Notes and Editorial Reviews
The classic 1939 documentary film with a newly recorded soundtrack.
In the Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed called Aaron Copland’s score to The City “an astonishing missing link not only in the genesis of Copland’s Americana style, but in American music and cinema.” On January 27, Naxos releases The City (Naxos 2110231) with a newly-recorded soundtrack of the complete Copland score, featuring the Washington, D.C.-based Post-Classical Ensemble and conductor Angel Gil Ordóñez. Francis Guinan, a founding member of the renowned, Chicago-based Steppenwolf Theater Ensemble, narrates. This DVD is a sequel to The River and The Plow that Broke the Plains (Naxos 2110521), two
classic Pare Lorentz documentaries that strongly influenced The City. The new DVD marks the first time Copland’s score has been recorded in its entirety.The DVD is produced by the Post-Classical Ensemble’s Artistic Director, Joseph Horowitz, author of Classical Music in America: A History and the recently-released Artists in Exile: How Refugees from Twentieth Century War and Revolution Transformed the American Performing Arts. Horowitz considers Copland’s little-known score (which was never condensed as a concert suite) his “highest achievement” as a film composer. Horowitz also notes: “At a time when the recession and a crisis in housing have focused attention on the New Deal, The City is suddently remarkably timely. The greenbelt towns it espouses were a quintessential New Deal experiment, federally planned and subsidized by Rexford Tugwell’s Resettlement Administration.”
Francis Guinan, narrator
Angel Gil-Ordóñez, conductor
- The City (1939) – with the original 1939 soundtrack, featuring Morris Carnovsky (narrator) and an orchestra conducted by Max Goberman
- Which Playground for your Child: Greenbelt or Gutter? (2000) – a documentary from the Greenbelt Museum featuring interviews with three Greenbelt "pioneers".
- George Stoney in conversation with Joseph Horowitz (2007) – a legendary documentary film-maker revisits The City.
Picture format: NTSC 4:3
Audio format: Dolby Digital / DTS Surround
Region code: 0 (worldwide)
Running time: 132 mins
No. of DVDs: 1 (DVD 9)
Works on This Recording
The City by Aaron Copland
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1939; USA
Be the first to review this title