*** This title is a reissue of a Japanese release with liner notes in Japanese. ***
In both works Ormandy secures wonderful playing from the Philadelphia Orchestra, highlighting the subtleties of tonal contrast. The delicacy of the string pianissimos has one catching the breath, and those hushed passages are sharply set against the brilliant, brittle passages based on jazz rhythms. Characteristically Ormandy is more literal in his reading of jazz rhythms than the composer or Bernstein. Instead of nudging the rhythms he sharpens their edge, and I could not illustrate the difference more clearly than with the cakewalk of triumph which follows the shooting scene in Billy the Kid. With the composer's version I drew aRead more parallel with the Façade parodies or even with Satic. With Ormandy a far closer parallel is with the spiky music of Kurt Weill at his darkest and most bitter. It is apt that with Ormandy the brutality of the shooting sequence is conveyed at the fullest possible force. One really does experience it as a shooting.
If Billy the Kid emerges as strong as I have ever known it, Ormandy's approach to Appalachian Spring presents more problems. Again one can argue in favour of the degree of detachment, the sharp literal attack, and again the string pianissimos (so important in this work) are exquisitely handled with a wonderfully sustained diminuendo at the very end. But the "Simple Gifts" variations demand something not far from a catch in the throat... But this is a comparatively unimportant reservation on a very convincing disc, superbly recorded.
-- Edward Greenfield, Gramophone [reviewing the original LP release of Billy the Kid and Appalachian Spring] Read less
Works on This Recording
Fanfare for the common manby Aaron Copland Conductor:
Period: 20th Century Written: 1942; USA Date of Recording: 01/11/1972
Billy the Kid: Suiteby Aaron Copland Conductor:
Period: 20th Century Written: 1938; USA Date of Recording: 05/28/1969
Appalachian Springby Aaron Copland Conductor:
Period: 20th Century Written: 1943-1944; USA Date of Recording: 01/08/1969