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 Posted:   Aug 30, 2015 - 9:33 AM   
 By:   DOGBELLE   (Member)

what do you like or dislike in his music

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 30, 2015 - 9:43 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

What's not to like?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 30, 2015 - 9:45 AM   
 By:   c8   (Member)

Copland is crazy hit or miss to me. When he misses--which is more often than not--its because his music is too schmaltzy, written in the treble regions of the orchestra with far too much optimism, enthusiasm, and saccharine gusto (Rodeo, Fanfare for the Common Man).

When Copland slows things down and strips down his orchestra (ex. parts of Appalachian Spring, Our Town), his music becomes heartbreakingly beautiful and tender. Ironically its the same techniques I mention above that, when applied in moderation to a moderate ensemble, provide Copland's music with its tender beauty.

 
 Posted:   Aug 30, 2015 - 9:56 AM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

Ironically its the same techniques I mention above that, when applied in moderation to a moderate ensemble, provide Copland's music with its tender beauty.

Well articulated critique. Then would you say it's a matter of personal taste?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 30, 2015 - 10:00 AM   
 By:   c8   (Member)

Well articulated critique. Then would you say it's a matter of personal taste?

Isn't all art smile

 
 Posted:   Aug 30, 2015 - 11:12 AM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

Well articulated critique. Then would you say it's a matter of personal taste?

Isn't all art smile


yes, but it helps to have some education and experience (which is why I think it's simplistic when people say music is universal - maybe it is to performers). Anyway, I wasnt sure if you were asserting an "objective" preference. I didnt want to get any roll eyes when I said I liked the schmaltz.wink

 
 Posted:   Aug 30, 2015 - 6:30 PM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

I've never heard what I would call schmaltz in any Copland, and I know most of his work well. But it's all a matter of taste.

I hear schmaltz in contemporaries like Howard Hanson...symphony number 2....and Hovhaness oncet a while, but not Copland. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 31, 2015 - 10:50 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Am I the only one who finds it depressing that so few of the FSM'ers out there seem to have any interest in discussing Copland?

(And yes, I'm posting this in part to bump the thread.)

 
 Posted:   Aug 31, 2015 - 11:02 AM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

I am a huge fan of Copland's. I know, I am hardly alone on this. Many years ago, I had the privilege of sneaking into a rehearsal of Leonard Bernstein (just a few months before he died) conducting Copland's 3rd Symphony, and it blew me away. I was a casual fan before, but a devoted one since.

I have never, ever considered Copland's music "schmaltzy." c8, you have made an enemy today. Pray we never meet in a dark alley. (Unless you're really big and strong, in which case you're good.)

 
 Posted:   Aug 31, 2015 - 11:18 AM   
 By:   other tallguy   (Member)

So who is more "definitive United States sound"? Copland or Sousa?

To this day if you want to say "Cowboy" (and you're not doing Spaghetti Western") you do Copland. I'm one of those people who know "sounds like Copland" better than Copland!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 31, 2015 - 11:49 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Of course I like Copland. Who doesn't? The Americana/folk-inspired stuff is relatively easy to digest and appreciate; some of the more modern works, however, I've yet to explore properly. I do have his Trio "Vitebsk", which falls somewhat in that category. Something to get lost in -- in a positive sense.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 31, 2015 - 12:00 PM   
 By:   Jim Doherty   (Member)

I prefer his "Americana" period, when he wrote in a very accessible vein (FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN, RODEO, SYMPHONY #3, A LINCOLN PORTRAIT, etc.). His later, more "modern" works don't appeal to me as much. But, that's me. I'm not saying his later works are less significant than his 1940s' compositions, I'm just saying that they don't appeal to ME.

The same applies to his film music. I really love OF MICE AND MEN and OUR TOWN, but don't really care for SOMETHING WILD.

 
 Posted:   Aug 31, 2015 - 12:08 PM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

I want to call attention to a couple of his early works which might not be known to some who open this thread. I love these early pieces.

Dance Symphony Finale


Piano Concerto (the recording with Bernstein conducting and Copland at the piano is must have! But this isn't it.)


Organ Symphony Finale
- this builds slowly but it is as powerful a conclusion as anything written in the 20th century or since.




 
 Posted:   Aug 31, 2015 - 12:15 PM   
 By:   mgh   (Member)

I prefer his "Americana" period, when he wrote in a very accessible vein (FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN, RODEO, SYMPHONY #3, A LINCOLN PORTRAIT, etc.). His later, more "modern" works don't appeal to me as much. But, that's me. I'm not saying his later works are less significant than his 1940s' compositions, I'm just saying that they don't appeal to ME.

The same applies to his film music. I really love OF MICE AND MEN and OUR TOWN, but don't really care for SOMETHING WILD.


I love his work; I think I have everything he's ever written (that's been recorded). And I too lean toward his Americana works over the "harder" ones. But I do enjoy SOMETHING WILD and the "classical" work taken from it, Music for A Great City.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 31, 2015 - 12:55 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Schiffy, I'm happy for you to have snuck in on that Bernstein/Copland moment. I once got to hear Copland rehearse an entire concert of his music without having to sneak anywhere because, in those halcyon days, the Hollywood Bowl allowed free public access to their rehearsals every Wednesday. (Or was it Tuesday? No matter). A few years after that, I was in the audience at the Music Center when PBS recorded for TV broadcast a Copland Conducts Copland concert. So, to my great good fortune, I got to experience two free Copland concerts in my lifetime.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 31, 2015 - 1:03 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

BTW, can anybody here tell me who painted that portrait of A.C. above? I couldn't identify it on Google... It's too small to see clearly, but it looks not unlike Thomas Hart Benton.

 
 Posted:   Aug 31, 2015 - 3:41 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

I've never heard what I would call schmaltz in any Copland, and I know most of his work well.

I wasnt exactly sure what c8 was referring to either, but I figured if he noticed it, it must exist. Regardless, I like Copland's music. Just happen to be playing some generic soundtrack music by Eugene Cines which has some Coplandesque Americana themes.

 
 Posted:   Sep 1, 2015 - 11:17 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

Copland SCHMALTZY???

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 10, 2015 - 11:27 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

LOL

But not enough people have seen this thread -- or at least, they haven't posted on it. Come on, FSM'ers, isn't there anybody else who cares to weigh in on this major concert AND film composer?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 10, 2015 - 1:10 PM   
 By:   fortyone   (Member)

As someone who grew up with the music of Williams, Goldsmith, and Horner, a few of their finest moments owe to the influence of Copland. It's staggering how many composers, past and present, have been inspired by Copland, sometimes by emulation alone (seemingly).

 
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