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Red Pony, The

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Aaron Copland

Aaron Copland


Subtitle: Film Suite for Band


General Info

Year: 1948 / 1969
Duration: c.14:35
Difficulty: V
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Score & Parts: $140.00


Movements

1. Dream March and Circus Music- 4:40
2. Walk to the Bunkhouse - 2:42
3. Grandfather’s Story - 4:10
4. Happy Ending - 3:06


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo (divisi)
Flute I-II (divisi a3)
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II (divisi)
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III [I divisi)
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
Euphonium [divisi]
Tuba (divisi)
String Bass
Piano (optional)
Celesta (optional)
Harp (optional)
Timpani
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Tenor Drum
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone


Errata

In Score:

  • Score, mvt. Ib, m.208 (page 33): add "Fast"

In Parts:

  • Piccolos, mvt. Ia, m.68, beat 2&: B should read G
  • Piccolos, mvt. Ib, m.197, beat 3, Piccolo 1 (upper line): D-flat should read E-flat
  • Oboe I-II, mvt. III, m.165: add F sharp to key signature
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet I, mvt. Ia, m.84, beat 2: C natural should read E-flat (above)
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet I, mvt. II, m.69, beat 3: A natural should read G-flat; score also (conductor's decision)
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet I, mvt. IV, m.91, beat 4&: B should read A
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet II, mvt. III, m.22-23: all notes should be transposed down one whole step
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet II, mvt. III, m.64: add G sharp to key signature
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet II, mvt. IV, m.61, beat 4: F sharp should read D ; D should read B (down a third)
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet, mvt. Ib, m.207, beat 1: F sharp should read F natural
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet, mvt. II, m.33, beat 2: move eighth note "A" from beat 2 to beat 2&
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet, mvt. II, m.65, beat 2&: C sharp should read C natural
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet, mvt. II, m.93, beat 2: move eighth note "A" from beat 2 to beat 2&
  • B-flat Contrabass Clarinet, mvt. Ib, m.207, beat 1: F sharp should read F-natural
  • Bassoon I-II, mvt. 1a, m.61, beat 2&: F should read D
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II, mvt. Ib, m.158, beat 3: A should read G
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II, mvt. II, m.63: G sharp should read G natural
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II, mvt. II, m.70: G sharp should read G natural (score also)
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II, mvt. IV, m.13: Common time should read Cut time
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone, mvt. IV, m.51 and 52, beat 2&: F sharp should read F natural
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone, mvt. Ib, m.190: rehearsal number is missing
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone, mvt. II, m.90: rehearsal number is missing
  • B-flat Cornet I, mvt. II, m.9, beat 1: eighth rest is missing
  • B-flat Cornet I, mvt. IV, m.5, beat 3: quarter note should read eighth note
  • B-flat Cornet I, mvt. IV, m.65, beat 2: C sharp should read C natural (score also)
  • B-flat Cornet I, mvt. IV, m.66, beat 3: C sharp should read C natural (score also)
  • B-flat Cornet I, mvt. IV, m.68, beat 2: C sharp should read C natural
  • B-flat Cornet II-III, mvt. Ia, m.88, beat 2: E should read G sharp ; C sharp should read B
  • B-flat Cornet II-III, mvt. Ia, m.120: rehearsal number 12 should read 120
  • B-flat Cornet II-III, mvt. Ib, m.1: add "senza sord."
  • B-flat Cornet II-III, mvt. III, m.1, beat 1: add "senza sord."
  • B-flat Cornet II-III, mvt. IV, m.65, beat 3: C sharp should read C natural
  • B-flat Trumpet I-II, mvt. Ia, m.41: add "senza sord."
  • B-flat Trumpet I-II, mvt. II, m.73, beat 2&: B should read D
  • B-flat Trumpet I-II, mvt. II, m.81, beat 1: quarter note should read dotted quarter note + remove staccato dot
  • B-flat Trumpet I-II, mvt. IV, m.112, beat 1: dotted quarter note should read quarter note (remove dot)
  • Horn in F I-II, mvt. Ia, m.19, beat 2: add "con sord."
  • Horn in F I-II, mvt. Ia, m.109, beat 1 and 1&: G sharp should read G natural (both horns)
  • Horn in F III-IV, mvt. Ia, m.19, beat 2: add "con sord."
  • Horn in F III-IV, mvt. Ia, m.91: change key signature to A major (remove last 2 sharps)
  • Horn in F III-IV, mvt. IV, m.7, beat 1: "2" should read "a2"
  • Trombone III-IV, mvt. IV, m.10 and 13: common time should read cut time
  • Trombone III-IV, mvt. IV, m.27, end of staff: add "2/4" meter signature
  • Trombone III-IV, mvt. IV, m.28, beginning of staff: add "2/4" meter signature
  • Trombone III-IV, mvt. IV, m.82: Common time should read Cut time
  • Basses, mvt. Ia, m.12, beat 1: C should read D
  • Basses, mvt. Ia, m.111, beat 2&: add bar line
  • String Bass, mvt. Ia, m.30: add "arco"


Program Notes

Lewis Milestone's movie The Red Pony, based upon the eponymous novella by John Steinbeck and starring Myrna Loy and Robert Mitchum, was released to the public by Republic Pictures in March of 1949. However, the orchestral Suite from The Red Pony, drawn by composer Aaron Copland from his score for the film, received its own world premiere months in advance of that date: on October 30, 1948, in a performance by the Houston Symphony under the baton of conductor Efrem Kurtz, who had commissioned the work as the HSO's incoming music director. Copland's six-movement symphonic suite was heard for the first time at the old City Auditorium of Houston, Texas, with the composer in attendance.

In 1966, Copland again arranged and adapted his film music anew, this time into a four-movement suite for wind band. According to an essay on The Legacy of Aaron Copland edited by Sgt. Tedd Griepentrog of the U.S. Army Field Band, this transcription was introduced to the world by the U.S. Navy Band under Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Mitchell at a Chicago concert in December of 1968.

While this popular work is in the composer's folk-like and accessible nationalistic American style — much in the vein of his Lincoln Portrait and Appalachian SpringThe Red Pony, unlike those two works, quotes no folk songs but is entirely original in content.

Program Note by Clifford W. Crouch


The movie The Red Pony was the story of a boy and his horse on a California ranch. The first two movements — Dream March and Circus Music — depict the boy imagining his pony leading knights into battle, and then performing under the big top. Walk to the Bunkhouse portrays the cowhand the boy idolized, while Grandfather’s Story accompanies the old man’s tales of his days as a pioneer. The band suite closes with the movie’s opening music, originally titled Morning on the Ranch.

- Program Notes by California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Wind Ensemble


Aaron Copland wrote the music for the film The Red Pony during a 10-week period in 1948 on the studio lot in the San Fernando Valley. An orchestral suite was completed that same year, commissioned by Efrem Kurtz of the Houston Symphony Orchestra. Four of the original movements were transcribed by Copland for performance by the U.S. Navy Band in 1968.

John Steinbeck’s story about a ten-year-old boy, Jody, and his life on a California ranch was based on the author’s experiences growing up near King City and a pony he had once cared for. It is a story that derives its warmth and sensitive quality from the character studies of the boy, his parents, grandfather and cowhand Billy Buck. It is filled with the emotions of daily living, from the joy of a boy receiving a pony of his own to the bitter nature of death and dying. The Dream March and Circus Music depict two of Jody’s daydreams: he is at the head of an army of knights in silvery armor or the whip-cracking ringmaster of the circus. The Walk to the Bunkhouse shows Jody’s admiration for Billy Buck’s talents, especially with horses. Grandfather’s Story tells of how he led the wagon train ‘clear across the plains to the coast’, but his bitterness that the ‘Westerning has died out of the people’ can’t be hidden from his grandson. The last movement suggests the open air quality of country living and mounts to the climax of a Happy Ending.

- Program Note by William V. Johnson for the San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra concert program, 15 May 2010


=Media


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Blossom Festival Band (Cleveland, Ohio) (Loras John Schissel, conductor) - 4 July 2022
  • Charles River Wind Ensemble (Lexington, Mass.) (Matthew Marsit, conductor) – 15 December 2019
  • University of Oklahoma (Norman) Symphony Band (Michael E. Hancock, conductor) – 7 October 2019
  • Carnegie Mellon University Wind Ensemble (Pittsburgh, Penn.) (George Vosburgh, conductor) – 9 February 2019
  • Northshore Concert Band (Evanston, Ill.) (Mallory Thompson, conductor) - 4 November 20188
  • Madison (Wisc.) Wind Ensemble – 4 November 2018
  • Penn State University (University Park) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Dennis Glocke, conductor) – 8 October 2018
  • Quad City Wind Ensemble (Davenport, Iowa) (Brian Hughes, conductor) - 12 May 2018
  • Wind Symphony of Clovis (Calif.) (Christine Keenan, conductor) – 29 April 2018
  • University of Oregon (Eugene) Symphonic Band (Jason Silveira, conductor) – 13 February 2018
  • California State University, Northridge, Wind Ensemble (Lawrence Stoffel, conductor) – 2 March 2017
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Symphony Band (Michael Haithcock, conductor) – 8 April 2016
  • City of Fairfax (Va.) Band (Robert Pouliot, conductor) - 19 March 2016
  • Metropolitan Wind Symphony (Boston, Mass.) (Lewis J. Buckley, conductor) – 1 November 2015
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Wind Ensemble (Andrew McMahan, conductor) - 28 February 2015
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (William V. Johnson, conductor) - 15 May 2010


Works for Winds by This Composer


Resources

  • Copland, A. (1969). The Red Pony: Film Suite for Band [score]. Boosey & Hawkes: Odeanside, N.Y.
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. 2002. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 4. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 711-714.
  • MOLA Errata List