For your gift of $60 or more to WRCJ here, our thank-you gift to you could be Aaron Copland: Symphony No. 3 and Three Latin American Sketches (Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin, conductor) Naxos 8.559844. WRCJ Music Director Jim Dantzer says, “Aaron Copland wrote the soundtrack to America. Even now, when you want to conjure the spirit and landscape of America, especially Middle America, you only need listen to passages from the incredible music from his ballets (Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, Billy the Kid) or his film scores (The Red Pony, Our Town). That this one-man melting pot (son of immigrants, Brooklyn-born, Jewish, homosexual) pretty much invented American classical music is astounding. Wow.
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) has recorded Copland in the past. Antal Dorati conducted some fine recordings in the ’70s and Neeme Jarvi surprised many with a series of recordings of known and lesser-known American composers on the Chandos label in the ’90s, including a performance of Copland’s Symphony No. 3
Current DSO conductor/music director Leonard Slatkin made his reputation conducting and recording American composers during his tenure with the Saint Louis Symphony, and it’s nice to see him revisit Copland with the DSO. Copland’s Third Symphony is an expansive work that, like America, contains multitudes, and also his calling card, “Fanfare for the Common Man”. Also on the disc are the bouncy “Three Latin American Sketches”. Well done. We can only hope for more American music releases from Slatkin and the DSO. Maestro Slatkin is also well-versed in British music. Perhaps a recording with the DSO of a Vaughan Williams symphony?”