This is an excellent collection of Aaron Copland’s early orchestral works, written when the composer was in his twenties and mid-thirties. These pieces have not achieved the notoriety of Mr. Copland’s later “populist” compositions and contain more modernist devices. Some of these feature jazz elements (such as the Piano Concerto, Music for the Theater and the Dance Symphony, which was drawn from materials composed for the “Grogh” ballet). Despite the complexity of these selections, the music is both exhilarating and interesting, albeit challenging. Repeat listenings are required if one wishes to fully appreciate these compositions…
From the Royal Albert Hall, Daniel Barenboim returns to the Proms with his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the celebrated ensemble of young Arabs and Israelis. Following his highly acclaimed Proms performance of Wagner's Ring in 2013, Barenboim conducts two Wagner overtures - Tannhauser and The Mastersingers of Nuremberg - alongside music from Gotterdammerung. The great pianist Martha Argerich is the soloist in Liszt's Piano Concerto No 1 and the programme also includes Jorg Widmann's lively Con Brio.
…All of the music is taken at a thoughtful pace and is quite lyrical and melodic. Copland often sounds as if he is thinking aloud yet each of his "musical sentences" flows logically into the next one, forming a suite of sorts. The results could be superior background music but, if played at a louder volume, one can really get into Copland's thoughts and ideas. This is thought-provoking music that deserves that close a listen. ~Scott Yanow, allmusic.com
This is the premiere recording release of The Atlanta Symphony under the baton of their new Music Director, Yoel Levi, who was formerly Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra.
Pierre Boulez: In Memoriam. Pierre Boulez RIP. Official Release #39. Having recorded some works with a large orchestra in January 1983, in January 1984, Frank Zappa arranged for some of his chamber works to be performed by Pierre Boulez's Ensemble InterContemporain, a 16-piece group. "The Perfect Stranger," "Naval Aviation In Art?," and "Dupree's Paradise" were given this treatment, and the four remaining tracks are the product of Zappa's music synthesizer, the Synclavier. As usual, Zappa's "serious" works are rhythmically interesting and make for challenging listening.
The co-leaders of this date first met back in the 70's, when pianist Marc Copland's instrument of choice was the saxophone. Whereas the teaming of the pianist's trio with sax great Dave Liebman reflects a natural extension of their fairly recent collaboration at the Santa Fe, New Mexico Jazz Festival. With this release, Copeland brings his elegant touch to the forefront, which is a characteristic that intrinsically complements, his partner's lofty excursions on both tenor and soprano saxophones.
Michael Collins combines the roles of clarinet soloist and conductor as he leads the Swedish Chamber Orchestra in three works that chart the journey of the clarinet from Mozart’s late eighteenth-century Europe, via Aaron Copland’s 1940s America, to today’s classical scene with a piece written, for Michael Collins, in 2007 by the Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin.