Tuesday, June 23, 2009


This is a superb album, largely overlooked on its release because it falls squarely into that awkward chasm between "serious" classical music and "light" film music.

John Williams conducts Copland's Red Pony suite like film music--which of course, it is--keeping the rhythms taut and the tempi precise: the "Circus March" swaggers boisterously, the "Happy Ending" skips along exuberantly. Trumpet soloist Tim Morrison makes the most of the reflective Quiet City and reprises his appearance on Born On The Fourth Of July for Williams's concert suite, arguably a better way to experience this elegiac, pastoral and affecting music than the original soundtrack.

The Reivers, from 1969, remains one of Williams's best-loved film scores: a jaunty, nostalgic slice of early Americana presented here as an extended suite with avuncular narration by Burgess Meredith (who narrated the original movie, a little-known adaptation of a William Faulkner novel starring Steve McQueen). It's delightful music, although the spoken text occasionally seems disproportionately long.

The juxtaposition of Copland and Williams on one album allows the listener to experience two complementary facets of American music, impeccably performed by the Boston Pops and vividly recorded at Symphony Hall. Leonard Slatkin's Music For Films album, on RCA, offers an excellent alternative for anyone wanting an all-Copland disc--but the real gems on this album are the two John Williams items. Mark Walker

The Red Pony
1. Morning On The Ranch (04:41)
2. The Gift (04:58)
3. Dream March (02:30)
4. Circus March (01:55)
5. Walk To The Bunkhouse (02:49)
6. Grandfather's Tale (04:47)
7. Happy Ending (03:24)

Born of the Fourth of July
8. Theme (06:21)
9. Cua Viet River, Vietnam 1968 (03:37)
10. Massapequa...the Early Days (04:06)
Tim Morrison trumpet

11. Quiet City - for Strings, Trumpet & English Horn (10:35)
Tim Morrison , trumpet Laurence Thorstenberg, English horn

12. The Reivers (18:43)
text by William Faulkner , narrated by Burgess Meredith

Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by John Williams
Recorded at Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts on February 9-10, 1990 & November 3-5, 1991


Scoredaddy said...


If you download this album and appreciate my efforts sharing it with you, please make a comment below.

If you want to bring this upload to the attention of people on another website, please link to this blog and not to the actual download links.


Ron said...

Hi Scoredaddy,

This is so beautiful. Thanks a lot.


lbrunet said...

Thank you for this CD and for all your work!

Scoresdecine said...

What a wonderful recording!! Many thanks from Spain!!

lukey said...

Hey, you've really built yourself a nice place here, this kind of music would be really hard to get hold of if it wasn't for you.

rgrames said...

Thanks for all the many fine Copland recordings. I have bought many of them, but really appreciate the ones, like this, that I have missed.