Classical CDs

SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY/ TILSON THOMAS | Copland the Populist (RCA)
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The Independent Culture

After claiming the 1999 Gramophone Award, it's strange that a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn ends up so inextricably linked to our imaginary landscape of America's wide-skied, Wild West, but the excellent sleeve notes to this compilation of Copland's wonderful ballet music point out that Billy the Kid was a native New Yorker too. You'd be hard pushed to find a performance of "Billy", "Appalachian Spring" and "Rodeo" more authentic and in-the-blood than Tilson Thomas's. He knew Copland as a young man and has done more than any other of his generation to give this music the gleam and intensity of sound it deserves. There's a broad sweep of colour across "Appalachian Spring", an aching romanticism to the "Corral Nocturne" and a juicy bounce to the "Hoe Down".

After claiming the 1999 Gramophone Award, it's strange that a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn ends up so inextricably linked to our imaginary landscape of America's wide-skied, Wild West, but the excellent sleeve notes to this compilation of Copland's wonderful ballet music point out that Billy the Kid was a native New Yorker too. You'd be hard pushed to find a performance of "Billy", "Appalachian Spring" and "Rodeo" more authentic and in-the-blood than Tilson Thomas's. He knew Copland as a young man and has done more than any other of his generation to give this music the gleam and intensity of sound it deserves. There's a broad sweep of colour across "Appalachian Spring", an aching romanticism to the "Corral Nocturne" and a juicy bounce to the "Hoe Down".

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