Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Aaron Copland, Roy Harris, Gerard Schwarz|
Portraits Of Freedom: Music of Aaron Copland and Roy Harris
Genres: Miscellaneous, Classical
This is a mixture of choral and orchestral music by two great American composers, music that can only be described as patriotic. But don't let that keep you away from Copland's heartbreaking Lincoln Portrait or Roy Harri... more »
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This is a mixture of choral and orchestral music by two great American composers, music that can only be described as patriotic. But don't let that keep you away from Copland's heartbreaking Lincoln Portrait or Roy Harris's much-neglected American Creed. James Earl Jones supplies the narration in Lincoln Portrait. American Creed is filled with Harris's usual open harmonies and melodic expansiveness and is actually a very complex triple fugue. The miking for this entire recording isn't as close to the orchestra or clear as it could be, but this is a great collection nonetheless. --Paul Cook
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Perfect collection of patriotic fare.
Carol A Hoffman | Overland Park, KS | 10/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The inclusion of Copland's "Fanfare" and "A Lincoln Portrait" into a CD such as this is a no-brainer, but these recordings are the best of their kind--tremendous sound, and the quintessential narrator in Jones to complete it. Schwarz also blesses us with one of Copland's little-known choral works that sends a powerful patriotic message, and the "Outdoor Overture" is simply Copland at his jovial best at the prime of his composing career. The selected Harris works add further impact to the disc: the only recording available of "American Creed," along with Harris' unforgettable interpretation of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," round it out wonderfully. The Roy Harris works may be the true highlight of the disc--if that's possible. Another splendid job by Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony."
Great Lesser-known Masterpieces
Brett A. Kniess | Madison, WI | 11/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Portraits of Freedom is a CD featuring works by Aaron Copland and Roy Harris which have a special emphasis on democracy. Not just a "hack" American music CD, features include the very well known to some virtually unknown compositions making this a welcome addition to the Copland/Harris recorded music oeuvre.
Fanfare for the Common Man brings nothing new, but it is such a great miniature. Less recorded is the Lincoln Portrait. Copland opens with a slow triumphant fanfare melody which gives way to a faster "Camptown Races" melody and brilliantly weaves the two together. The piece ends with a dramatic reading by James Earl Jones.
Canticle of Freedom, rarely heard, features chorus. The music and text are interesting enough to wonder why it has been neglected. Along with the Outdoor Overture, Copland uses not only uses his trademark rhythms and harmonies, but dissonance is judiciously placed to give his music an American experience.
Roy Harris' American Creed and When Johnny Comes Marching Home are also rarely heard, nonetheless recorded. Harris' music is a bit more ponderous than that of Copland, and while Harris sticks with more classical formal designs, it is interesting to note the many harmonic and orchestration similarities which exist between the two composers. Harris' energetic "When Johnny..." is also very interesting, especially when compared to the more famous American Salute by Morton Gould.
The liner notes are voluminous accounts into the background of Copland. You really get the gist of how close he was to music and patriotism and how that evolved throughout the 20th Century. The Seattle Symphony plays well on this disk; you can tell they have a real feel of the music. While you can find better recordings of Fanfare and the Outdoor Overture, you can't beat this Lincoln Portrait, and you probably won't find the other works anywhere else, especially so well performed. Copland was serious about music and democracy and it shows in these works; the lesser known ones are greatly eclipsed by his more famous works, and so you probably have to be a Copland junkie to buy this CD. In that case, this will be an easy buy for you!"
James Earl Jones Is SUPURB
J. Poss | Pahrump, Nevada | 10/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have listened to several recordings of the Lincoln Portait narrated by Henry Fonda, Carl Sandberg and Katherine Hepburn. James Earl Jones surpases all of them by a wide margin. Every word James speaks comes from his heart and it is a moving experience.
An interesting note: Every speaker since James reads the following line, "government of the people, by the people, and for the people." with the emphasis on the words "of", "by" and "for". When James reads it he shift the emphasis to the word "people" each time and it makes an impressive difference. He is masterful. I've must have played this piece at least 10 times since I received it a week ago.