Your top recording(s) of Appalachian Spring?

Your 'hot spot' for all classical music subjects. Non-classical music subjects are to be posted in the Corner Pub.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
piston
Posts: 10767
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:50 am

Your top recording(s) of Appalachian Spring?

Post by piston » Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:31 am

Peter Gutman wrote a number of discographies for Classical Notes, including this one on Appalachian Spring
http://www.classicalnotes.net/classics/appalachian.html
do you have a preferred recording of this work? For instance, do you think of Bernstein's achievement as being superior to the composer's own recordings?
Last edited by piston on Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

jserraglio
Posts: 6761
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Post by jserraglio » Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:43 am

Ormandy's mono version from the fifties (COLUMBIA ML 5157, the first rec of the complete ballet?) takes first prize for me. The Phila Orch players blew me away and the sound is great, even in mono.

but there's no commercial CD issue.

Image

on CD I like MTT's in AC the Populist album:

Image
Last edited by jserraglio on Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

PGS
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:15 pm
Location: Hellas Greece

Post by PGS » Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:52 am

First thing that comes into my mind is Martha Graham when I hear this piece. I only have a dvd though, so people please mention the recordings you know and appreciate and that you would recommend THaNKS :!:
"When doing something good, expect nothing in return. Your reward will find its way eventually"

pizza
Posts: 5094
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 4:03 am

Post by pizza » Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:25 am

A recording that I enjoy very much is a very recent one with the original 13 instruments by the New York Harmonie Ensemble conducted by Steven Richman, on Bridge Records (9145)

diegobueno
Winds Specialist
Posts: 2552
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:26 pm
Contact:

Post by diegobueno » Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:34 am

I like Copland's performance of the complete score.

BTW, Copland never made a full orchestra version of the complete ballet, so any orchestral recording of the work is going to be the suite.
Last edited by diegobueno on Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Black lives matter.

dirkronk
Posts: 832
Joined: Fri May 23, 2003 11:16 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Post by dirkronk » Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:51 am

For me, it's Dorati with the LSO on Mercury. I have lots of other versions (Copland on RCA, Bernstein, Howarth/London Sinfonietta on vinyl, several others on CD), since I love the piece, but the playing, the pacing, the sonic impact all bring me back to this version again and again.

The original Mercury vinyl isn't easy to find in a clean pressing. A copy owned by one of my long-time listening buddies is typical--it was a 35mm recording and the vinyl during that time period could be just a bit chancy (i.e., slightly noisier than in some other eras). I do have a long excerpt on an early Mercury LP sampler in which the sonic splendor is fully revealed; I have a Philips transfer on LP which is very good; and I have it on Mercury CD, on which the transfer is very good but still not quite up to my expectations. A friend of mine just recently acquired the analog Speaker's Corner reissue and there, at long last, is the performance I love on silent-surface vinyl with all the warmth and the sonic "wow" factor intact. I WILL be ordering my own copy of this one.
:wink:

Dirk

Joe Barron
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 3:26 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Post by Joe Barron » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:19 pm

diegobueno wrote:I like Copland's performance of the complete score.

BTW, Copland never made a full orchestra version of the complete ballet, so any orchestral recording of the work is going to be the suite.
In agree with Diegobueno in this case, as in so much else. Copland's own verson is the one I listnen to more than any other. (The bonus feature -- a recording of the the rehearsal-- is also a valuable document.) The original scoring has a baroque-feeling drive and an airiness that the fatter orchestration lacks, in my opinion.

piston
Posts: 10767
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:50 am

Post by piston » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:36 pm

True, even though it is not identified as a suite on the original album of the composer's first recording (recorded 11-13-1959)
Copland Appalachian Spring (Ballet for Martha)/ The Tender Land (orchestral suite from the opera)
Boston Symphony Orchestra - Aaron Copland conducting
This disc marks the first reconding of The Tender Land Suite and also the first recording by Mr. Copland of his Appalachian Spring.
RCA Victor LM-2401

