Recording of the Month
"...The performances here seem live - there’s a cough here and there - which makes the achievement of the orchestra all the more noteworthy. It also makes the sound quality’s richness surprising. This would be a valuable addition to a Copland collection even if it didn’t have my first-choice Rodeo, but since it does, it’s mandatory."
Brian Reinhart - MusicWeb-International.com - 12 September 2013
"The performance is fresh and breezy ... this is an enjoyable programme; and Dance Panels is certainly worth discovering." ****
Anthony Burton - BBC Music Magazine - August 2013
"In the late 1980s, Naxos released a perfectly decent bargain version of Rodeo, recorded in Bratislava under the direction of Stephen Gunzenhauser. Listening to it again it’s still very enjoyable. However, the label has steadily progressed over the years and in this latest offering Rodeo isn’t just a good bargain version. It’s a very good version at any price and should be snapped up by anyone remotely interested in the music of Aaron Copland... this is a great CD featuring top recommendations for Rodeo and El Salón México and a wonderful rarity in the shape of Dance Panels that I urge everyone to hear. The Detroit Orchestra, in superb form for their inspirational conductor, are captured in spectacular and beautiful sound."
John Whitmore - MusicWeb-International.com - August 2013
"Most Naxos discs represent excellent value; this one takes that to extremes ... these are really classy performances, brimming with style, wit and poetry. We begin with Rodeo ...The stunning athleticism of the choreography was matched perfectly in Copland’s springy rhythms and bold scoring. Slatkin and his orchestra turn in a brilliantly idiomatic reading, matched by a perfectly balanced recording. This is followed by an inexplicably neglected masterpiece, Dance Panels ... This is wonderful and, as the composer noted, very “danceable” music ...
The CD concludes with two shorter works from among Copland’s most popular; El Salón México is given a meticulous performance…Danzón Cubano…is terrific: brightly coloured, rhythmical, sun-drenched, full of humour and the faint taste of excellent rum—everything you’d expect from Cuba!"
Gwyn Parry-Jones - MusicWeb-International.com - July 2013
"The recent Naxos release ... features the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of its Music Director, Leonard Slatkin. The interpretations show a clear awareness of just how much the rhetoric changes as one moves from de Mille’s comic story of cowboy life to the domain of more abstract ballet. Those who know only the dance episodes…are probably unaware of the full scope of de Mille’s wit. Slatkin, however, seems to understand when de Mille’s was going for the belly laugh; and, even in the absence of dancers on a stage, he succeeds in eliciting that effect. However much of this CD may be familiar to most listeners, Slatkin has teased out new ways to approach the music, making even the most familiar passages sound fresher than ever."
Stephen Smoliar - Examiner.com - July 2013
"This is a wonderful program! Leonard Slatkin is a master when it comes to [creating] a real musical atmosphere. Under his baton the five works, magnificently played by the Detroit Symphony, become musical tableaux with a stunning visual force." *****
Remy Franck - Pizzicato magazine - June 2013
"There’s so much to admire here; an immaculately played, sensationally recorded anthology of Copland orchestral music. [El Salón México’s] 12 minutes whizz past in Leonard Slatkin’s hands; every Stravinskian rhythmic twist handled with swagger, aided by punchy brass and beautifully recorded percussion."
Graham Rickson - The Arts Desk - June 2013
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