This concert film made in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles in 1976 captures a memorable performance conducted by the doyen of American composers, Aaron Copland (1900–1990). It includes some of his greatest and most attractive music, from the patriotic flourish of Fanfare for the Common Man and the spirited orchestral fantasy El Salón México, to the colloquial warmth of his suite from the opera The Tender Land. Of particular importance is the collaboration with the great Benny Goodman in the masterwork he commissioned and premiered, the Clarinet Concerto.
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Aaron Copland had an easy presence on the rostrum, totally free of histrionics, while getting a ready response from the Los Angeles Philharmonic. I guess the timpanist would have liked a retake of the opening Fanfare for the Common Man where he had intonation problems, but elsewhere the orchestra are immaculate, Copland’s face displaying his total pleasure in each of the performances. The recorded sound is very good for that period, with a reasonably good internal balance, while visually it has sharp-edged colors.