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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 23, 2000
The centennial of Aaron Copland's birth and the 10th anniversary of his death, both milestones being noted this year, have prompted renewed appreciation for the man and his music. Not that he needs it. Long before he died, Copland was widely acknowledged as a great - perhaps the greatest - American composer. Despite sniping from those who find his works simplistic or disingenuous, Copland's position remains rock-solid. The reasons why could be plainly heard in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's admirable performance of his Symphony No. 3 Friday evening led by resident conductor Daniel Hege.
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By TIM SMITH and TIM SMITH,tim.smith@baltsun.com | January 22, 2009
Two years ago, as if presciently planned, the Washington-based Post-Classical Ensemble took a fresh look at a 1939 documentary called The City that boasts a vivid score by Aaron Copland. The film, made by Ralph Steiner and Willard Van Dyke and scripted by urban planner Lewis Mumford, examines the most unattractive aspects of modern metropolitan life and promotes an environmentally friendly, government-spearheaded alternative. This Great Depression-era product has now re-emerged on DVD by Naxos, with Post-Classical's freshly recorded soundtrack, just as the country is in the grip of the Great Recession and the air is full of talk about government projects, large-scale and green.
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FEATURES
By Robert Haskins and Robert Haskins,Contributing Writer | January 23, 1993
During the 1930s and '40s, Aaron Copland wrote a series of musical works celebrating familiar images in American life -- everything from cowboys to skyscrapers. In so doing, Copland almost single-handedly established a voice for American music -- one that spoke with an aggressive optimism it has retained ever since.Even now, his music is familiar to an astonishing degree. Witness the "Hoe-down" from his ballet "Rodeo" -- performed in its entirety Thursday and last night by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra-- a tune that has enjoyed considerable success recently as music for TV commercials.
NEWS
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | January 21, 2009
In addition to the traditional marches and flourishes from a military band, the inaugural ceremony included two remarkable musical interludes. The first was provided by Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, whose dynamic, gospel-inflected delivery of "My County, 'tis of Thee" energized the crowd. It also brought to mind legendary contralto Marian Anderson's 1939 performance of that same patriotic hymn under very different circumstances at the Lincoln Memorial on the opposite end of the National Mall, after she was barred from the then-segregated Constitution Hall.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | July 17, 1994
Copland, "Rodeo," "El Salon Mexico," and "Danzon Cubano." Performed by the Baltimore Symphony, David Zinman conducting (Argo 440 639-2): This disc of Copland works features beautiful playing by the Baltimore Symphony, gorgeous recorded sound (though it may be too brilliantly detailed for some listeners) and precise, elegant conducting by Zinman. The problem for this listener is that it is too precise and too elegant. Works such as "El Salon Mexico" that should create a sense of spontaneity and improvisation come off sounding too predictable to be completely effective.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 20, 2000
Last Tuesday marked the 100th anniversary of Aaron Copland's birth, an occasion that should have been marked by a national celebration of some sort. The Concert Artists of Baltimore did its part to honor the composer locally -- and help people forget about chads for a little while -- by devoting half of its program Sunday evening at the College of Notre Dame to Copland, and making every note count. Artistic director Edward Polochick led the instrumental portion of this orchestral/choral organization in a remarkably affectionate and affecting account of Copland's most beloved work, the suite from the 1945 ballet "Appalachian Spring."
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 28, 2000
In popular music, English is the world's lingua franca, the language every singer needs to know. Not so in classical music. In this world, Italian, French, German, and even Latin -- a dead language! -- are more likely to be heard than English. Some singers even complain that English should be avoided altogether, because it doesn't sing as well as Italian, French or German. "There is some truth to that," admits baritone Jubilant Sykes. Even so, he isn't worried that everything he's singing with the Baltimore Symphony this weekend is in English, because the pieces are so approachable.
ENTERTAINMENT
By TIM SMITH and TIM SMITH,tim.smith@baltsun.com | January 22, 2009
Two years ago, as if presciently planned, the Washington-based Post-Classical Ensemble took a fresh look at a 1939 documentary called The City that boasts a vivid score by Aaron Copland. The film, made by Ralph Steiner and Willard Van Dyke and scripted by urban planner Lewis Mumford, examines the most unattractive aspects of modern metropolitan life and promotes an environmentally friendly, government-spearheaded alternative. This Great Depression-era product has now re-emerged on DVD by Naxos, with Post-Classical's freshly recorded soundtrack, just as the country is in the grip of the Great Recession and the air is full of talk about government projects, large-scale and green.
FEATURES
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 21, 1996
Aaron Copland, "Appalachian Spring," "Symphonic Ode" and Piano Concerto, performed by the Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz conducting, and (in the Piano Concerto) Lorin Hollander (Delos DE 3154)This excellent Copland collection is a breath of fresh air. Yes, this disc does contain the ubiquitous "Appalachian Spring," but the other items are important Copland pieces that do not turn up very often.Both the "Ode" and the Piano Concerto represent the Copland of the 1920s -- the brash modernist, freshly back from his studies in Paris and excited by the possibilities for jazz in symphonic music.
