Friday, May 13, 2016

'Appalachian Spring' in full bloom

A symphonic orchestration of Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,” including all the music that the composer scored originally for a chamber ensemble, premiered this week in Dallas and will be performed in June by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop conducting.

The new completion was prepared by David Newman, working under the auspices of the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

The original score was for 13 instruments because the orchestra pit of Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress in Washington, site of the work’s 1944 premiere, could not accommodate a larger ensemble. The more commonly performed “Appalachian Spring” Suite for full orchestra, prepared by Copland in 1945, cuts about seven minutes of music, which the composer considered to be “primarily choreographic,” from the original score.

The chamber version went largely unheard until Copland led a recording of it for Columbia Masterworks (now Sony Classical) in 1973. Subsequently, that original score has been widely performed and recorded.

A partial restoration of the complete score for full orchestra was prepared for Eugene Ormandy, who recorded it in 1955 with the Philadelphia Orchestra for Columbia. That version also was recorded by Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for EMI in the 1980s.

But a complete symphonic version of the score has waited until now, Jane Levere reports on the website of New York’s WQXR radio:!/story/new-version-appalachian-spring-completes-what-copland-began/


Marin Alsop conducts the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, with the Baltimore School for the Arts Dancers, in David Newman’s symphonic completion of Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,” on a program with Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloé” Suite No. 2 and Thomas Adès’ “Polaris,” at 8 p.m. June 11 at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD. Tickets: $35-$99. Details: (877) 276-1444 (Baltimore Symphony box office);