Heck148
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Post by Heck148 » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:52 pm

for ther full orchestra version I like Bernstein/NYPO

for the original version, 15 instruments - the '73 Copland/NY P-Up Ensemble/Sony-CBS does it for me

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17669
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:53 pm

Bernstein with the NYPO and Michael Tilson Thomas with the SFSO...
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

sfbugala
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 9:49 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Post by sfbugala » Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:40 pm

jserraglio wrote:Ormandy's mono version from the fifties (COLUMBIA ML 5157, the first rec of the complete ballet?) takes first prize for me. The Phila Orch players blew me away and the sound is great, even in mono.

but there's no commercial CD issue.

Image
I bought the Ormandy account at a book fair and was astounded at how good it is. I hope to track down a cleaner copy down the road.

Otherwise, I like Bernstein's (two) and Slatkin's versions.

SONNET CLV
Posts: 628
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:28 am
Location: Paradise, Montana

Appalachian Spring

Post by SONNET CLV » Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:52 pm

Oddy enough, perhaps, I've long enjoyed the Suite version with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra on DG:

Image

But it might just be me.



--SONNET CLV--

Wallingford
Posts: 4563
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:31 pm
Location: Brush, Colorado

Post by Wallingford » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:21 pm

Joe Barron wrote:
diegobueno wrote:I like Copland's performance of the complete score.

BTW, Copland never made a full orchestra version of the complete ballet, so any orchestral recording of the work is going to be the suite.
In agree with Diegobueno in this case, as in so much else. Copland's own verson is the one I listnen to more than any other. (The bonus feature -- a recording of the the rehearsal-- is also a valuable document.) The original scoring has a baroque-feeling drive and an airiness that the fatter orchestration lacks, in my opinion.
Actually, you're both wrong on this count. According to Charles Burr's jacket notes to the Ormandy recording (on Columbia ML-5157):

In preparing the ballet suite in 1945, the composer did not orchestrate the complete ballet, but a condensed version. In 1954 Eugene Ormandy invited Martha Graham to perform the work in Philadelphia and for this occasion Copland orchestrated the previously excluded sections to furnish full score for the complete ballet. Exclusive of repetitions, it is this version that is performed here.

*******

Among my OWN faves, besides this one there's Copland's own conducted performance of the original chamber-complete score....I still have the LP, with its specially enclosed 7" disc of Copland rehearsing the work. THIS was the version I was weaned on (via the 8-track cartridge tape issue!!).
Last edited by Wallingford on Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

anasazi
Posts: 603
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:49 pm
Location: Sarasota Florida

Re: Appalachian Spring

Post by anasazi » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:53 pm

SONNET CLV wrote:Oddy enough, perhaps, I've long enjoyed the Suite version with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra on DG:

Image

But it might just be me.



--SONNET CLV--
No, it's not just you. Good choice! Of course this is if you desire the original chamber ensemble version.
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints" - John Muir.

Lance
Site Administrator
Posts: 18649
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:27 am
Location: Binghamton, New York
Contact:

Post by Lance » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:26 am

For me, both versions with Copland himself conducting take top place:

[1] RCA CD 6802 - Copland conducting the Boston SO, coupled with The Tender Land and something else (recorded 1959).

[2] Sony Classical CD 42431 - Copland conducting a wide array of musicians (including pianist Paul Jacobs), recorded in NYC 1973 and marked as "original version"). Coupled w/Lincoln Portrait (w/Henry Fonda) and the LSO; and Billy the Kid ballet suite.

[3] Dutton CD 5021 - Koussevitzky conducting the Boston SO (from RCA masters). Coupled w/Lincoln Portraint (w/Melvin Douglas) and Hanson's Symphony #3.

[4] Mercury CD 434.301 - Dorati conducting the Minneapolis SO. Coupled w/Billy the Kid ballet suite and others.

[5] AS Disc CD 543 - Mitropoulos conducting the New York PO (live) w/compositions by other composers.

