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A Copland Profile / Litton, Marshall, Dallas Symphony


Release Date: 03/03/1998 
Label:  Delos   Catalog #: 3221   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Aaron Copland
Performer:  Wayne Marshall
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This disc brings high-class playing and sound from the Litton/Delos team. The admirable Dallas orchestra respond with exemplary polish and dedication, while the bright, crisp recording generates an exciting sense of spectacle, particularly in the Organ Symphony (try from 6'35" into the scherzo to hear how thrillingly realistic John Eargle's sound picture can be).

Like Slatkin and Simon Preston on a rival RCA disc, Litton and Wayne Marshall forge an extremely convincing alliance in this weirdly compelling utterance. The contemplative opening movement comes off beautifully here, whereas the frantic, slightly unhinged outer portions of the scherzo are invested with greater physicality and bite in Saint Louis. Both
Read more partnerships skilfully extract maximum eloquence from the finale, though Slatkin draws together the threads of the imposing, splendidly Gothic coda with more cumulative impact than does Litton.

Those who (understandably) resist the occasionally gross mannerisms of Bernstein's 1989 DG remake of Music for the Theatre will find Litton's account a lucid, transparent antidote (both the central "Interlude" and "Epilogue" possess an intimacy that genuinely touches). All the same, I did find myself craving perhaps a little more in the way of mordant humour and sheer chutzpah in the vaudeville theatricals of the "Dance" and the "whorehouse music" (to borrow Roy Harris's apt description) of the "Burlesque" (some terrific trumpet playing notwithstanding). I do hope Teldec will soon restore to currency Hugh Wolff's outstanding version with the Saint Paul CO (7191 - nla) - to my mind quite the best realization I have yet heard of the 24-year-old Copland's bracing inspiration. However, if Litton's programme appeals (and it certainly should), don't hesitate.

-- Gramophone [7/1998]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Red Pony: Suite by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; USA 
Date of Recording: 1996-97 
Venue:  McDermott Hall, Meyerson Center, Dallas 
2.
Music for the Theatre by Aaron Copland
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; USA 
Date of Recording: 1996-97 
Venue:  McDermott Hall, Meyerson Center, Dallas 
3.
Symphony for Organ and Orchestra "Organ Symphony" by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Wayne Marshall (Organ)
Conductor:  Andrew Litton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 1996-97 
Venue:  McDermott Hall, Meyerson Center, Dallas 

Sound Samples

The Red Pony Suite: I. Morning on the Ranch
The Red Pony Suite: II. The Gift
The Red Pony Suite: IIIa. Dream March
The Red Pony Suite: IIIb Circus March
The Red Pony Suite: IV. Walk to the Bunkhouse
The Red Pony Suite: V. Grandfather's Story
The Red Pony Suite: VI. Happy Ending
Music for the Theatre Suite: I. Prologue
Music for the Theatre Suite: II. Dance
Music for the Theatre Suite: III. Interlude
Music for the Theatre Suite: IV. Burlesque
Music for the Theatre Suite: V. Epilogue
Symphony for Organ and Orchestra: I. Prelude
Symphony for Organ and Orchestra: II. Scherzo
Symphony for Organ and Orchestra: III. Finale

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