Thursday, November 24, 2011

On Thanksgiving Day.

This post comes to you from Massachusetts, where I'm spending Thanksgiving with my family. As I do each year, I wanted to post something for this quintessentially American holiday. Aaron Copland's 1944 ballet score Appalachian Spring is a distinctively American piece of music, though it may be hard to explain exactly what makes it such beyond Copland's use of a series of variations based on the nineteenth-century Shaker tune Simple Gifts. For what it's worth, when feeling homesick while spending extended periods outside the United States, Appalachian Spring is the piece that I've turned to for comfort.

In this video, Appalachian Spring is performed in Copland's original chamber arrangement by the Sydney Camerata, conducted by Luke Gilmour. Given this work's status as an icon of musical Americana, it may seem strange that I chose to showcase an interpretation by an Australian ensemble, but, after all, great music belongs to the world. To all readers celebrating Thanksgiving today, I offer my prayers and good wishes for a blessed and happy holiday. AMDG.


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