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Laurie's Song (arr. Silbert and Buchanan)

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Aaron Copland

Aaron Copland (arr. Scott Silbert and Christopher Buchanan)

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Subtitle: From The Tender Land

General Info

Year: 1954 /
Duration: c. 4:20
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra and voice
Publisher: U.S. Navy Band
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Copland's work is regularly featured on orchestral programs around the world, led by perennial favorites like Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, Billy the Kid, and Fanfare for the Common Man. One piece far less likely to be seen or heard in performance is The Tender Land, Copland's only opera. Originally conceived for television broadcast in 1954, the piece was ultimately rejected by the studio, and subsequent stage versions received a tepid critical reception.

Despite its initial reaction, The Tender Land has attracted more positive attention in the last few decades. Conductor and educator Murray Sidlin re-orchestrated the piece in 1987 with the composer's blessing, and that version proved to have staying power, running more than 50 performances in New Haven, Connecticut. Selections from the opera have also made their way onto concert halls and recital programs. All of this is good news for devotees of Copland, as this work highlights the attributes that make him beloved among American composers. Rich but simple-sounding melodies, sparse and angular harmonies, and an understated yet dramatic sensibility.

- Program Note from publisher

Laurie's Song was taken from Aaron Copland's 1954 opera The Tender Land. The opera tells of a farm family in the Midwest of the United States. Copland was inspired to write this opera after viewing the Depression-era photographs of Walker Evans and reading James Agee's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. He wrote the work between 1952 and 1954 for the NBC Television Opera Workshop, with the intention of its being presented on television.

The "Laurie" of the song was the character Laurie Moss, a young girl graduating from high school and the protagonist of the opera.

- Program Note adapted from Wikipedia


None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer