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Both sides of Copland are represented here: acerbic modernism and nostalgic Americana.

Connotations (1962) is the former, hewn of Copland’s own brand of dodecaphony, but Wilson also seeks out the lyrical. The 40-minute Third Symphony (1945, heard in its original version) recycles the ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ as its third movement. While the symphony opens as Copland we all know and love, some panels are as acerbic as Connotations. The Chandos recording really shines in the lively, sparkly second movement. Overall, this is an intense performance, with the ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ emerging as a vital part of the piece (we really feel Copland’s structural mastery at its re-emergence at the end). Throughout, Wilson clarifies the complex textures well; only in the finale one hankers for a little more depth of sound.

To balance, the lighter Letter from Home and Down a Country Lane, charmingly performed. Recommended.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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