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Georges Mager – Copland – Quiet City, Symphony No. 3, Appalachian Spring Suite (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Georges Mager – Copland – Quiet City, Symphony No. 3, Appalachian Spring Suite (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:13:07 minutes | 671 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Infinity

Koussevitzky conducts the fourth-ever performance of Coplands Great American Symphony

“To have them gathered together on a single recording, conducted by the man and played by the orchestra who were in every way present at the creation, is the gift of a lifetime” (Fanfare)

Aaron Copland’s Symphony No. 3, regarded by many as the “Great American Symphony”, was commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky and received its first performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under his baton. The première came in Boston’s Symphony Hall on October 18, 1946, and it was repeated there the following night. Thereafter orchestra and conductor took it to New York, with a third performance in Brooklyn’s Academy of Music on 15 November, and the following afternoon, this unbroadcast concert in Manhattan’s Carnegie Hall (billed on the programme as the works “First performance in New York”). If the New York Times’ critic remained to be totally convinced, the audience reaction was ecstatic, with a lengthy ovation lasting many minutes after the final climax.

The existence of the present recording was practically unknown until very recently. Not only is it the earliest recording of this work, it is the only known recording of Koussevitzky performing the masterwork he’d commissioned. A combination of detective work and a certain degree of informed guesswork suggests it was cut live, directly onto a set of acetate 78rpm discs by Carnegie Hall’s in-house recording company as a single-copy record of the performance, quite possibly made privately for the composer himself. The discs show variable wear, from relatively clean to quite damaged, and there were a number of times during the lengthy and difficult restoration process where I longed for an alternate copy to work from. In the absence of this option I’ve done the best possible with the latest and most advanced digital restoration technology available, and beg understanding of the impossibility of achieving a consistently high sound quality throughout. That said, there is much to enjoy here, and long sections remained relatively unscathed.

The companion recordings, both also receiving their first releases, date from the same era of immediate postwar performances at a time when one senses relations between orchestra, conductor and composer were being warmly nurtured. Both again were sourced from acetate discs, in generally better condition and of similar original recording quality. The Appalachian Spring Suite hails from a radio broadcast from Hunter College in New York City, whilst Quiet City is almost certainly also a live radio broadcast from Boston. (Andrew Rose)

“These performances are eloquent, compelling, and remind us of the peerless instrument Koussevitzky maintained during his quarter century at its helm” (Fanfare)


1. Boston Symphony Orchestra – Quiet City
2. Boston Symphony Orchestra – Symphony No. 3: I. Molto moderato, with simple expression
3. Boston Symphony Orchestra – Symphony No. 3: II. Allegro molto
4. Boston Symphony Orchestra – Symphony No. 3: III. Andantino quasi allegretto
5. Boston Symphony Orchestra – Symphony No. 3: IV. Molto deliberato (Fanfare); Allegro risoluto
6. Boston Symphony Orchestra – Appalachian Spring Suite


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