Attempted Ubuntu Minimal via Ubuntu Server + GNOME: VM Barely Responsive

In a VMware Player virtual machine (VM) on a Windows 10 host, I followed a suggestion to achieve something like Ubuntu Minimal by installing Ubuntu Server 21.04 and then running a command to install the GNOME desktop. The recommended command was this:

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends ubuntu-gnome-desktop

After a reboot, I have what looks like GNOME, but the desktop is sluggish to unresponsive. I was able to run sudo apt install open-vm-tools to verify that that package is installed and updated. (The VM has 2 processor cores and 4GB RAM assigned. VMware Player is working OK with other VMs.)

My question: why is this Ubuntu installation nearly unresponsive?

I wondered whether there was perhaps a problem with running Server in a VM, or a missing ingredient that such an installation would require.