The Appalachian Spring is the reason to buy this recording. I bought it expecting to hear the original 13 instrument version of the piece. Instead I got the full orchestration of the complete ballet, 36 minutes long. Most of the material cut from the suite is present here between the development of the Simple Gifts theme and the climax of the Simple Gifts. Those familiar with the suite are used to hearing the three minute Simple Gifts scene all together. There are also a few other 10 or 20 second bits here and there throughout the piece. These clips don't add much to the piece, and all except for one chord progression, they are mostly just repeats or slight developments of a section.
Slatkin's interpretation is good, but not the best. Then again this is a late 80s recording, so his Copland interpretation isn't quite what it is today.
The opening to Copland's first ballet Grohg is also a treat on this CD. The entire Grohg ballet, as well as Copland's second ballet Hear Ye! Hear Ye! is hard to come by, available (as far as I'm aware) only on the Argo label with the Cleveland Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta under Oliver Knussen.
I'm hoping one day Slatkin will have a two or three CD set of all six of Copland's complete ballets. Slatkin has already produced a recording of the complete Billy the Kind and Rodeo, and I'm waiting patiently to hear the other two exotic ballets as well as the only unmentioned ballet of Copland's thus far, Dance Panels.