Music Composed by: Aaron Copland
Type of Movie: Western/Drama (The Red Pony), Romance (The Heiress)
Year of Movie Release: 1949 (both films)
Label: Intrada Records

Two film score landmarks from America’s greatest exponent of musical Americana arrive on CD! Aaron Copland brought his singularly influential orchestral voice into motion pictures on a just a few occasions, and two of those happily occurred together in 1949.

Lewis Milestone directs The Red Pony from a screenplay by legendary American novelist John Steinbeck, who wrote the original 1938 novelette. Legendary actors Robert Mitchum and Myrna Loy star. The result: a project Aaron Copland was born to score. Such was the success of this “wide open sound of the West” that Copland was compelled to adapt highlights from the film score into his famous 7-movement concert suite. Intrada is proud to present the CD premiere of the original soundtrack version Copland conducted at the Paramount Pictures Scoring Stage in March 1948. As part of Paramount’s ongoing program of restoring the audio elements for classic films from the era, this release was mastered from the original 78rpm acetate discs made at the sessions plus recently discovered mono scoring stems, allowing for the inclusion of previously unreleased music including the main and end titles. The audio quality from these elements is excellent and reveals a treasure trove of material Copland dropped from his concert suite.

Accompanying this score is the world premiere release in any format of Copland’s other 1949 film soundtrack, The Heiress. Another legendary film project, this one has direction by William Wyler, origins in a 1880 Henry James novel and 1947 play by Augustus and Ruth Goetz, and features an Academy Award-winning performance from Olivia de Havilland plus an early starring role for Montgomery Clift. An Oscar also went to Aaron Copland for his masterful score. It is interesting to note that Copland never adapted any of the music into a concert piece. It wasn’t until 1990, when Arnold Freed fashioned an 8-minute work for the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and conductor Leonard Slatkin that any of this music made its way to audiences. Intrada is happy to present for the first time ever Copland’s actual soundtrack version, also recorded at Paramount Pictures Scoring Stage, including both his “rejected” original main title and the subsequent film version, plus a wealth of additional music never before made available. Sadly, the condition of the master elements was not on par with The Red Pony. In this case, even with careful restoration work done by veteran audio expert Chris Malone, the original 78rpm acetate discs exhibited significant surface noise from heavy wear. The sound quality is archival at best. The music, of course, is revelatory.

Jim Lochner provides detailed notes, Kay Marshall designs beautiful flipper cover art featuring original poster campaigns from both films. Pick your favorite cover! Aaron Copland conducts both scores. Intrada Special Collection CD available while quantities and interest remain!

Track List:

Play all clips

01. Main Title (1:29)
02. Tom’s Theme/The Ringmaster (2:51)
03. The Clipping/Walk To The Bunkhouse (1:54)
04. Tom And The Pony/The Storm (1:51)
05. The Gift/The Red Pony Debuts (5:07)
06. The Knights At Arms (2:19)
07. Moth ’Round A Flame (1:50)
08. Night/Grandfather’s Story – Westerin’ (4:17)
09. The Pony Gets Sick/Rosie At The Pond (1:29)
10. After The Vulture Fight/He Let Him Die (2:52)
11. Tom’s Theme/I Want Rosie’s Colt/End Title (4:02)
Total Time: 30:20

12. Prelude (Original Version) (2:42)
13. The Cherry Red Dress (1:37)
14. An Early Morning Visitor (0:43)
15. Proposal (3:34)
16. The Departure (1:55)
17. Reunion With Morris (2:43)
18. A Plan To Elope/Anticipation/Love Not Consoled (3:03)
19. Hatred (1:15)
20. A New Catherine (2:02)
21. Five Years Later (0:55)
22. Morris Unmasked (2:25)
23. Catherine’s Triumph/The Heiress Cast (1:35)
Total Time: 24:46

The Extras – THE HEIRESS
24. Prelude (Revised) (2:41)
25. First Love Mazurka (2BB1) (2:23)
26. Croquette Polka (2CC2) (1:28)
27. Gavotte (2DD2) (1:45)
28. Hand Organ Polka (2:27)
Total Time: 10:50

The Extra – THE RED PONY
29. Für Elise (Ludwig van Beethoven)/
Shall We Gather At The River (Robert Lowry) (1:34)
Total Extras Time: 12:26

Total Time: 67:48

In order to purchase the new CD release, please visit label’s official page.

The Red Pony Suite (Live Performance):

The Red Pony Trailer:

The Heiress Trailer: