Third Angle New Music Ensemble, Aaron Copland: Suite From The Tender Land/ Appalachian Spring Suite

Gavin Borchert

By Gavin Borchert

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
13 instruments provide the sweep and grandeur of a full-orchestra.

Copland was always amused when people would marvel at the evocativeness of his ballet Appalachian Spring, because when he wrote the music for choreographer Martha Graham, she hadn't yet decided what she was going to title her work. He knew only that the plot would involve a young farm couple establishing their first homestead, and to represent their strong faith, he prominently drew on the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts”; beyond that he had no clue as to what the ballet's locale or season would be! Nevertheless, it's become one of the most beloved works of musical Americana. The Third Angle New Music Ensemble plays, beautifully, Copland's original orchestration for 13 instruments; their performance provides the sweep and grandeur of any full-orchestra version as well as a transparency that reveals every detail of Copland's skillful instrumentation.