Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Aaron Copland, John [Film Composer] Williams, John Williams|
Music for Stage and Screen
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Classical
Listen to Samples
A shining star!
Thomas C. Nagy | Ebensburg, PA USA | 09/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The selections of music that are most memorable on this CD belong to John Williams. The Copland selections are wonderful, but are available elsewhere. Williams' "Suite from 'Born On the Fourth of July'" is a stunning musical achievement. The trumpet and English horn solos are exquisite. However, the crown jewel of this release is "The Reivers." It is based on selections from the William Faulkner novel of the same name. It is a breath of fresh air, a narrative piece of small town Americana brought to life by the magical voice of Burgess Meredith. This is a wonderful release, destined to become a classic."
This is a must-have CD for fans of John Williams!
Thomas C. Nagy | Ebensburg, PA USA | 09/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This release features some great Copland material, but the gems on this recording are some obscure works by John Williams. The "Suite from 'Born on the Fourth of July'" is superbly written and beautifully played. The solo trumpet and English horn playing is stunning. This "Suite" is a fabulous collection. However, it is "The Reivers" that is the crowning achievement on this CD. The piece is a musical narrative based on selections of William Faulkner's novel of the same name. An Americana setting in the deep south during the turn of the century sets the stage for a heart-warming "coming of age" story. What gives this recording more credence is the narration, performed by Burgess Meredith. The music is descriptive, powerful and emotional. Five very unique stars!!!!"
Excellent Copland; the very best "Quiet City."
Bob Zeidler | Charlton, MA United States | 07/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't really count myself among the many fans of the Boston Pops, whether under the direction of Arthur Fiedler, John Williams or Keith Lockhart. This is not meant as any sort of elitism on my part, but, simply, generally speaking, my classical music tastes lie elsewhere. Probably, all told, I have barely a dozen CDs representing these conductors' efforts. But this "Music for Stage and Screen" CD is special among my rather smallish Boston Pops collection for a number of reasons, and it is easily one of my favorite Boston Pops CDs as a result.
In a nutshell, what makes this recording special is the "spotlighting" that the choice of works gives to Tim Morrison, the principal trumpeter at the time the recording was made. (As far as I know, Tim Morrison had this role for a number of years, although I haven't seen his presence in recent TV broadcasts of either the Pops or the Boston Symphony, so either he has "moved on" or is perhaps on an extended sabbatical.)
Aaron Copland's "Quiet City" is one of his smaller masterpieces. Scored for chamber orchestra with trumpet and English horn soloists, it provides a nice interplay between these two instruments, with the trumpet getting somewhat the larger role. I must have a half-dozen or more performances of this work, all in anthologies that are in whole or in part made up of the music of Copland, including one in which Wynton Marsalis is the soloist (on the same Sony label, for that matter). But, as much as it's difficult for me to state this, or for readers to accept it, Morrison trumps Marsalis quite handily. His tone is simply gorgeous: full and with a nice "bloom" to it, much like Harry James on his best day. To my taste, this approach meshes perfectly with the work.
Morrison shines again in one of the best-known excerpts - the main theme - from Williams's score for "Born on the Fourth of July" (a score that is far different from what we usually associate with Williams's pen, and one of my favorite Williams scores). The other two excerpts from this film score are "Williams at his atmospheric best": again, something quite different from "usual Williams."
This fine album is rounded out with a nice performance of another lesser-known Copland gem, his suite for "The Red Pony," and a very early Williams score for the film "The Reivers," not at all well-known and so a pleasant surprise with its inclusion. The work includes whimsical narration of the tale by the late Burgess Meredith, having as distinctive (and perfect) a voice for this narration as could be imagined.
This is creative programming at its best, giving us excellent but lesser-known works of both composers. The album sound is terrific, and the Boston Pops musicians - obviously including Morrison - are on the top of their game throughout. A very easy recommendation, deserving perhaps only a slightly more creative title for the album.