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Promise of Living, The

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Aaron Copland

Aaron Copland (trans. Kenneth Singleton)


Subtitle: From The Tender Land


General Info

Year: 1954 / 2002
Duration: c. 5:40
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Score and Parts - $60.00   |   Score Only - $4.95


Instrumentation

Full Score
Flute I-II-III
Oboe
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Timpani
Harp
Piano
Percussion, including:

  • Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba I-II
  • Xylophone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Copland's only full-length opera, The Tender Land (1952-1954), tells the story of a young girl, Laurie Moss, who grows up on a Midwestern farm and is about to leave home. Two numbers from this opera have become choral favorites. In The Promise of Living, at the close of the first act, three generations of the Moss family and their hired hands sing a hymn of gratitude for life, the land, and the spring harvest. Stomp Your Foot is a rousing square dance number sung by the entire cast at Laurie's high school graduation party.

- Program note by San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra concert program, 12 May 2012


The Promise of Living (1954) is a quintet that unites hobos and family at the end of the first act in celebration of the harvest and its traditions. Even without voices, the use of the folk hymn Zion’s Walls and Copland’s transparent scoring create a clear dramatic sequence. A dramatic gesture gives way to a quiet, lyrical passage, in which the gentle rise and fall of the melody suggests the unfolding sequence of wistful thoughts. Woodwinds gradually interject to create a sense of dialogue, both internal and, eventually, external.

The answer comes, this time fuller, building to a passage that is signature Copland: a smooth melody rooted in open harmonies, with bits of short repeated motives in call and response style which keep the music moving. Brass eventually join the scene, their chorale style underscoring the ritualistic role of the moment without losing the introspective quality that draws together community and individual, past and present.

- Program Note by Los Angeles Philharmonic


Media


State Ratings

  • Florida: V
  • Georgia: V
  • Louisiana: IV
  • North Carolina: V
  • South Carolina: V
  • Tennessee: V


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • The Whitworth University (Spokane, Wash.) (Richard Strauch, conductor) - 1 May 2022
  • Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Wind Symphony (Rubén D. Gómez, conductor) - 27 April 2022
  • CBDNA 2022 Western/Northwestern Division (Tacoma, Wash.) Intercollegiate Band (Paula Holcomb, conductor) – 19 March 2022 (CBDNA 2022 Western/Northwestern Conference, Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Mallory Thompson, conductor) - 22 October 2021
  • James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) Wind Symphony (Allison Satterwhite, conductor) - 26 October 2020
  • Arkansas State University (Jonesboro) Wind Ensemble (Shawn Crawford, conductor) - 13 March 2020
  • Southridge High School Wind Ensemble (Beaverton, Ore,R) (Cameron Jerde, conductor) - 12 December 2019
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Ensemble (Daniel Cook, conductor) – 13 November 2019
  • University of Puget Sound (Tacoma, Wash) Wind Ensemble (Gerard Morris, conductor) - 17 October 2019
  • University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) Wind Ensemble (Jonathan Whitaker, conductor) – 21 March 2019
  • Baylor University (Waco, Texas) Concert Band (Steve Dailey, conductor) – 4 March 2019
  • University of Chicago (Ill.) Wind Ensemble (Chip De Stefano, conductor) – 18 November 2018
  • Southeastern Louisiana University (Hammond) Wind Symphony (Derek Stoughton, conductor) - 24 September 2018
  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Stephen G. Peterson, conductor) – 12 April 2018
  • University of Delaware Wind Ensemble (Lauren Reynolds, conductor, Emily Smith, graduate conductor) – 6 December 2017
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Concert Band (Tiv Cumberbatch, conductor) – 14 November 2017
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Stephen W. Pratt, conductors) – 7 November 2017
  • California State University, Stanislaus, Wind Ensemble (Ramiro Barrera, conductor) – 11 May 2017
  • State University of New York at Fredonia Wind Ensemble (Sai Ceng, conductor) – 22 April 2017
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Wind Ensemble (Paula Holcomb, conductor) – 25 February 2017


Works for Winds by This Composer


Resources

  • Copland, A.; Singleton, K. (2002). The Promise of Living: From The Tender Land [score]. Boosey & Hawkes: New York.