The Galaxy – Happy Thanksgiving!

English: Aaron Copland

We started tonight’s set with a couple of pieces from Aaron Copland.  His Fanfare for the Common Man was written for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 1942, one of a number of such fanfares written for the Cincinnati Symphony as part of a series; Copland’s Fanfare is the only one of these works still in the repertoire.  The fanfare was inspired by a 1942 speech by then-Vice President Henry Wallace, where he proclaimed the “dawning of the Century of the Common Man”.  The fanfare was well-received, and Copland eventually made it part of his Third Symphony.  Tonight’s recording was from the Detroit Symphony, and was directed by Antal Dorati

Portrait of Martha Graham and Bertram Ross (19...

Martha Graham, with Bertram Ross (1961) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We then heard a recording, also from the Detroit Symphony under Dorati, of Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite.  Copland wrote Appalachian Spring  as a ballet in 1944, commissioned  by the legendary choreographer Martha Graham.  It premiered in October of that year, with Graham dancing the lead role.  It won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1945, and that same year Copland edited the work into an orchestral suite that preserved most of the music.  That suite is the most commonly heard form of the piece, although the full ballet remains in the ballet repertoire.  Among the many notable renditions of the piece that can be found is a 1959 televised rendition of the full ballet that features Martha Graham.  (Note: it is broken up into four portions; I have linked all four portions below.)

Appalachian Spring, Part 1/4

Appalachian Spring, Part 2/4

Appalachian Spring, Part 3/4

Appalachian Spring, Part 4/4

Jimi Hendrix Band Of Gypsys

Poster for the 12/31/69 performance that was recorded for the Band Of Gypsys live album (Photo credit: bsdphoto)

After the Copland, we heard an extended set from Jimi Hendrx, whom would have turned 70 on November 27th.  A good retrospective of Hendrix’s true legacy would ideally include both studio and live recordings, given the amount of effort and passion that he put into both (he was an innovator in the studio, yet his stage performances are the stuff of legend).  So we started with some studio recordings, then went live:

Studio:

  • Are You Experienced
  • Voodoo Chile

Live:

  • From Band of Gypsies (the “Live at the Fillmore East” reissue)
    • Hear My Train A Comin’
    • Izabella
    • Machine Gun
    • Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
  • From the Winterland box set reissue
    • Tax Free
    • Lover Man
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