The Essence of America

Born in 1900, Aaron Copland was perfectly positioned to represent his country in the 20th century, at least the first three quarters of it, and no other composer’s career has so completely traversed the many byways of American classical music, folk, pop and jazz and European modernism. Copland’s wilder side is most clearly heard in early works such as the Piano Concerto where jazz and Stravinsky converse in an urban setting, while the famous ballets of the 1930s and 40s transform folk tunes with inexhaustible wit and grace to create what is widely considered the ultimate expression of rural America.

With the discs COPLAND THE MODERNIST and COPLAND THE POPULIST Michael Tilson Thomas assumed the mantle of Leonard Bernstein as the leading interpreter of Copland’s music, and in this special edition box set he emulates Lenny even further as an insightful lecturer-demonstrator on the bonus disc entitled THE MAN AND HIS MUSIC, which also features a performance of the familiar ‘Fanfare for the Common Man.’ There could hardly be a better or more thoughtful introduction to Copland than this.

Release date:
12 Sep. 2012
RCA Red Seal
Number of Discs:
Total length:
(P) 1996, 2000 BMG Entertainment/(P) 2000, BMG Entertainment