This disc presents superb new recordings of two Copland masterpieces–the original version of the "Appalachian Spring Suite" and the jazz-influenced "Music for the Theatre". Conductor Steven Richman and His Harmonie Ensemble/New York have a long history with these two works. In 1980, in celebration of his 80th birthday, Aaron Copland conducted the Harmonie Ensemble in the "Appalachian Spring Suite" and worked closely with conductor Richman and the Harmonie Ensemble on a performance of "Music for the Theatre". In 1957, Copland began work on a violin concerto for Isaac Stern. The project never reached fruition, but in 1986, Phillip Ramey and Bennett Lerner, with the composer's assistance, found that the sketches yielded the "Two Ballads" with almost no changes. Eugene Drucker, violinist of the Emerson Quartet, performs, accompanied by pianist Diane Walsh. Mr. Drucker is then joined by fellow Emerson Quartet member, violist Lawrence Dutton, in a reading of Copland's rarely performed and unpublished "Elegies". This somber work, composed in Mexico in 1932, was written in response to the suicide of the poet Hart Crane. Perhaps the most unusual recording on this disc is legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini's own transcription of Copland's popular "El Salón México", given its premiere recording here. Made in 1942, undoubtedly to familiarize the conductor with the piece, Toscanini's manuscript was given to Copland by Walter Toscanini, the conductor's son, in 1961. Mr. Richman discovered the arrangement while researching in the Toscanini Archive in New York.