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Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

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Aaron COPLAND (1900-1990)
Fanfare for the Common Man (1942)
Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy - recorded 1963
Rodeo: Three Dance Episodes (1942)
Cleveland Pops Orchestra/Louis Lane - recorded 1958
An Outdoor Overture (1938)
Cleveland Pops Orchestra/Louis Lane - recorded 1961
The Red Pony; Suite for Orchestra (1948)
St Louis Symphony Orchestra/André Previn - recorded 1963
A Lincoln Portrait (1942)
Adlai Stevenson (narrator) Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy - recorded 1962


Finding ever-new ways to recycle Copland material is something Sony is expert at doing and no complaints from me on that score. Following relatively hard on the heels of their three CD sets comes this Essential Classic which features old friends – another welcome case of old wine, new bottle. Not that everything is vintage of course: just what was Ormandy thinking when he set down this peculiar Fanfare for the Common Man, a recording which induces the words "portentous" and "fast asleep." But then we get right down to it. Does anyone not like Louis Lane’s perky, fresh air and powerful Rodeo? He shows us how to judge an orchestral pause to perfection in Buckaroo Holiday and the Cleveland Pops’ trombonist knows just how to get down with the best of them. The folk fiddles warm up at the start of Saturday Night Waltz and the Hoe-Down is full of the warmest and most idiomatic verve.

More panache and momentum comes in the shape of An Outdoor Overture, a bustly, bright, avuncular and entirely captivating piece performed with an equal measure of conviction by the Pops orchestra. The 1948 Red Pony suite is performed by the St Louis Symphony and André Previn in a recording made forty years ago. If anything this receives one of the most searching, cleverly paced and sensitively played performances on the disc. Morning on the Ranch reaches an exultant and wonderfully judged fresh-aired climax whilst the Dream March takes on a bit of expressionist chill. The later movements of this seven-movement suite are illumined by some gorgeous string playing, full of affectionate elegance and by Previn’s sure sense of form, colour and also, importantly, drive. I know that the Lincoln Portrait takes a regular pasting, and this particular recording of it hasn’t escaped censure, but Ormandy redeems himself here and Adlai Stevenson reads it senatorially straight, if obviously not in the same acoustic.

If over the years you’ve missed any of these attractive readings – barring Fanfare – here’s a fine and inexpensive way of adding them to your doubtless overburdened shelves.

Jonathan Woolf


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