Subtitle: Ballet Suite
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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 D.C., with Martha Graham dancing the lead role. Copland was awarded the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his achievement.
The orchestral suite is divided into eight sections. Copland describes each scene thus:
Very slowly. Introduction of the characters, one by one, in a suffused light.
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.
Moderate/Moderato. Duo for the Bride and her Intended – scene of tenderness and passion.
Quite fast. The Revivalist and his flock. Folksy feeling – suggestions of square dances and country fiddlers.
Still faster/Subito Allegro. Solo dance of the Bride – presentiment of motherhood. Extremes of joy and fear and wonder.
Very slowly (as at first). Transition scene to music reminiscent of the introduction.
Calm and flowing/Doppio Movimento. Scenes of daily activity for the Bride and her Farmer husband.
There are five variations on a Shaker theme. 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.
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 prayer-like chorale passage. The close is reminiscent of the opening music.
- Program Note from Wikipedia
- Louisiana: V
- Texas: V. Complete
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Michigan State University (East Lansing) Wind Symphony (Kevin Sedatole, conductor) - 27 April 2023
- Lowcountry Community Concert Band (Bluffton, S.C.) (David Carbone, conductor) – 14 May 2019
- United States Army Band (Ft. Myer, Va.) (Andrew J. Esch, conductor) - 19 December 2018 (2018 Midwest Clinic)
- United States Army Band (Ft. Myer, Va.) (Andrew J. Esch, conductor) – 10 November 2018
- Duncanville (Tx.) High School Wind Ensemble (Tom Shine, conductor) – Spring 2004
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Appalachian Spring (arr. Morita) (1944)
- Appalachian Spring (arr. Patterson) (1944)
- Buckaroo Holiday from "Rodeo" (tr. Megan) (1941/2000)
- Buckaroo Holiday from "Rodeo" (tr. Sudduth) (1941)
- Canticle of Freedom (arr. Duffy) (2000)
- Celebration (arr. Lang) (1938/1945)
- Ceremonial Fanfare
- A Copland Portrait (arr. Grundman) (1986)
- A Copland Tribute (arr. Grundman) (1986)
- Danzón Cubano (tr. Rogers) (1949/2000)
- The Dodger (arr. Knox) (c. 1880/1950/)
- The Dodger. See also: Old American Songs I
- Down a Country Lane (tr. Patterson) (1962/1991)
- El Salón México (tr. Hindsley) (1939/1972)
- Emblems (1964)
- Excerpts from "Appalachian Spring" (arr. Longfield) (1944)
- Fanfare for the Common Man (1942/1944)
- Fanfare for the Common Man (arr. Longfield) (1942/1944/2007)
- Finale from "Symphony No. 3" (trans. Patterson) (1946/)
- Four Dance Episodes from "Rodeo" (arr. Patterson) (1942/)
- Grover's Corners (arr. Longfield) (1940/2023)
- Hoe Down from "Rodeo" (arr. Moss)
- Hoe Down from "Rodeo" (tr. Rogers)
- Inaugural Fanfare
- Laurie's Song (tr. Martin) (1954/ )
- Laurie's Song (arr. Silbert and Buchanan) (1954/ )
- Letter from Home (arr. Belski) (1944)
- Lincoln Portrait (tr. Beeler) (1942/1951)
- Old American Songs (arr. Moss) (1950/2006)
- Old American Songs I (arr. Silvester) (1950/2001)
- Old American Songs II (arr. Duffy) (1952/2001)
- Our Town (arr. Singleton)
- An Outdoor Overture (1938/1948)
- Preamble for a Solemn Occasion (1949/1974)
- The Promise of Living (arr. Curnow) (1954/2012)
- The Promise of Living (tr. Duffy) (1954/2000)
- The Promise of Living (tr. Hile) (1954)
- The Promise of Living (tr. Singleton) (1954/2002)
- Quiet City (arr. Hunsberger) (1941/1992)
- The Red Pony (1969)
- Scenes from "Billy the Kid" (arr. Hilliard) (1941/2000)
- Stomp Your Foot (tr. Duffy) (1954/1956/2000)
- Symphony No. 3. See: Finale from "Symphony No. 3"
- Themes from "An Outdoor Overture" (arr. Curnow) (1938/2014)
- Three Excerpts from "Our Town" and "Simple Gifts" (arr. Cohen)
- Three Latin American Sketches (arr. Mikkelson) (1972/2021)
- Variations on a Shaker Melody (1960)
- Waltz and Celebration (arr. Lang) (1944/1972)
- Appalachian Spring, Wikipedia Accessed 15 May 2018