Sunday, April 30, 2006

Copland and band

I decided to listen to a bit of Copland this week since we recorded Fanfare for the Common Man this weekend in band. I believe that the recording that I have is of the Minnesota Orchestra (although I am not positive about that because my iTunes did not list the performing ensemble). In conversations between the conductor of the piece’s premiere and Copland, the conductor was quoted as saying, “Its title is as original as its music, and I think it is so telling that it deserves a special occasion for its performance. If it is agreeable to you, we will premiere it 12 March 1943 at income tax time". Copland's reply was "I [am] all for honoring the common man at income tax time". Copland also explored other titles such as Fanfare for a Solemn Ceremony and Fanfare for Four Freedoms in writing this piece. The recording, besides being of a professional group, had a few differences in the interpretation of the piece than our band. The tempo of the piece was, overall, faster. The timbre of the ensemble was darker than our ensemble, which is typical of MN Orch, however the trumpets were surprisingly bright in this recording. They usually do not have all that bright a sound, so perhaps this was intentional for this piece; either the conductor or Manny must have wanted that style for the piece. The piece is stylistically very typical of Copland, which utilize many open intervals with 4th and 5ths. Also, the use of brass and percussion is quite typical of his music; he tends to write in a very high tessitura for wind instruments. Although I really enjoy listening to all of the pieces on this recording, it is really fun to listen to a piece done by a professional group that you too have recorded just to listen to the differences between the levels of playing.

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