NEWS
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,tim.smith@baltsun.com | January 21, 2009
In addition to the traditional marches and flourishes from a military band, the inaugural ceremony included two remarkable musical interludes. The first was provided by Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, whose dynamic, gospel-inflected delivery of "My County, 'tis of Thee" energized the crowd. It also brought to mind legendary contralto Marian Anderson's 1939 performance of that same patriotic hymn under very different circumstances at the Lincoln Memorial on the opposite end of the National Mall, after she was barred from the then-segregated Constitution Hall.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun music critic | October 11, 2007
The iconic 1939 World's Fair, the last hopeful celebration before war would change everything, was a showcase for any number of forward-looking products, ideas and dreams - "the world of tomorrow." Among the many attractions at the event was a documentary called The City. Made expressly for the fair, it addressed a potent issue of the day - how excessive, unregulated urbanization limited the quality of life. Making the movie all the more effective was its distinctly American music, composed by a man who was then only just beginning to enter the public consciousness.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | March 30, 2004
According to conventional wisdom, Aaron Copland's only full-length opera, The Tender Land, just doesn't cut it. Too static. Too much like one of his Americana ballets, only with words. Not enough story, character development, or truly gripping drama. A very unsatisfying ending. Well, conventional wisdom has been known to be wrong before, and it's wrong in this case. If you don't believe me, just check out Opera Vivente's affecting presentation of the piece. No, you won't come away thinking The Tender Land deserves to be ranked alongside La Boheme, but you're likely to end up with a new - or renewed - appreciation for Copland.
TRAVEL
By Alfred Borcover and Alfred Borcover,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | July 20, 2003
Here's one thing to keep in mind when you book your own vacation via the Internet: If you inadvertently screw things up, you have no one to blame or scream at. It's the best reason I can think of to turn to a travel agent, especially if your trip is complex - multiple destinations, carriers, hotels, tour operators you're unfamiliar with. You get the picture. Another thing to keep in mind: Ignore those spam e-mails that congratulate you for winning a free trip. Do you believe in the tooth fairy?
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 10, 2002
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra wasn't always on its best behavior technically during a performance Tuesday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, and the reverberation-challenged acoustics in Alumni Hall were no help. But the program, part of the Distinguished Artist Series, still had its rewards. To begin with, there was thoughtful, dynamic conducting from David Alan Miller, music director of the Albany Symphony Orchestra. He demonstrated considerable appreciation for subtle details in the familiar suite from Copland's Appalachian Spring and the vivid Fifth Symphony by Sibelius.
SPORTS
By Lem Satterfield and Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF | December 13, 2001
Gilman plays in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference, considered a less competitive league, but the Greyhounds had knocked off two teams from the powerful Catholic League entering yesterday's boys basketball matchup with visiting Mount St. Joseph. "We didn't want to be the third Catholic League team they beat," said Gaels coach Pat Clatchey, whose ninth-ranked Gaels defeated 19th-ranked Greyhounds in a rout, 75-45. The guard play of J.J. Outlaw (17 points, five assists, three steals)
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | November 20, 2000
Last Tuesday marked the 100th anniversary of Aaron Copland's birth, an occasion that should have been marked by a national celebration of some sort. The Concert Artists of Baltimore did its part to honor the composer locally -- and help people forget about chads for a little while -- by devoting half of its program Sunday evening at the College of Notre Dame to Copland, and making every note count. Artistic director Edward Polochick led the instrumental portion of this orchestral/choral organization in a remarkably affectionate and affecting account of Copland's most beloved work, the suite from the 1945 ballet "Appalachian Spring."
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | January 10, 2002
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra wasn't always on its best behavior technically during a performance Tuesday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, and the reverberation-challenged acoustics in Alumni Hall were no help. But the program, part of the Distinguished Artist Series, still had its rewards. To begin with, there was thoughtful, dynamic conducting from David Alan Miller, music director of the Albany Symphony Orchestra. He demonstrated considerable appreciation for subtle details in the familiar suite from Copland's Appalachian Spring and the vivid Fifth Symphony by Sibelius.
SPORTS
By Lem Satterfield and Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF | December 13, 2001
Gilman plays in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference, considered a less competitive league, but the Greyhounds had knocked off two teams from the powerful Catholic League entering yesterday's boys basketball matchup with visiting Mount St. Joseph. "We didn't want to be the third Catholic League team they beat," said Gaels coach Pat Clatchey, whose ninth-ranked Gaels defeated 19th-ranked Greyhounds in a rout, 75-45. The guard play of J.J. Outlaw (17 points, five assists, three steals)
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | October 23, 2000
The centennial of Aaron Copland's birth and the 10th anniversary of his death, both milestones being noted this year, have prompted renewed appreciation for the man and his music. Not that he needs it. Long before he died, Copland was widely acknowledged as a great - perhaps the greatest - American composer. Despite sniping from those who find his works simplistic or disingenuous, Copland's position remains rock-solid. The reasons why could be plainly heard in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's admirable performance of his Symphony No. 3 Friday evening led by resident conductor Daniel Hege.
FEATURES
By J.D. Considine and J.D. Considine,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | April 28, 2000
In popular music, English is the world's lingua franca, the language every singer needs to know. Not so in classical music. In this world, Italian, French, German, and even Latin -- a dead language! -- are more likely to be heard than English. Some singers even complain that English should be avoided altogether, because it doesn't sing as well as Italian, French or German. "There is some truth to that," admits baritone Jubilant Sykes. Even so, he isn't worried that everything he's singing with the Baltimore Symphony this weekend is in English, because the pieces are so approachable.
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