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Copland: Billy the Kid, Rodeo, El Salon Mexico & An Outdoor Overture / Litton


Release Date: 01/08/2016 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 2164   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Review:

This is “meat and potatoes” repertoire for a conductor like Andrew Litton, and he doesn’t disappoint. He has the Colorado Symphony playing at the top of its form. The Outdoor Overture has both swagger and brilliance, and it never sounds as though it was composed for a youth orchestra (which it actually was). Of course Copland deserves some of the credit for that too, but this doesn’t diminish the care and affection that Litton lavishes on the music.

Billy the Kid in its very welcome complete version, another virtuoso performance recorded with powerful impact. The gunfight is tremendous, and the whole piece builds inexorably to its concluding apotheosis. El Salón México is
Read more much harder to play than it sounds–it’s basically written in a quick 8/8 that Copland groups within the bar as suits his fancy. Orchestras underestimate its difficulties at their peril. This performance makes the piece sound easy–perhaps too easy, as in the rather self-indulgent handling of the big string tune before the main allegro kicks in. Still, once the music gets hopping it moves along smashingly.

Rodeo, also in its complete version, features very frisky versions of Buckaroo Holiday and the concluding Hoe-Down. It doesn’t, to be frank, sound all that danceable and I can’t help but think that the piece would benefit from a bit more edge and weight of sonority at a more deliberate speed, but God knows that the orchestra pegs the rhythms and hits those off-beat accents. Ultimately it’s a matter of taste, and certainly these polished performances, so well engineered, offer little cause for complaint. I would very much like to hear these forces take on the symphonies (Litton already recorded the Organ Symphony in Dallas for Delos, you may recall, and quite well too). Recommended.

– ClassicsToday Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
An Outdoor Overture by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; USA 
2.
Billy the Kid by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; USA 
3.
El salón México by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1936; USA 
4.
Rodeo by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Colorado Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; USA 

Featured Sound Samples

An Outdoor Overture
Billy the Kid: No. 11, The Open Prairie Again
El salon Mexico
Rodeo: No. 5, Hoe-Down

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  4 Customer Reviews )
 Superb American Music recording May 23, 2017 By Maurice S. (Columbia, SC) See All My Reviews "Great music, great recording, very enjoyable, listen to it often. Highly recommend." Report Abuse
 Sparkling performance, excellent recording July 5, 2016 By Ronald H. (Bellevue, WA) See All My Reviews "If they had included "Fanfare for the Common Man" it would have all my favorite Copland. The performance is tight and precise. The engineering is excellent -- the interior parts are clean and distinct." Report Abuse
 Great recording! May 28, 2016 By Jerry G. (Edgewater, CO) See All My Reviews "Everything on this CD is excellent. Having it in SACD makes it even better. I also had to have it because it's by my home town Colorado Symphony. Get it, you won't be sorry." Report Abuse
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