Aaron Copland

The Red Pony

            Copland wrote the scores for eight films—including two documentaries—beginning in 1939.  He was in the forefront of those who brought a modern musical style to a Hollywood that had been thoroughly dominated by pseudo-romantic film composers.  His music for the film dramatization (1949—starring Myrna Loy and Robert Mitchum) of John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony was composed in 1948, and a suite of six movements for concert performance was subsequently extracted.

Three Latin American Sketches

        Copland is clearly regarded as the most significant American composer of  “classical” music, and that reputation is considerably enhanced by the association with him of what many musical critics call the “American” style.  It’s really difficult to exaggerate his impact upon serious music in American culture.   The importance of his compositions is self-evident, of course, not only intrinsically, but equally so in their influence on a legion of young American composers.  And in twentieth-century America no other composer approaching his stature labored so assiduously as essayist, author, lecturer, patron, and teacher.  His impact was profound.