Those would be my list of five favourites, and after the first and second (Copland conducting), they would not be in any particular order since they are all outstanding performances.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

nadej_baptiste
Posts: 194
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:41 pm
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Post by nadej_baptiste » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:55 am

PGS wrote:First thing that comes into my mind is Martha Graham when I hear this piece. I only have a dvd though, so people please mention the recordings you know and appreciate and that you would recommend THaNKS :!:
Ya. I think his title at one point was “Ballet for Martha.” Did you hear the interview with him where he talked about that piece?
--Kamila

nadej_baptiste
Posts: 194
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:41 pm
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Post by nadej_baptiste » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:57 am

This one will always be my favorite.

<img src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5 ... AA240_.jpg">
--Kamila

RebLem
Posts: 9117
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA 87112, 2 blocks west of the Breaking Bad carwash.
Contact:

Post by RebLem » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:26 am

Joe Barron wrote:
diegobueno wrote:I like Copland's performance of the complete score.

BTW, Copland never made a full orchestra version of the complete ballet, so any orchestral recording of the work is going to be the suite.
In agree with Diegobueno in this case, as in so much else. Copland's own verson is the one I listnen to more than any other. (The bonus feature -- a recording of the the rehearsal-- is also a valuable document.) The original scoring has a baroque-feeling drive and an airiness that the fatter orchestration lacks, in my opinion.
Ditto diego and Joe.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

dirkronk
Posts: 832
Joined: Fri May 23, 2003 11:16 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Post by dirkronk » Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:19 am

Lance wrote:[
[4] Mercury CD 434.301 - Dorati conducting the Minneapolis SO. Coupled w/Billy the Kid ballet suite and others.
The Minneapolis reference threw me, but no--this is the one I was talking about. Just to make sure, I looked up my CD and it's the same number. If you'll look more closely, you'll see that the Appalachian Spring and Billy the Kid are with the LSO, while the Danzon Cubano and El Salon Mexico are with Minneapolis. Great disc.

Cheers,

Dirk

Heck148
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Post by Heck148 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:01 am

nadej_batiste wrote: Ya. I think his title at one point was “Ballet for Martha.”
Correct. IIRC, Copland had no idea regarding any theme for the music - He simply called it "Ballet for Martha' - the whole Appalachian Spring concept appeared after the work was written....amazing how well it fits!!

PGS
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:15 pm
Location: Hellas Greece

Post by PGS » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:26 am

nadej_batiste wrote:
PGS wrote:First thing that comes into my mind is Martha Graham when I hear this piece. I only have a dvd though, so people please mention the recordings you know and appreciate and that you would recommend THaNKS :!:
Ya. I think his title at one point was “Ballet for Martha.” Did you hear the interview with him where he talked about that piece?
Yes, I think it's in the dvd extras. It has been a little while since I last viewed it, but since you mentioned it I'll check it out again. Their collaboration was superb and the picture of the dvd-besides the music- is very rewarding.
"When doing something good, expect nothing in return. Your reward will find its way eventually"

Darryl
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 11:36 am
Location: Dallas, Texas

Post by Darryl » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:43 am

nadej_batiste wrote:This one will always be my favorite.

<img src="http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5 ... AA240_.jpg">
The Bernstein SACD is on my list. I recently found one of the single-layer SACDs of his Gershwin (OOP), and the sound is spectacular. I'm not as enthused about the sound of the Szell SACDs (must be a Severance issue).

johnQpublic
Posts: 1981
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:00 pm

Post by johnQpublic » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:47 pm

I never was interested in acquiring the full chamber version.

I have always sworn by the RCA LP of the composer leading his suite with the BSO.

I decided a few years ago to buy the CD exact version so I could share with others where no record player existed. All of the atmosphere that I loved on the LP is not to found in the RCA CD. :cry:
Image

James

Post by James » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:48 pm

Gerard Schwarz/Seattle Symphony on Delos

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:34 pm

Your top recording(s) of Appalachian Spring?

