James Sedares and the Phoenix Symphony make a strong argument that Copland’s film music and opera suites are every bit as masterful as his most famous works. These works are coupled with Eduard Brunner’s atmospheric performance of Copland’s Clarinet Concerto.
“Copland [in ‘The Red Pony’ is] displaying his simple gifts for the ready folk-tune and here the Phoenix woodwinds have what it takes. … It was interesting re-hearing his ‘Tender Land’ suite. So skillful is Copland’s orchestral transcription that one might easily be lulled into thinking this had been conceived solely for orchestra. As trumpets signal a new dawn over the open prairies, Laurie and Martin’s love blossoms in some of his most generous music outside ‘Appalachian Spring’. That evocative solo trumpet again leads the emotional surge. No problems with the barn dancing ‘Party Scene’. This is Steinbeck country just as surely as is ‘The Red Pony’. [James ]Sedares leads a spirited rendition, his warm and willing woodwinds stealing the honours.”Gramophone