Friday, March 04, 2011

Harris & Copland: 3rd Symphonies

Copland, Symphony #3; Harris, Symphony #3

Copland, Harris Symphonies CD   Copland, Harris Symphonies CD back

With trilingual liner notes in English, German and French along with strikingly bright cover art featuring a DC-2 hovering above a horse-drawn stagecoach, this recording of two classic American symphonic standards is well-prepped for export! For both pieces Neeme Järvi conducts the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. It's fair to say Roy Harris' Symphony No. 3 in one movement and five parts is an icon of 20th century American music, and especially given that the final, 4th movement of Aaron Copland's Symphony No. 3 is a version of his "Fanfare for the Common Man," his 3rd symphony isn't far behind in the category of iconic.

Basically I like the orchestra's playing under Maestro Neeme Järvi, who served as DSO Music Director from 1990 through the end of the 2004-2005 season. However, at times the music simply sits there, so in general I'd like to feel a greater sense of the narrative moving along and greater passion in the shapes of the phrases. Not surprisingly, the luminous sound of the Chandos recording is a joy to the ears! Do I recommend this CD? Definitely! It will give you another perspective on a pair of major orchestral works that are among my very favorites, and maybe yours, as well.

my amazon review: solid performances, clear sound

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