Copland: Symphony No 3 (original version); Three Latin American Sketches

Reviewed on Mon 17 Jul, 2017

This new reading returns to Copland’s original version of the symphony and provides an heroic and heartfelt commentary on stirring music that heralded the peace promised by end of the Second World War.

A quarter of a century after his Saint Louis Symphony recording on RCA, Leonard Slatkin returns to Copland’s Third Symphony in the company of the Detroit forces he has led since 2008. That earlier account used the standard version of the score incorporating changes suggested by Leonard Bernstein. This new reading returns to Copland’s original version and provides an heroic and heartfelt commentary on stirring music that heralded the peace promised by end of the Second World War. The restorations are, it has to be said, relatively minor, save for the extended coda where a discernibly broader and richer palette is in evidence. Throughout, Slatkin underlines tonal lustre and clearly woven textures in a committed and characterful, simultaneously dramatic and poetic performance. The Three Latin American Sketches from 1971 are perhaps not as bright, alert or immediate as they might be, but serve as entertaining late displays of Copland’s colouristic gifts.
–Michael Quinn