Monday, November 14, 2011

Aaron Copland (November 14, 1900)

Aaron Copland's music created a special mythological America. He wrote of farms, cowboys on the frontier, Lincoln, and "the common man." He borrowed tunes from 19th century American music, New York jazz, and Mexican folk music for use in symphonies and ballets that seem overwhelmingly American. Maybe he defined what American sounds like.

Critic Robert Goldblum writes:
"Aaron Copland grew up in the cramped quarters of Brooklyn, the child of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants, but in his music he lit out for the territory. The architecture of city life — Deco skyscrapers and imposing Beaux-Arts museums — defined his early life, but in his music he sought sanctuary in the prairie."
According to a PBS story: "As a spokesman for the advancement of indigenous American music, Copland made great strides in liberating it from European influence."

Understanding how Copland transformed himself is mysterious.

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