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Several years ago I really enjoyed watching the Jazz series by Ken Burns. I would love to see a comparable series about the American classical tradition, though that's quite unlikely.

At one time American composers had an important place in culture and society, that time is now long passed. The reasons for this are complex, but it is unwarranted. There is just a lack of exposure. Even American orchestras don't give much prominence to American Music.

Aaron Copland - Fanfare for the Common Man


Appalachian Spring


Rodeo (Part 1)


Samuel Barber - Adagio for Strings


Cello Concerto (Part 1)


George Gershwin - Piano Concerto


Summertime


Leonard Bernstein - Symphonic Dances from West Side Story


William Schuman - Violin Concerto (Part 1)


Roy Harris - Symphony 3


William Russo - Street Music (Excerpt)


Philip Glass - Violin Concerto (Part 1)


Steve Reich - Desert Music


John Adams - Harmonielehre (Part 1)

 

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I find that man in your avatar very funny looking
 

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I haven't have had the time to listen to these yet, but thank you for posting these. I know and listen to most of these "names".
I think most of the American composers in the classical sense are now soundtrack composers. My mother's orchestra always gets the biggest turnouts at Christmas specials where pop tunes are played or when they're playing some movie soundtrack. You got to admit Jazz and Rock 'n' Roll are pretty spiffy though, even if rocks become quite cash out.
 

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Ah, I remember the Ken Burns Jazz series! I believe I was about 15 when it aired originally; I recall watching it quite intently with my dad.

Aaron Copeland's "Appalachian Spring" is brilliant, by the way. It's a very moving piece and it's long been a favourite of mine. :)
 

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@Tincan

It's true there is quite a bit of interest in movie scores today, generally more than in compositions for the concert hall. I actually wouldn't mind if orchestras played more movie scores, though it seems when they do, it's a small number they draw from.

Philip Glass of course has written several movie scores, though to me it would be quite unfortunate if that's all he did.
 
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