to be confused with a Lento espressivo for quartet from 1923, which stands as a separate work."

-- Bob Briggs, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Dennis Russell Davies
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943-1944; USA 
2.
Nonet for Strings by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Dennis Russell Davies
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; USA 
3.
Pieces (2) for String Quartet by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Dennis Russell Davies
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923-1928; USA 

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