An American Panorama

An American Panorama


Artist: Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Eduardo Mata (conductor)

Composers: Leonard Bernstein, Roy Harris, Aaron Copland

Format: 1 CD


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Initially, Bernstein turned down Spiegel's offer to supply the music for On the Waterfront, the film based on Budd Schulberg's gritty novel about the docks protection rackets, but after seeing a screening of the work print in February 1954, he agreed to undertake the project. He took a leave of absence from his post at Brandeis, and moved to Hollywood to write the score.

The Third Symphony of 1937 was composed on commission from Sergei Koussevitzky, music director of the Boston Symphony. It is a single, strongly unified movement disposed in five sections.

In 1938, Lincoln Kirstein, director of the American Ballet Caravan, commissioned Copland to write a ballet about Billy the Kid, the notorious outlaw of the Old West famed in ballad and legend. For inspiration, Kirstein gave the composer a book of cowboy tunes, even though Copland admitted a marked antipathy to such music at the time. As he studied the simple, unaffected songs, however, he came to realize that they were not only an excellent source of material for the new ballet, but they opened the path to a more straight forward, popular style that he sought. 

—Richard E. Rodda

Track List

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
1. On the Waterfront (1954)

Roy Harris (1898-1979)
2. Symphony No. 3 (1937) (in one movement)

Aaron Copland (1900-1990)
Billy the Kid (1938)
3. Introduction: The Open Prairie (Lento Maestoso)
4. Street in a Frontier Town (Moderato)
5. Mexican Dance and Finale (Moderato)
6. Prairie Night: Card Game at Night (Molto moderato)
7. Gun Battle (Allegro)
8. Celebration: After Billy's Capture (Allegro)
9. Billy's Death (Lento Moderato)
10. The Open Prairie again

Total time: 59:24
Release date: August 31, 1993
UPC: 053479017024

This fine collection contains excellent performances of all three works...If the coupling appeals to you, don’t hesitate for a second.
— David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

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