Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Carl Sandburg only appears on about 14 minutes of this mid-priced two-CD set, but it's a very important 14 minutes in terms of his artistry and career. The poet/singer's four-decade association with Abraham Lincoln culminated on record in 1958 with his recording of Aaron Copland's "A Lincoln Portrait" with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of the man who commissioned the work, Andre Kostelanetz.

Sandburg's relationship to the piece went back 15 years, though he did not narrate it at its debut, but nobody ever narrated it better on record -- Sandburg quotes the lines drawn from Lincoln's speeches as though they're his, and his utterance of the framing narrative is done with the gentleness of someone who seems to have known the man, and knew the sadness of losing him; when he speaks on Lincoln being a quiet and a melancholy man, he does it as if he were describing a much-mourned friend, with all of the depth that implied in that description.

It's an illusion, but a successful one and totally natural, from a non-actor. Sandburg's voice has a natural fragility that is extraordinary in a recording like this, and separates him from the work of Henry Fonda and most other actors who have recorded this piece. The Philharmonic never played the piece with more feeling, and the recording quality is excellent. Bruce Eder

This second Copland collection focuses on unique talents of veteran performers. William Warfield lends his voice and his interpretations of Copland's Old American Songs, and he sings them as they were meant to be, not as classical diletantes felt they should be. You have authenticity here.

Martha Lipton likewise contributes an older world charm and charisma to Copland's settings for Emily Dickenson's words. Carl Sandberg's resonant reading of his own words is worth the full price of this set. And then the inimitable Oscar Levant's piano treatment of the orchestral pieces...Levant had a wry touch to his interpretations that gave him a voice all his own.
There's much more here, quite a bit that's less than familiar and therefore increases one's familiarity with Copland. Neal C. Reynolds

1. Vitebsk, Study On A Jewish Theme (1929)
Aaron Copland (piano)
Earl Carlyss (violin)
Claus Adam (cello)
Recorded at Columbia Records 30th Street Studio, New York City, NY on October 28, 1966

Sextet For Clarinet, Piano And String Quartet (1937)

2. I. Allegro vivace
3. II. Lento
4. III. Finale
Aaron Copland (piano)
Harold Wright (clarinet)
Julliard String Quartet:
Robert Mann (violin)
Raphael Hiller (viola)
Earl Carlyss (violin)
Claus Adam (cello)
Recorded at Columbia Records 30th Street Studio, New York City, NY on October 27, 1966

Piano Quartet (1950)
5. I. Adagio serio
6. II. Allegro giusto
7. III. Non troppo lento
Aaron Copland (piano)
Robert Mann (violin)
Raphael Hiller (viola)
Claus Adam (cello)
Recorded at Columbia Records 30th Street Studio, New York City, NY on October 28, 1966

Duo For Flute And Piano (1970-71)
8. I. Flowing
9. II. Poetic, Somewhat Mournful
10. III. Lively, With Bounce
Aaron Copland (piano)
Elaine Shaffer (flute)
Recorded at Columbia Records 30th Street Studio on December 11&14, 1972

1. Lincoln Portrait (1942)
The New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andre Kostelanetz.
Carl Sandburg (narrator)
Recorded in New York City, NY on March 16, 1958

Twelve Poems Of Emily Dickinson (1949-50)
2. I. Nature, The Greatest Mother
3. II. There Came A Wind Like A Bugle
4. III. Why Do They Shut Me Out Of Heaven?
5. The World Feels Dusty
6. V. Heart, We Will Forget Him
7. VI. Dear March, Come In!
8. VII. Sleep Is Supposed To Be
9. VIII. When They Come Back
10. IX. I Felt A Funeral In My Brain
11. X. I've Heard An Organ Talk Sometimes
12. XI. Going To Heaven!
13. XII. The Chariot
Martha Lipton (voice)
Aaron Copland (piano)
Recorded at Columbia Records 30th Street Studio, New York City, NY on December 22, 1950 and April 4, 1952

Old American Songs -Set 1 (1950)
14. The Boatmen's Dance (Minstrel Song, 1843)
15. The Dodger (Campaign Song)
16. Long Time Ago
17. Simple Gifts (Shaker Song)
18. I Bought Me A Cat
Old American Songs -Set 2 (1952)
19. The Little Horses (Lullaby)
20. Zion's Walls (Revivalist Song)
21. The Golden Willow Tree
22. At The River (Hymn Tune)
23. Ching-A-Ring Chaw (Minstrel Song)
William Warfield (voice)
Aaron Copland (piano)
Recorded at Columbia Records 30th Street Studio, New York City, NY on August 16, 1951 (Set 1) and August 18, 1953 (Set 2)

Billy The Kid (1938) arr. for solo piano
24. I. The Open Prairie
25. II. Street In A Frontier Town
26. V. Celebration Dance (After Billy's Capture)
Oscar Levant (piano)
Recorded at Columbia Records 30th Street Studio, New York City, NY on September 1, 1949


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.



Barnacle said...

Excellent! Thank you, friend.

Anonymous said...

Hola, Score! Estoy bajando éste vol. 2 y veo que ya posteaste el vol. 3, pero no encuentro el vol. 1... Help!

ROBERTO, from The Pampas

Casper said...

wonderful, as always, kep up the good work

Scoredaddy said...

Roberto, you cannot find volume one because I have not yet posted it!! COMING SOON, however...

mnwugn86 said...

Fantastic! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

thanks for this nice blog and your music !!!

troods said...

The word rarities in music always gets my attention. Looking forward to hearing this music. Thank you so much for this site.

souffleur said...

Very fine -merci

WMS.Nemo said...

And now I am going to download MY VERY FIRST AARON COPLAND. (No joke).

Thank you very much, dear Scoredaddy.