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Brian Reinhart
MusicWeb International, December 2013

My top-choice Rodeo, including the composer’s own. Plus, it’s complete, with four or five minutes of material you’re unlikely to have ever heard before. This particular performance alone got the CD on my Recording of the Year list, but some colleagues and friends are enjoying the rare work Dance Panels just as much or more. © MusicWeb International




Brian Reinhart
MusicWeb International, September 2013

…this is a fantastic complete Rodeo. It’s rare enough to hear the full piece, and then add flawless conducting by Leonard Slatkin…and inspired solo work by the trombone, bassoons and even basses. The saloon-style upright piano solo in Ranch House Party…is by itself worth the entire price of the CD…I love how the cellos and basses dig into the Hoe Down. In fact, I love everything about this performance and, having heard it numerous times now, feel confident saying it’s my first-choice Rodeo … including Copland’s own recording.

The performances here seem live—there’s a cough here and there—which makes the achievement of the orchestra all the more noteworthy. It also makes the sound quality’s richness surprising. This would be a valuable addition to a Copland collection even if it didn’t have my first-choice Rodeo, but since it does, it’s mandatory. © MusicWeb International Read complete review



Steven Suskin
Playbill, September 2013

…Naxos and its “American Classics” series have brought us a new recording of Aaron Copland’s grand 1942 ballet, Rodeo. I have been listening to Leonard Slatkin’s 1986 recording of the piece…since 1986. A quarter century later we have Slatkin once again, this time with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Both performances are wonderful; this one seems slightly more raffish, to me, and is thus favored.

Rodeo is performed here in the full, five-movement version. It is accompanied by two matching favorites, “El Salón Mexico” and “Danzón Cubano.” All are extremely well-played by Slatkin and his friends from Detroit. © 2013 Playbill Read complete review



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, September 2013

This is one of the most thrilling and engaging Copland albums I’ve heard in some time.

The account of Rodeo highlights on this CD is absolutely scintillating. Slatkin manages Copland’s irresistible mix of lyrical melody…and high rhythmic excitement…to perfection.

Nor do this conductor and his orchestra allow the intensity to slacken in the two orchestral works inspired by Latin dance music. El Salón México captures the color and the spirit of the Mexican folk tunes that Copland incorporated into it, making it a stunning showpiece as well as a surprisingly sophisticated work of music. © 2013 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review



John Whitmore
MusicWeb International, August 2013

…[Naxos’s] latest offering [of] Rodeo isn’t just a good bargain version. It’s a very good version at any price and should be snapped up by anyone remotely interested in the music of Aaron Copland.

…this is a great CD featuring top recommendations for Rodeo and El Salón México and a wonderful rarity in the shape of Dance Panels that I urge everyone to hear. The Detroit Orchestra, in superb form for their inspirational conductor, are captured in spectacular and beautiful sound. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Anthony Burton
BBC Music Magazine, August 2013

The performance is fresh and breezy…this is an enjoyable programme; and Dance Panels is certainly worth discovering. © 2013 BBC Music Magazine




James Manheim
Allmusic.com, August 2013

Slatkin…makes a good case for [Dance Panels]…Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony also do very well with Rodeo. El Salón México also receives an attractive performance…The work of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra…is also worthy of note…No doubt Slatkin deserves the lion’s share of the credit for this: he has forged an interpretation attuned to the capabilities of the organization he’s working with…The ensemble sounds great in its longstanding home, downtown Detroit’s Orchestra Hall, with contributions from the hall’s house engineer, Matt Pons. Well worth the time even of those wondering whether they need yet more Copland. © 2013 Allmusic.com Read complete review



Steven Bergman
EDGE Atlanta, July 2013

Slatkin is a master of Copland’s repertoire, and “Rodeo,” the opening piece on the disc, is a fine example. From the brisk tempo of the ballet’s first movement…the orchestra effectively blazes the western images that have been the trademark of Copland’s 1942 dance…

…“Dance Panels”… provides a wonderful musical bridge between “Rodeo” and two of Copland’s more familiar compositions presented here by the DSO: “El salón México” and “Danzón cubano,” both of which reflect the versatility that Copland consistently displayed to incorporate the moods and surroundings of a culture into his music.

The inclusion of “Dance Panels” makes this particular recording appealing to collectors of performances of Copland’s work, and recordings by Slatkin. © 2013 EDGE Atlanta Read complete review



Stephen Smoliar
Examiner.com, July 2013

The recent Naxos release…features the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of its Music Director, Leonard Slatkin. The interpretations show a clear awareness of just how much the rhetoric changes as one moves from de Mille’s comic story of cowboy life to the domain of more abstract ballet. Those who know only the dance episodes…are probably unaware of the full scope of de Mille’s wit. Slatkin, however, seems to understand when de Mille’s was going for the belly laugh; and, even in the absence of dancers on a stage, he succeeds in eliciting that effect.

However much of this CD may be familiar to most listeners, Slatkin has teased out new ways to approach the music, making even the most familiar passages sound fresher than ever. © 2013 Examiner.com Read complete review



Infodad.com, July 2013

Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra pay regular attention to prominent American composers…and Slatkin does a particularly good job when he unearths or rediscovers a piece that other conductors have passed over or neglected. The latest Slatkin CD is fascinating in its juxtaposition of two equal-length Copland ballet scores, one that is super-familiar and one that is very rarely heard. Slatkin offers a very fine version of Rodeo, with well-chosen tempos and plenty of rhythmic snap, the orchestra playing with enthusiasm throughout. He follows that with Dance Panels—A Ballet in Seven Sections…Slatkin ably demonstrates that the piece works quite well in a concert presentation…This CD also includes a second pair of complementary and contrasting Copland pieces, El Salón México…and Danzón Cubano…all of which Slatkin and the orchestra handle with aplomb and a considerable helping of American, or Latin American, spirit. © 2013 Infodad.com Read complete review



Gwyn Parry-Jones
MusicWeb International, July 2013

Most Naxos discs represent excellent value; this one takes that to extremes…these are really classy performances, brimming with style, wit and poetry.

We begin with Rodeo…The stunning athleticism of the choreography was matched perfectly in Copland’s springy rhythms and bold scoring. Slatkin and his orchestra turn in a brilliantly idiomatic reading, matched by a perfectly balanced recording.

This is followed by an inexplicably neglected masterpiece, Dance Panels…This is wonderful and, as the composer noted, very “danceable” music…

The CD concludes with two shorter works from among Copland’s most popular; El Salón México is given a meticulous performance…Danzón Cubano…is terrific: brightly coloured, rhythmical, sun-drenched, full of humour and the faint taste of excellent rum—everything you’d expect from Cuba! © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, June 2013

This is a wonderful program! Leonard Slatkin is a master when it comes to [creating] a real musical atmosphere. Under his baton the five works, magnificently played by the Detroit Symphony, become musical tableaux with a stunning visual force. © Pizzicato



Graham Rickson
The Arts Desk, June 2013

There’s so much to admire here; an immaculately played, sensationally recorded anthology of Copland orchestral music. [El Salón México’s] 12 minutes whizz past in Leonard Slatkin’s hands; every Stravinskian rhythmic twist handled with swagger, aided by punchy brass and beautifully recorded percussion. © 2013 The Art Desk Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2013

Maybe American music does not travel all that well, for time and again you find their orchestras taking top spot when comparing available performances. And as if to make the point, this is Naxos’s third recording of the Rodeo from orchestras on that side of the Atlantic. They get better each time, the sheer and easy virtuosity of the Detroit players as they wind-up the excitement of the final Hoe Down, or provide a lazy view of the Corral Nocturne, takes the performance to my top spot of the many available.  I suppose the sleeve is correct in its comment that Dance Panels is barely known, but I have lived and loved the music for so long that it appears familiar, and I commend it to you, the extended ballet score containing some of Copland’s most beautiful melodies. Far removed from the ‘brashness’ of Rodeo, the music is gentle and often quiet, the many solos including a particularly beautiful one for flute appearing in the opening of the slow fourth section. The disc ends with two of the composer’s ‘pop’ classics in which he milks local colours and dance rhythms. Again you have to admire Leonard Slatkin’s direction which never goes outside the limits of good taste, something that many other conductors cannot resist. Very good sound quality, and at the super-budget price, Naxos are giving it away. Dash out and buy it. © David’s Review Corner






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6:51:23 AM, 19 September 2014
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