:shock: It's not as if it were Beethoven's 9th or Mozart's 20th PC.
For instance, do you think of Bernstein's achievement as being superior to the composer's own recordings?
Just as a general rule, Bernstein's readings would be vastly superior to any composer's reading of his own work. Composers who compose for a living are usually not very good conductors. Composers who conduct for a living might be another matter entirely.

I prefer the original chamber version of Appalachian Spring, the one that was debuted at the LoC in the 40s. I think the restrained instrumental character of the original is far superior in conveying the humble nature of the subject matter to anything the later edition for a large modern symphony orchestra could possibly accomplish. So that would be how I make my decision, but then you guys all know I prefer chamber ensembles over modern symphony orchestras.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17669
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:56 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:Composers who compose for a living are usually not very good conductors. Composers who conduct for a living might be another matter entirely.
How about Composers who conduct the music of other Composers for a living, Oliver Knussen, Gustav Mahler, James MacMillan, Pierre Boulez etc
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

nadej_baptiste
Posts: 194
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:41 pm
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Post by nadej_baptiste » Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:48 pm

James wrote:Gerard Schwarz/Seattle Symphony on Delos
Gerry was indeed passionate about American music...and it showed...
--Kamila

diegobueno
Winds Specialist
Posts: 2552
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:26 pm
Contact:

Post by diegobueno » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:44 pm

Wallingford wrote:Actually, you're both wrong on this count. According to Charles Burr's jacket notes to the Ormandy recording (on Columbia ML-5157):

In preparing the ballet suite in 1945, the composer did not orchestrate the complete ballet, but a condensed version. In 1954 Eugene Ormandy invited Martha Graham to perform the work in Philadelphia and for this occasion Copland orchestrated the previously excluded sections to furnish full score for the complete ballet. Exclusive of repetitions, it is this version that is performed here.
I am quite delighted to be wrong in this case. The music left out of the suite is too good to be lost altogether. Plus the final fortissimo summation of "Simple Gifts" comes off more powerfully when separated from the other iterations of the tune. How many other performances of the orchestral full ballet have there been? Any other recordings?
Black lives matter.

Ralph
Dittersdorf Specialist & CMG NY Host
Posts: 20996
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 6:54 am
Location: Paradise on Earth, New York, NY

Re: Appalachian Spring

Post by Ralph » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:56 pm

SONNET CLV wrote:Oddy enough, perhaps, I've long enjoyed the Suite version with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra on DG:

Image

But it might just be me.



--SONNET CLV--
*****
Nope.
Image

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein

Corlyss_D
Site Administrator
Posts: 27663
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:25 am
Location: The Great State of Utah
Contact:

Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:15 am

Chalkperson wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:Composers who compose for a living are usually not very good conductors. Composers who conduct for a living might be another matter entirely.
How about Composers who conduct the music of other Composers for a living, Oliver Knussen, Gustav Mahler, James MacMillan, Pierre Boulez etc
:? Don't know what you are clarifying. Composers who conduct for a living would of necessity be more conductors than composers and would have to be conducting the works of other composers. Otherwise they would be conducting only their own works, and thus, by my characterization, wouldn't be very good.
Corlyss
Contessa d'EM, a carbon-based life form

Chalkperson
Disposable Income Specialist
Posts: 17669
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:19 pm
Location: New York City
Contact:

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:39 am

Corlyss_D wrote: :? Don't know what you are clarifying. Composers who conduct for a living would of necessity be more conductors than composers and would have to be conducting the works of other composers. Otherwise they would be conducting only their own works, and thus, by my characterization, wouldn't be very good.
I'm not quite sure what I am clarifying either :shock: I think I meant composers who had to conduct other people to make a living because their music was not played, ie Mahler, Weingartner, De Sabata, Rota and those who's music was not played that often by other Conductors so they conducted the music themselves, MacMillan and Knussen...and Boulez who is more well known as a Conductor than a Composer and whose music is often conducted by other people...make any sense :?
Sent via Twitter by @chalkperson

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: maestrob and 41 guests