Sunday, July 1, 2012

Striking a balance on Copland

Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man,
Howard Pollack

Henry Holt and Company, New York, NY USA (ML410.C756P6)

This book exudes a tone of high admiration for the composer. The brilliant essays on the music reveal to the reader how Copland was able to integrate the modernism he absorbed in France with the varied moods of American musical culture. Pollack's deep appreciation for the music is catching. He balances this by giving candid reports of contemporary reviews of the music; good, bad and mixed. The book profiles aspects of the composer's personal life by discussing them topically. In all the detail Copland is revealed as a private and magnanimous man, and a sincere statesman of American music. Pollack also comments on the many recordings of the music, which can guide the reader in their listening and collecting. - Steve Matchett, Houston, TX USA - January 21, 2000