On today’s date in 1945, Artur Rodzinski conducted the New York Philharmonic in the premiere performance of an orchestral suite arranged from Aaron Copland’s ballet score “Appalachian Spring.”
For the ballet’s 1944 premiere at the Library of Congress, Copland called for a chamber orchestra of 13 players, but for most music lovers, it’s as a work for a larger symphony orchestra that “Appalachian Spring” is most often remembered.
Copland said he had conducted all of his own works but knew his “Appalachian Spring” best of all. He also had some specific advice for other conductors of his score. “I have often admonished orchestras, professional and otherwise, not to get too sweet or too sentimental with it,” said Copland, “and I have reminded performers that ‘Appalachian Spring’ should be played cooler than Tchaikovsky and lighter than Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring.’”
“My own favorite place in the whole piece,” said Copland, “is toward the end where I have marked a misterioso. I would tell string players that we don’t want to know where the up and down bows are. They must have a special sustained quality there, a kind of organ like sound, with each entry like an Amen.”
"My own favorite place in the whole piece," said Copland, "is toward the end where I have marked a misterioso. I would tell string players that we don't want to know where the up and down bows are. They must have a special sustained quality there, a kind of organ like sound, with each entry like an Amen."
Music Played in Today's Program
Aaron Copland (1900 – 1990)Appalachian Spring SuiteNew York Philharmonic; Leonard Bernstein, cond.Sony Classical 63082
Each day, John gladly shares his passion for music with you. The knowledge that he offers, and the stories he shares through Composers Datebook is made possible with your support. Please, take 2 minutes and make a gift today for your 2 minutes of daily music knowledge.