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Aaron Copland

Born: 1900. Died: 1990. Lived in: United States

Copland born in Brooklyn, New York. Of Russian Jewish descent, he spent his childhood living above his parents' Brooklyn shop. Although his parents never encouraged or directly exposed him to music, at age fifteen he had already taken an interest in the subject and aspired to be a composer. His music education included time with Leopold Wolfsohn and Rubin Goldmark, also one of George Gershwin's teachers, and with Nadia Boulanger in Paris from 1921.

Upon his return from his studies in Paris, he decided that he wanted to write works that were 'American in character' and thus he chose jazz as the American idiom. His first significant work was the necromantic ballet Grohg which contributed thematic material to his later Dance Symphony. Other major works of his first (austere) period include the Short Symphony (1933), Music for Theater (1925) and Piano Variations (1939). This jazz inspired period was brief, however as his style evolved toward the goal of writing more accessible works.

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Music of Aaron Copland

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Camerata Singers : Copland - Works for Chorus : 00  1 CD : Timothy Mount : 7677

Camerata Singers : Copland - Works for Chorus

Aaron Copland is best remembered for creating a truly American style of music which is full of folk influences, and melodic and harmonic simplicity. The Old American Songs incorporate folk melodies ranging from minstrel songs (The Boatmen's Dance) to hymns (Simple Gifts) to political satire (The Dodger). Originating as songs for voice and piano, these arrangements by Irving Fine for chorus were authorized by the composer, who himself further expanded the songs for voice and orchestra. "The House on the Hill" and "An Immortality" were both arranged by the recently departed Daniel Pinkham, who was a student of Copland's at Harvard.

Songlist: The Boatmen's Dance, The Dodger, Long Time Ago, Simple Gifts, I Bought Me a Cat, Help Us O Lord, Thou O Jehovah Abideth Forever, Have Mercy On Us, Sing Ye Praises To Our King, The Little Horses, Zion's Walls, The Golden Willow Tree, At the River, Ching-a-Ring Chaw, An Immortality, Las Agachadas, The House on the Hill, The Lark

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8879c | 1 CD | $16.95


Oxford New College Choir : Copland and His American Contemporaries : 00  1 CD : Edward Higginbottom : 2086

Oxford New College Choir : Copland and His American Contemporaries

This recording of North American music of the last fifty or so years includes music by a Russian, Igor Stravinsky. His origins notwithstanding, he is one of the 'grand old men' of twentieth-century American music, having become an American citizen in the early 1940s, shortly before writing his Mass for choir and double wind quintet. The recording ends with a spiritual, arranged by one of Britain's most eminent twentieth-century composers - a sort of compliment to the American tradition from the other side of the pond. The rest of the music speaks for itself, with an inimitable American accent from beginning to end. "Copland's In the beginning is a stern test for any choir in a live performance...This recording is an amazing tour de force-intonation spot-on, effortless high As from the boys and finally a B flat, all superbly delivered. This CD is well worth having for this refreshingly affirmative evocation of the Creation alone." Gramophone Magazine

Songlist: The Song of Deborah, In the Beginning, I Will Sing and Raise a Psalm, O magnum mysterium, O Deus, ego amo te, Oratio patris condren: O Jesu Vivens in Maria, Thee, God..., Psalm 67, The Dove Descending, Mass, Steal Away (from A Child of Our Time)

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8762c | 1 CD | $16.95

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