This programme features concert music by composers who also wrote film scores for Hollywood. While this was just one string to the considerable bows of Gershwin and Copland, Bernard Herrmann and Franz Waxman are best known for their music for Hitchcock films (Vertigo, North by Northwest, Marnie and Psycho for Herrmann; and Rebecca and The Paradine Case for Waxman). Centre stage is Gershwin’s Song-book, arranged by the composer for solo piano in order to present the songs ‘as George Gershwin plays them himself’.
Saxophonist turned jazz pianist Marc Copland has been busy recording for a Switzerland based record label. He continues his high level of musicianship with his core trio, along with tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker and guitarist John Abercombie, both performing on selected tracks. Copland possesses a sensitive touch, while also residing as a well-versed swing and bop pianist.
Marc Copland joins forces with a trio of fellow seasoned veterans, including guitarist John Abercrombie, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer Billy Hart for this 2007 studio session. The chemistry between the four men is apparent from the very beginning. The pianist's introspective ballad "Like You" is a complex affair, frequently showing the influence of Bill Evans in his lyrical ideas, though Copland's dark interwoven lines take in him other directions as well.
Three apprehensive reharmonizations of "My Favorite Things" are a moody thread running through Haunted Heart and Other Ballads by the Marc Copland trio. Against this backdrop, Copland goes on to play with the shadows, casting elating illumination and a kind of cloudy angst in measured proportions. The trio interplay here is on a very high order, the product of a regular weekly gig of some duration to which drummer Jochen Rueckert, a master of temporal texture, is the relative newcomer. Bassist Drew Gress and Copland have been at it for a long time, and cohesion is in evidence at all times. […] Throughout, these are impressive performances that stay with the listener. Haunted Heart and Other Ballads is a wonderful recording. ~Bill Bennett, Jazztimes
New Yorker Marc Copland, one of the most under-rated modern pianists, is no stranger to these shores. Bassist Gary Peacock, on the other hand, is a jazz superstar, better known for his role in the Keith Jarrett trio. But these musicians are perfectly matched, and Peacock particularly revels in the freedom of the duo setting, where the bass assumes a different and more central role in the melodic content of the music. With Copland a consummate accompanist, there is plenty of opportunity to admire the gorgeousness of the great bassist's sound and the connection between these two fine musicians.
This anthology brings together representative works from the mainstream of contemporary American choral music. Charles Ives’s Psalm 90 evokes a mood reminiscent of congregational Sunday singing in New England. Copland’s In the Beginning recalls his Fanfare for the Common Man, while Lukas Foss’s Behold, I Build An House shows the stylistic influence of Copland. Vincent Persichetti’s Flower Songs reveal his deep commitment to his favourite poet E.E. Cummings, and favours the women’s voices. In Fern Hill, set for alto, chorus and orchestra, composer John Corigliano sings of the joys of youth.