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Copland 100 / Eiji Oue, Minnesota Orchestra

Release Date: 08/15/2000 
Label:  Reference Recordings   Catalog #: 93   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Eiji Oue
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

My first experience with the music of Aaron Copland was a Mercury Living Presence LP featuring Antal Dorati conducting the Minneapolis Symphony in El Salon Mexico, Rodeo, and Danzon Cubano. The exciting, original music, the powerful performances, and the hi-fi sound made this record a favorite of mine for many years. So it was with much anticipation that I approached this new collection by the Minnesota Orchestra under Eiji Oue. Would it revive that first thrill? Well, as in all of life, there's really only one first time, but this is one damn fine Copland disc. Beginning with an arresting Fanfare for the Common Man that reconfirms the piece as one of the 20th century's great works (you literally
Read more will stop whatever you're doing and pay strict attention), the program continues with a performance of Appalachian Spring that, while it doesn't take wing the way Copland's own peerless recording with the Boston Symphony on RCA does, still makes for a lovingly colloquial presentation.

And it doesn't stop there: the Minneapolis Copland tradition is maintained in the following marvelous performance of the Third Symphony. Oue keeps the contrasting and apposite styles of the work in balance, managing to sound raw and gutsy in the first movement and scherzo (with the brass really bringing on da' noise), but also poised and tender in the adagio and the more elegiac sections of the finale (which re-uses the Fanfare for the Common Man). And the sound! The power, the impact, the three dimensional image--it beats all the competition. Bernstein's highly personalized and idiosyncratic way with the Symphony still is my favorite, but this new disc easily could be anybody's first choice for a modern Copland collection.
--Victor Carr,

". . . I have been waiting for this CD for over 40 years. . . There has never been a stereo recording of Copland's Third that approaches the concert-hall experience. Until now. This recording clearly has great value as a musical experience, but it also sets a new standard as a sonic showcase for a nearly impossible-to-record work." --Arthur B. Lintgen, THE ABSOLUTE SOUND

"Oue’s performances are shapely, tasteful, beautifully played, with a judicious balance of drama and restraint. The recorded sound is nothing short of awesome; you might want to obtain this CD just as an audio experience." –Peter Aczel, THE AUDIO CRITIC

"Eiji Oue is far more satisfying to my ears than Michael Tilson Thomas [in Copland's music]. The Minnesota Orchestra's tone isn't perhaps as glossy as the San Franciscans', but they and their conductor are more emotionally in tune with the music. The Third Symphony is first-rate in every way. This orchestra made the first recording of the Third with Atal Dorati for Mercury in 1953, and the piece still seems to be in the players' bones. A major Copland release." --Sedgwick Clark, GRAMOPHONE

"The Minnesota Orchestra plays wonderfully. Woodwind soloists and the concertmaster shine in 'Appalachian Spring', but the stars of this CD are the brasses who electrify in a way that brings to mind the Chicago Symphony's brass section in their heyday. Of course, a good recording is necessary to make this fully apparent . . . and my, what an exceptional-sounding disc this is. If you have just one vaguely audiophile bone in your body, this CD will be irresistible. RR has produced another winner." -- Andrew Quint, FANFARE

"This is a hi-fi lover's dream disc. That's what we expect from this label -- a production that shows what hi-fi performance is all about. As to the performances, you're in for another treat. The orchestra is as responsive and richly sonorous as you could ask for, with some expecially lovely wind playing in the symphony. Each of these performances can stand as a "reference." This one seems to have just about everything in place for maximum impact, especially the knockout sound."--David Vernier, STEREOPHILE

"A compelling performance of the Third Sympohony. I think this is among the best recordings since Bernstein -- and the sound is spectacular." --Peter Dickinson, GRAMOPHONE

"This is the best interpretation of the Copland Third in a generation, and the sound is Keith Johnson at his considerable best. That is to say, jaw-dropping and a revelation." --Harry Pearson, THE ABSOLUTE SOUND (Also listed in HP's Super CD List, Top 10)

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Works on This Recording

Fanfare for the common man by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Eiji Oue
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/2000 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis 
Length: 3 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Appalachian Spring: Suite by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Eiji Oue
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944-1945; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/2000 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis 
Length: 25 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Symphony no 3 by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Eiji Oue
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944-1946; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/2000 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis 
Length: 43 Minutes 33 Secs. 

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