Explore the sights, sounds and influences that brought Copland to write music that gave Americans a sense of their own identity and created a truly American sound. With excerpts from the original 13-instrument version of Appalachian Spring.
Aaron Copland blended his Brooklyn Jewish roots with jazz, folk music, and hymns to gamble on a new American sound, yet how such an unlikely outsider captured the spirit of Billy the Kid is a tale worth its own string section. From Fanfare for the Common Man to Appalachian Spring, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony pare Copland down to reveal the sound we now recognize as purely American.
Savage and primitive, hypnotic and hell-bent, Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring turned Paris into the scene of one of the most astounding opening nights in history. In this episode of Keeping Score, the clutching tendrils of the music pull us back through France and Russia to the wild abandon of pagan times.
Of the Rite of Spring, Diaghilev’s ballet master Enrico Cecchetti was quoted as saying “I think the entire thing was done by four idiots.” Learn more about the four men behind The Rite of Spring – Stravinsky, the composer; Roerich, the designer; Diaghilev, the empresario; and Nijinsky, the choreographer.
The second part opens with the Mystic Circles of the Maidens and ends with the Sacrificial Dance. Excerpts present the music, choreography and incredible scenery of Stravinsky’s score and of the ballet. Click “What’s going on” to hear reconstructionist Millicent Hodson describe the movement in the ballet.
The second part opens with the Mystic Circles of the Maidens and ends with the Sacrificial Dance. Seven excerpts present the music, choreography and incredible scenery of Stravinsky’s score and of the ballet. Mouse over the “markups” to learn more about key moments in this movement. Click “Learn More” to see sketches from the choreography and to hear a narrative of the ballet by ballet reconstructionist Millicent Hodson.
After a difficult winter, the world awakens to spring. Eight excerpts starting with the opening and ending in the the Dance of the Earth. Mouse over the “markups” to learn more about key moments in this movement. Click “Learn More” to see sketches from the choreography and to hear a narrative of the ballet by ballet reconstructionist Millicent Hodson.
Hear work that shocked the opening night audiences. Follow the score and see the ballet, with insights from MTT and musicians of the San Francisco Symphony. Also hear an interview about the reconstruction of the ballet and costumes with dance historians Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer.
In this movement the story continues: “The artist finds himself in the most varied situations—in the midst of the tumult of a party, in the peaceful contemplation of the beauties of nature; but everywhere, in town, in the country, the beloved image appears before him and disturbs his peace of mind.”