The Qobuz Ideal Discography
This well-known monographic album devoted to Aaron Copland is also a joyful symbol of the long friendship that united a young, nineteen-year-old Bernstein with one of the greatest American composers. The two men, separated by an age difference of eighteen years, met on campus at Harvard during a modern dance show. While Copland was already a well-respected composer, Leonard Bernstein remained a complete unknown, full of talents and projects. The elder helped the young musician by recommending him to the Curtis Institute, and then the Tanglewood Music Festival. Grateful, Bernstein played Copland’s music his whole life out of affection as well as genuine passion. Released in 1962, this LP features three ballets.
Appalachian Spring, composed in 1944 for Martha Graham, tells the story of American pioneers by citing numerous folk songs of that time, including Shaker Dance that acts as a link between the eight movements of the piece. El Salón Mexico, originally a purely orchestral piece, is the idealised representation of a Mexican folk-song salon, even if the influence of Stravinsky is clear. Based on scores bought in situ by the composer, several styles of music shine through, from the most popular to the most academic. Music for the Theater, composed in 1925, is a string of small pieces inspired by jazz music that caused quite a scandal in conservative concert halls in the 1920s! © François Hudry/Qobuz