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COPLAND: Prairie Journal / The Red Pony Suite / Letter from Home

Composer(s):Copland, Aaron
Artist(s) Falletta, JoAnn, Conductor • Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.559240
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
 
CD
USD 9.99
 

 
MP3
USD 6.99
 

 


This Copland collection is devoted specifically to works inspired by the spacious landscape of the American prairie. The Suite for the 1948 film of John Steinbeck’s novel The Red Pony, depicts life on a ranch in California. The composer described the music as ‘folkish’, although the themes are all original. The second of Copland’s ‘cowboy ballets’, Rodeo, about the desperate attempts of a cowgirl to become a ranch cowhand, quotes a variety of American folk-tunes, and includes the irrepressible Hoe Down. Prairie Journal offers a vivid sonic evocation of life on a western range, while Letter from Home, completed during the peak of World War II, beautifully conjures the feelings of nostalgia one might experience at a far-away army camp.


   




Review By Thomas Kiefner,Film Score Monthly,September 2010

The Naxos release in 2006 with JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic, given the special rosette by the Penguin Guide to recorded classical music, is an excellent choice. In addition to doing a superb job on The Red Pony the disc also offers the Prairie Journal, an eleven minute piece about life and times on the western range from the wakeup call, breakfast, sunrise, cattle herding, and watching the sunset after a long hard day. Letter from Home, a sentimental Copland at his best, and Rodeo (Four Dance Episodes) are also included. Part of Rodeo is “Buckaroo Holiday” a difficult piece to play which can easily be made to sound rather choppy with chunks of music stuck together. This is not the case with Falletta and the Buffalo

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Review By Thomas Kiefner,Film Score Monthly,September 2010

The Naxos release in 2006 with JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic, given the special rosette by the Penguin Guide to recorded classical music, is an excellent choice. In addition to doing a superb job on The Red Pony the disc also offers the Prairie Journal, an eleven minute piece about life and times on the western range from the wakeup call, breakfast, sunrise, cattle herding, and watching the sunset after a long hard day. Letter from Home, a sentimental Copland at his best, and Rodeo (Four Dance Episodes) are also included. Part of Rodeo is “Buckaroo Holiday” a difficult piece to play which can easily be made to sound rather choppy with chunks of music stuck together. This is not the case with Falletta and the Buffalo

more....

Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

A Copland collection not to be missed, for it contains much rare and inspired music, notably the nostalgic wartime Letter from Home and Prairie Journal, commissioned by the Columbia Broadcasting Network in 1936, predating Billy the Kid and Rodeo, and just as evocative of the Western landscapes. But even more valuable is Copland’s enchanting score for the 1948 film of John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony about life on a Californian ranch. The delectably folksy Walk to the Bunkhouse and infinitely touching Grandfather’s Story are alone worth the modest price of this superb disc. JoAnne Falletta is totally in tune with the Copland ethos and the excellent Buffalo Philharmonic play all this music with a natural understanding

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Review By Geoff Bennett,Limelight Magazine,March 2007

This release contains one of his most recorded works, the Four Dance episodes from the ballet Rodeo, so it faces some pretty stiff competition. How does it compare? Well actually, rather well. The Buffalo Philharmonic is a tight and tidy orchestra and they play with concentration and enthusiasm for their Music director JoAnn Falletta, who enjoys a well-deserved reputation for capturing the spirit of American music. She even manages to bring fresh insight to some of Copland’s best-known pieces. The Suite from the 1948 film of Steinbeck’s novel The Red Pony, one of Copland’s finest creations, here receives a colourful and sympathetic performance. Of particular interest are the two less-familiar pieces written for radio. Prairie Journal was

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