"Such serenity and harmony"
Cory | Virginia | 01/06/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD has so much beautiful music on it. The choir was wonderful and had such a gorgeous touch to it. Even the songs meant to be up beat were still very nice and soothing of teh Old American Songs and the Four Motets. Now the Canticle of Freedom was so very powerful. The music in the beginning leading up to the reciting, rather singing, of the poem filled me with a great passion and patriotism. Copland conveyed his intentions very very well. This piece should be compared with Lincoln Portrait it is so moving. The words reflect the music perfectly. Copland was truely a genius in writing this piece. The recording on this CD was a good balance between chorus and orchestra. I definetley recommend this performance by the Mormon Tabernacle. It's nice to also get a baritone solo on another CD to sing this, namely Thomas Hampson singing it. That CD also has 8 of the 12 Emily Dickinson Poems."
Copland: Old American Songs, 4 Motets, etc / Tilson Thomas
Cory | 12/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Truly a masterful example of the great American Songs. The choir as no instrument bring the simple melodies and words alive. This music is a grand celebration of America, Aaron Copeland's magic touch and the voices of angels on high."
A bland excursion through folksy Copland -- for Mormon Taber
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 09/21/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is an apple-pie-and-the-flag program of Copland as folklorist and patriot (ironically, the Canticle of Freedom was direclty aimed at Joe McCarthy, red-baiting nemesis of the composer in the early Fifties). The two sets of Old American Songs feature the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and an unnamed soloist (not, as an earlier reviewer implies, Thomas Hampson, who performs these songs on Teldec). This performance is so cloying that I was amazed Tilson Thomas didn't try to impose more guts and spine. But to each his own.
The remainder of the CD consists of two minor works: the prim, very conservative Four Motets (sung a capella) are a student pice written for Nadia Boulanger when Copland was 21. The Canticle consists of two orchestral sections followed by a choral setting of a 14th-cent. Scottish ode to freedom. It's no more than pleasant and hardly rises to its lofty title.
In all, I think there are much better versions of the Old American Songs, especially the stunning one from William Warfield under the composer (Sony), and the minor works are best forgotten. For Mormon Tabernacle Choir fans only.
Old American Songs, Set I (1950)
1. The Boatmen's Dance 3:03
2. The Dodger 2:05
3. Long Time Ago 3:10
4. Simple Gifts 1:21
5. I Bought Me A Cat 2:12
Old American Songs, Set II (1952)
6. The Little Horses 3:11
7. Zion's Walls 1:44
8. The Golden Willow Tree 3:20
9. At The River 2:43
10. Ching-A-Ring Chaw 1:33
11. Canticle Of Freedom (1955) 13:46
Four Motets (1921)
12. Help Us, O Lord 2:50
13. Thou, O Jehovah, Abideth Forever 2:29
14. Have Mercy On Us, O My Lord 4:11
15. Sing Ye Praises To Our King 1:41