Copland: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 - Symphonies

Chandos: CHSA5171

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Copland: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 - Symphonies


BBC Music Magazine

Orchestral Choice - November 2016



Catalogue No:




Release date:

2nd Sept 2016




69 minutes


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Copland: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 - Symphonies


Symphony for organ and orchestra

Jonathan Scott (organ)

Symphonic Ode

Symphony No. 2 'Short Symphony'

Variations for orchestra


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Following a highly successful recording of Copland’s ballet music, John Wilson, a specialist in American music, and the BBC Philharmonic present the first volume of the composer’s complete symphonic output. This unique collection of vivid and energetic pieces highlights Copland’s personal, unorthodox compositional language. The mixture of works of austerity and tense excitement ranges widely, from the twenty Orchestral Variations on an original theme (originally written for piano) to the single-movement controversial Symphonic Ode, a rhythmically complex piece written in its original incarnation for a huge orchestra including eight horns and five trumpets.

The album features also the lesser-known Short Symphony (No. 2) and early Symphony for Organ and Orchestra, in which the solo instrument throughout is closely integrated with the music of the orchestra. The organ soloist is the young Jonathan Scott. Since a highly successful Gershwin concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 2014, he is increasingly acclaimed around the world for his performances of American music.

This album was recorded on SACD in the mythic Birmingham Symphony Hall.

Aaron Copland: Symphony for Organ & Orchestra

I. Prelude

II. Scherzo

III. Finale

Aaron Copland: Orchestral Variations

Theme: Grave

Variations 1-3

Variations 4-6

Variations 7-9

Variation 10

Variation 11

Variations 12-13

Variations 14-17

Variations 18-20

Coda: Subito lento moderato

Aaron Copland: Short Symphony "Symphony No. 2"

I. quarter note = 144

II. half note = 44

III. quarter note = 144

Aaron Copland: Symphonic Ode

Largamente e maestoso

Subito allegro

Subito lento e drammatico

Subito doppio movimento

Più mosso (molto ritmico)

Sunday Times

18th September 2016

“This disc offers gripping accounts of four works...Every note tells.”

Gramophone Magazine

Awards Issue 2016

“Wilson obtains [a] superbly drilled and articulate response from the BBC Philharmonic…an outstanding release”

The Guardian

5th October 2016


“Everything about the performances signals a conductor and an orchestra who really believe in the quality of the music they are performing. The BBC Philharmonic seems to relish Copland’s springy rhythms, long-limbed melodies and irrepressible invention, while Wilson manages to bring transparency and buoyancy to even the most massive climaxes.”

The Arts Desk

26th September 2016

“This performance is technically superb, John Wilson’s BBC Philharmonic sounding…energised…Wilson’s brass are heroic in the closing stages, and the music’s lighter moments aren’t undersold. But the best work on this disc is the deceptively lightweight Short Symphony…transparently orchestrated, rhythmically fiendish and harmonically approachable, it gets a sharp, witty reading, Copland’s Stravinskian metre changes effortlessly handled.”

Classical Ear

October 2016


“This darkly ravishing second volume in John Wilson’s welcome Copland survey for Chandos delves into the nooks and crannies of his orchestral work to find riches aplenty…the high standard is maintained by the BBC Philharmonic throughout, evidenced in the richly textured and concentrated Orchestral Variations…the single-movement Symphonic Ode (1929, revised in 1955) is a thing of bold, bracing beauty played with spirited brio.”

MusicWeb International

18th October 2016

“Spiky, hard-edged music for a dynamic American society, driven with vivacity and excitement yet I doubt if it will make many appearances in my CD player.”

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