Copland: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 – Ballets BBC Philharmonic Orchestra & John Wilson
- Aaron Copland (1900-1990):
- 1Fanfare for the Common Man04:03
- 2El Salón México11:14
- Billy the Kid:
- 3I. Introduction. The Open Prairie03:25
- 4II. Street in a Frontier Town03:17
- 5III. Mexican Dance & Finale03:14
- 6IV. Prairie Night "Card Game at Night"03:13
- 7V. Gun Battle01:57
- 8VI. Celebration "After Billy's Capture"02:12
- 9VII. Billy's Death01:17
- 10VIII. The Open Prairie Again01:35
- Appalachian Spring:
- 11I. Very Slowly02:49
- 12II. Allegro02:53
- 13III. Moderato03:51
- 14IV. Fast03:23
- 15Va. Subito allegro03:08
- 16Vb. Meno mosso00:55
- 17VI. As at First - VII. Doppio movimento - VIII. Moderato07:21
- 4 Dance Episodes from Rodeo:
- 18I. Buckaroo Holiday07:15
- 19II. Corral Nocturne03:45
- 20III. Saturday Night Waltz04:03
- 21IV. Hoe Down03:37
Info for Copland: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 – Ballets
For this new series the conductor John Wilson, a BBC Proms favourite, for the first time joins the BBC Philharmonic on Chandos, in orchestral works by Aaron Copland. This first volume features the suites from the American composer’s most famous ballets.
Written in 1938, the hugely successful Billy the Kid is a fine illustration of the limpid orchestration and clarity that Copland achieved in works made famous thanks to their popular accessibility. Similarly, four years later, in Appalachian Spring, he created a lastingly influential American soundworld, firmly rooted in the diatonicism of simple folk melodies. A third ‘nationalist’ ballet, Rodeo, and Fanfare for the Common Man were composed in the same year, 1942, the latter being possibly the most instantly recognizable piece in the history of American orchestral music. The energetic dances and national melodies of El Salón México reveals Copland’s other use of folk material, as a musical souvenir of foreign lands that had made an impression of him.
This album was recorded two months after a highly successful concert broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
"John Wilson shows an instinctive flair for Copland's syncopated and changing rhythms, and brings out all the music's broad humour and intimate poetry" (BBC Music Magazine)
"Wilson's performances are…impressive, and he secures superb playing from the BBC Philharmonic…the three ballets receive strongly characterised interpretations, as piquant and affecting in the slower passages as they are punchy and ebullient in the faster ones…I enjoyed listening to this disc enormously." (Gramophone Magazine)
"Wilson is in his element here, coaxing razzmatazzy playing from the BBC Philharmonic in the rhythmically charged Mexican Dance and battle scene from Billy the Kid, and the Buckaroo Holiday and Hoe-Down from Rodeo. There is tenderness, too, even a touch of Leonard Bernsteinesque wallowing in the unforgettable folksy melodies of Appalachian Spring" (Sunday Times)
John Wilson, conductor
is known for the vivid nature of his interpretations and is applauded repeatedly for the rich and colourful sounds that he draws from orchestras in repertoire ranging from the core classical through to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. An outstanding communicator, Wilson has developed long-term affiliations with many of the UK’s major orchestras and festivals, and is working increasingly at the highest level across Europe and Australia. In 16/17 he became the Associate Guest Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducting them regularly across Scotland as well as at the BBC Proms and Aldeburgh Festival.
In 18/19 Wilson returns to the BBC Proms with the London Symphony Orchestra as well as with his own John Wilson Orchestra, and at London’s South Bank he returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra and makes his debut with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Elsewhere in the UK he conducts the BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish, City of Birmingham Symphony and Royal Northern Sinfonia and in Europe he returns to the Oslo Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic and Swedish Radio Symphony orchestras. Wilson also makes his debut at English National Opera in a new production of Porgy and Bess and in Summer 2019 he returns to Glyndebourne Summer Festival for a new production of Cendrillon.
In recent seasons Wilson has made his debut with many major orchestras including Oslo Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and further afield he has twice been to Australia to conduct the Sydney Symphony. In 2016 he made his opera debut with Glyndebourne Festival Opera to great critical acclaim, described as a “sensational success” by Opera Magazine, conducting the theatre’s first ever Madama Butterfly in a new production for their autumn tour.
In 1994, Wilson formed his own orchestra, the John Wilson Orchestra, dedicated to performing music from the golden age of Hollywood and Broadway; for the past decade he has been performing with them annually at the BBC Proms and touring regularly across the UK. John Wilson and the John Wilson Orchestra record exclusively for Warner Classics (formerly EMI Classics) and their performances are broadcast regularly on television and radio.
Wilson has a large catalogue of recordings with a range of orchestras. His most recent recordings are three volumes of symphonic works by Copland with the BBC Philharmonic, described by Gramophone as “outstanding”, and two volumes of works by Richard Rodney Bennett with the BBC Scottish Symphony.
Born in Gateshead, England, John Wilson studied composition and conducting at the Royal College of Music where he was taught by Joseph Horovitz and Neil Thomson and where he won all the major conducting prizes and, in 2011, was made a Fellow.