More Classical Masterpieces
More Orchestral Spectaculars
Without anyone knowing, a Record Club pressing found its way into one of our shootouts a few years back. Because the person doing the listening has no idea what pressing is on the table, biases and prejudices cannot affect the grading or the outcome of the shootout. It earned Two Pluses, not enough to win a shootout, but enough to put practically any orchestral record made in the last thirty years to shame. We noted at the time:
This spectacular Demo Disc recording is clear, rich, dynamic, transparent and energetic – here is the BIG, BOLD sound we love. There is a note on the inner sleeve that says this was a Record Club of America purchase in 1973.
Can you imagine that a Record Club was offering records in 1973 that were better sounding than anything made today? Astonishing.
There are about 150 orchestral recordings we think offer the best performance coupled with the highest quality sound. This record has earned a place on that list.
If you’re a fan of orchestral showpieces such as these, this recording from 1967 belongs in your collection.
Others in that category can be found here.
Fanfare For The Common Man
Four Dance Episodes From “Rodeo”
Saturday Night Waltz
Billy The Kid (Ballet Suite)
The Library Of Congress On Fanfare for the Common Man
“Fanfare for the Common Man” was certainly Copland’s best known concert opener. He wrote it in response to a solicitation from Eugene Goosens for a musical tribute honoring those engaged in World War II. Goosens, conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, originally had in mind a fanfare “… for Soldiers, or for Airmen or Sailors” and planned to open his 1942 concert season with it.
Aaron Copland later wrote, “The challenge was to compose a traditional fanfare, direct and powerful, yet with a contemporary sound.” To the ultimate delight of audiences Copland managed to weave musical complexity with popular style. He worked slowly and deliberately, however, and the piece was not ready until a full month after the proposed premier.
To Goosens’ surprise Copland titled the piece “Fanfare for the Common Man” (although his sketches show he also experimented with other titles such as “Fanfare for a Solemn Ceremony” and “Fanfare for Four Freedoms”). Fortunately Goosens loved the work, despite his puzzlement over the title, and decided with Copland to preview it on March 12, 1943. As income taxes were to be paid on March 15 that year, they both felt it was an opportune moment to honor the common man. Copland later wrote, “Since that occasion, ‘Fanfare’ has been played by many and varied ensembles, ranging from the U.S. Air Force Band to the popular Emerson, Lake, and Palmer group … I confess that I prefer ‘Fanfare’ in the original version, and I later used it in the final movement of my Third Symphony.”
Aaron Copland, said the composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, was the one to “lead American music out of the wilderness.” Copland’s musical opus, for which he received the 1964 Medal of Freedom, also included such masterworks as “Piano Variations” (1930), “El Salon Mexico” (1936), “Billy the Kid” (1938), “Fanfare for the Common Man” (1942), “Rodeo” (1942), “Appalachian Spring” (1944), and “Inscape” (1967).