Classical Reissue Reviews

AARON COPLAND: Third Symphony – London Sym. Orch./ Aaron Copland – Everest/ Countdown Media

One of the exceptional Everest recordings of a composer conducting his own work.

Published on October 22, 2013

AARON COPLAND: Third Symphony – London Sym. Orch./ Aaron Copland – Everest/ Countdown Media

AARON COPLAND: Third Symphony – London Symphony Orchestra/ Aaron Copland – Everest/ Countdown Media SDBR 3018, 40:11 ****:

This is one of the unique albums originally recorded by Everest in which famous composers conducted their own works. Copland’s Symphony No. 3 was a commission from the Koussevitzky Music Foundation and was completed in 1946. It won an award from the New York Music Critics Circle as the best new American orchestral work performed in New York during the 1946-47 season. Copland had composed many of the works by which he is known today prior to writing this symphony. In fact the spirit of his Appalachian Spring ballet (also on another Everest album) touches certain pages of the Third Symphony. The piece is perhaps best known for the striking brass and percussion beginning of its fourth and final movement, also know as the “Fanfare for the Common Man.”

I have the 1996 CD reissue of this work from Omega Record Group Inc., using Sony’s 20-bit Super Bit Mapping. This series was one of the finest CD reissue projects, and is fully equal to or even superior to the Mercury Living Presence CD reissue series. I found the sonics to be completely identical on this new reissue CD from Germany. This recording will also be available for download in a hi-res format at the HDTracks site. However, the disadvantage is that the Omega CD reissue also included the 20-minute Billy the Kid ballet suite of Copland, which is absent from the new reissue. Everest U.K. also reissued the combo of both Copland works on CD in 2008. (However, the Omegas are priced from $50 to $95 on Amazon and all these new reissues are only $9 each.) HDTracks has hi-res stereo downloads of all these new Everest titles at its site.

—John Sunier

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