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Aaron Copland is one of my all time favorite composers for several reasons but the principle reason is that he, of all the 20th century composers, seems to me to have done the one thing that is most important: write a tonal, warm, lovely, and emotional music which is fresh. Here’s one of my favorite pieces of his, it’s under two minutes long - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaPb1ZTh5CQ

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Hi Roger,

I agree and think you are correct about him. I once attended a music class in college where the professor went through the history of American classicism (Ives, Joplin, Gershwin, etc.), leading up to and ending with Copland, whom he clearly considered to be the culmination of our culture. I was convinced. Glad you enjoyed the Nocturne and thanks for replying.

Gav

roger stancill said:

Hi Gav, this is the first I'd heard of a Nocturne by Copland.  Loved it.

He found a unique voice in American music which I think, will stand for

centuries.

Hi Bob and Mike,

I was not familiar with the Connotations, and did listen to it based on this post. It did not grab me either. Copland to me is like Picasso - he had many different "phases," some of which grab me, and some of which don't. He also wrote some atonal-sounding stuff which didn't grab me too. But the things which do grab me tear my heart apart.

Gav

Mike Hewer said:

It never really got hold of me neither,  It seems to divide opinion, a bit like Schoenberg's  expressionism.
Bob Morabito said:

Thanks Mike, and youre welcome:)

Yes I know Connotations, but it never really clicked with me. I just tried listening to a little bit of it again, and  Coplands very strange (IMHO) quotation of his Orchestral Variations (which are the Piano Variations orchestrated right around the minute mark really doesnt work for me, and after that the piece has really lost me.

Connotations

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkQ_C40hCSQ

Orchestral Variations

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=909YQKEf4Rs

What is your opinion of it Mike?

Thanks Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

For me, THE quintessential American symphonic work is Roy Harris 3rd symphony. I can't tell you why I like this, I just know that I do. Here is an ancient Bernstein NY Phil recording.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1hHPAJxOhc

Ahh yes Fredrick

I actually found the score to this in a second hand bookshop in London and have loved it ever since. There are moments of Copland simplicity in the scoring here which gives the work an immense clarity - moments like the 36/24 time sig change...honestly that's what it is, but to me it looks like a 3/2 or a 6/4 - not sure why he put in a 36/24!!!

Still trying to get into Diamond though, but Harris and Hanson...way hey.

Another Copland piece I like is the violin sonata - another utterance with the minimum amount of fuss.

Fredrick zinos said:

For me, THE quintessential American symphonic work is Roy Harris 3rd symphony. I can't tell you why I like this, I just know that I do. Here is an ancient Bernstein NY Phil recording.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1hHPAJxOhc

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