Aaron Copland's music reflects the transformation of the American experience
that took place during his lifetime. Born in 1900 in Brooklyn, he witnessed the
wild confidence of the Jazz Age, the fears of the Great Depression, and the
rallying of the nation as it entered World War II. His ideal was to write music
that would express how it felt to live those experiences.
Copland wrote classical music in his own special way. He transformed it to
capture the energy of American's bustling cities and the vast quiet of its empty
plains. He created a musical style that evoked the diversity of the American
people. The sounds of Jewish music, African-American jazz, folk songs, cowboy
ballads, and Latin American dances all played their parts in his compositions,
which he hoped would bring people together in times of crises.
Today, Copland's music seems comforting and celebratory. Sixty years ago it was
a wake-up call that gave Americans a critical sense of their own identity.
Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony explore the music of
Copland and the cityscapes, landscapes, and social and political developments
that shaped it.
San Francisco Symphony
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
• Live Performance of Copland's Appalachian spring by the San Francisco Symphony
and MTT shot in high definition, presented in 16:9 widescreen and 5.1 surround
• Live Performance of Copland's Appalachian spring also includes two alternative
5.1 channel surround sound audio mixes: "Musician" and "Audience" points of
• Documentary includes optional closed-caption English subtitles
• Subtitles in German, French, Spanish and Chinese
• Region: 1