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Purchase log, 2018-05-08

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

The monthly $0.10 CD Sale at Lifelong Thrift Shop was particular fruitful where classical music is concerned.

Catalog

CD
  • Anton Bruckner, Symphony No. 4 (Herbert Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic)
  • Anton Bruckner, Symphony No. 9 (Christoph Dohnányi, Cleveland Orchestra)
  • Benjamin Britten, Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo / Music of Bali / British Folk Songs (Benjamin Britten; Peter Pears)
  • Benjamin Britten, String Quartets Nos. 1 & 3 / Alla marcia / Three Divertimenti (Sorell Quartet)
  • Clara Schumann, Complete Works for Piano 3 (Jozef De Beenhouwer)
  • Dmitri Shostakovich / Sergei Prokofiev, Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 / Prokofiev: The Love for Three Oranges (Eugene Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra)
  • Dmitri Shostakovich, Symphony No. 6 / Theme and Variations / Scherzo / Suite “Alone” (Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra)
  • Dmitri Shostakovich, Symphony No. 7 (Yuri Temirkanov, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • Emerson String Quartet, Bach: The Art of Fugue
  • Fugazi, The Argument
  • Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 1 (Sir Georg Solti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra)
  • Percy Grainger, Themes of Grainger (Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Ensemble)
  • Peter Lawson, American Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1
  • Sam Smith, The Thrill of It All (Deluxe Edition)
  • Samuel Barber, Music of Samuel Barber (Leonard Slatkin, St. Louis Symphony)
  • Samuel Barber / Charles Ives / Aaron Copland, Barber: Adagio for Strings / Ives: Symphony No. 3 / Copland: Quiet City (Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Sir Neville Marriner)
Vinyl
  • Madvillain, Madvillainy
  • New Order, Technique
  • Sam Smith, The Thrill of It All (Deluxe Edition)
  • The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced

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Vinyl find: Aaron Copland, Sextet / Piano Variations / Piano Quartet

[Aaron Copland - Sextet / Piano Variations/ Piano Quartet]

Back in the ’90s, an advocacy group ran a series of TV ads promoting the consumption of beef. Aaron Copland’s “Hoedown” from the Rodeo ballet suite served as the soundtrack for these commercials.

College music appreciation classes include Copland in a chapter about early American orchestral music. Copland’s use of folk idioms paralleled what composers were doing in other countries — finding a sense of national identity through music.

Copland’s ballet suites in this style pretty much overshadow everything else he’s done. I owned only one album of Copland’s work with the most predictable track listing: Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, Billy the Kid and Fanfare for the Common Man.

[Leonard Bernstein conducts Aaron Copland]

In this sense, Copland is not a one-hit wonder. He’s a one-hit style wonder.

So in my pursuit of Nonesuch albums from the late 1980s, I came across an album of Copland’s chamber works performed by members of the Boston Symphony with Gilbert Kalish on piano.

The difference was stark.

On this album, Copland threw out his elbows, banging out chords that could tell Charles Ives to shut the fuck up. (They didn’t really like each other.) It was actually pretty refreshing to hear not a single bit of the prairie in any of these works.

If he’s not using 12-tone techniques in these works, he’s pretty damn close. The slow second movement of the Sextet is lyrical without being comforting. The finale comes close to being melodic if it weren’t for the Stravinsky-style switches in meter.

The towering influence of Copland’s ballets — and their easy appropriation in anything smacking of Americana — do a disservice to these works. In short, I had written Copland off as an unabashed melodicist, good for some comfort listening but little beyond that.

This album, however, shows a side of Copland that balances out the popular perception. Now if only more of these works could be programmed in live performances …

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