Saturday, October 21, 2017

Old American Songs

Aaron Copland arranged his second set of Old American Songs for piano and voice, drawing on American folk tunes as the source material. “The Golden Willow Tree” is an Anglo-American ballad known as “The Golden Vanity,” a melody used by English composer Benjamin Britten. “Simple Gifts” is a Shaker song written and composed in 1848 by Elder Joseph Brackett. Copland used the melody for the score of Martha Graham's ballet Appalachian Spring. The raucous and lively minstrel song “Ching-A-Ring Chaw” was originally arranged for mixed chorus by Irving Fine. The band arrangement by John Moss superbly captures the simple beauty of Copland’s American setting. (Source: JRO)

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