The Bratislava orchestra play with such spontaneous enjoyment in Rodeo and Billy the Kid that one cannot help but respond. Gunzenhauser, a fine conductor of Czech music, is equally at home in Copland’s folksy, cowboy idiom and all this music has plenty of colour and atmosphere. If some of the detail in Appalachian Spring is less sharply etched than with Bernstein, the closing pages are tenderly responsive. The recording is admirably colourful and vivid, with a fine hall ambience, and the spectacle of the Fanfare for the Common Man is worth anybody’s money. A bargain.
James Judd makes a successful debut on Naxos' American Classics label with exceptional performances of two of Aaron Copland's finest works. In both the suite from the ballet Billy the Kid and the Third Symphony...While vital and often exciting with brilliant playing by his fine New Zealand orchestra, the English conductor avoids the bombast and self-conscious grandiosity of Bernstein's (Sony) more visceral style.