Tag Archives: Appalachian Spring

AARON COPLAND: APPALACHIAN SPRING: Great compositions/performances


AARON COPLAND: APPALACHIAN SPRING

COPLAND SUITE APPALACHIAN SPRING (RAFFI ARMENIAN)



AARON COPLAND
SUITE APPALACHIAN SPRING
STRATTFORD ENSEMBLE
(ONTARIO,CANADA)
DIR-RAFFI ARMENIAN

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

Appalachian Spring is a composition by Aaron Copland that premiered in 1944 and has achieved widespread and enduring popularity as an orchestral suite. The ballet, scored for a thirteen-member chamber orchestra, was created upon commission of choreographer and dancer Martha Graham with funds from the Coolidge Foundation; it premiered on Monday, October 30, 1944, at the Library of Congress in Washington DC, withMartha Graham (1894-1991) dancing the lead role. The set was designed by the Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988). Copland was awarded the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his achievement.[1][2]

O Appalachian Spring! I gained the ledge;
Steep, inaccessible smile that eastward bends
And northward reaches in that violet wedge
Of Adirondacks!

The orchestral suite is divided into eight sections. Copland describes each scene thus:

  1. Very slowly. Introduction of the characters, one by one, in a suffused light.
  2. Fast/Allegro. Sudden burst of unison strings in A major arpeggios starts the action. A sentiment both elated and religious gives the keynote to this scene.
  3. Moderate/Moderato. Duo for the Bride and her Intended – scene of tenderness and passion.
  4. Quite fast. The Revivalist and his flock. Folksy feeling – suggestions of square dances and country fiddlers.
  5. Still faster/Subito Allegro. Solo dance of the Bride – presentiment of motherhood. Extremes of joy and fear and wonder.
  6. Very slowly (as at first). Transition scene to music reminiscent of the introduction.
  7. Calm and flowing/Doppio Movimento. Scenes of daily activity for the Bride and her Farmer husband. There are five variations on a Shakertheme. The theme, sung by a solo clarinet, was taken from a collection of Shaker melodies compiled by Edward D. Andrews, and published under the title “The Gift to Be Simple.” The melody borrowed and used almost literally is called “Simple Gifts.”
  8. Moderate. Coda/Moderato – Coda. The Bride takes her place among her neighbors. At the end the couple are left “quiet and strong in their new house.” Muted strings intone a hushed prayerlike chorale passage. The close is reminiscent of the opening music.

 

Copland’s ‘Appalachian Spring’, conducted by Geoffrey Moull



Geoffrey Moull conducts members of the CBC Radio Orchestra in a live performance of Aaron Copland’sAppalachian Spring‘ (the original chamber orchestra version for 13 instruments composed in 1944); photo-collage created by Monika Starke-Moull. This radio recording is not commercially available.