Aaron Copland (1900-1990) is best known and loved for the well-known compositions he wrote 1936-49, such as “Appalachian Spring”, “Billy the Kid” and “Rodeo”. Less frequently heard is Copland’s Clarinet concerto, which is one of my great favorites.
Copland was one of the first to capture the essence of American life in sound. Together with Gershwin, Charles Ives and Leonard Bernstein, he created music that mirrored the world in which he lived.
This documentary looks at how a first generation New Yorker of Russian-Jewish parents came to write the amazing and accessible music that established a distinctively American sound .
“Fanfare for America” looks at Copland’s life and career with archive film and specially-shot footage as well as music extracts from his compositions. An interview with Aaron Copland is included and his biographer, Howard Pollack, as well as American conductor Hugh Wolff, a leading exponent of his music, both contribute to the program. The film shows a clip of Benny Goodman playing the Clarinet Concerto he commissioned from the composer, as well as footage of Leonard Bernstein conducting the patriotic Lincoln Portrait for speaker and orchestra, and of Martha Graham dancing in “Appalachian Spring”.
“Whether nervy or calm, harsh or homely, Copland’s scores bounce, ring, vibrate and shine like nobody else’s.”
……………………………….BBC Music Magazine
“It is futile to say: may he live forever! Of course he will.”
DVD Release Date: June 28, 2011
Here is Michael Tilson Thomas, talking about Aaron Copland:
And here is Aaron Copland in 1961 talking about contemporary Classical American composers and their interest in jazz forms.
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Tags: Aaron Copland, Fanfare for America, Film, Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson Thomas