Songs with orchestra

Long Time Ago: American Songs

By Aaron Copland

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This tall, slender man is considered by many to be the greatest American composer of the 20th century. His most famous work is about two minutes long - "Fanfare for the Common Man." His most notable compositions are the music for the ballets "Billy the Kid", "Rodeo", and "Appalachian Spring", the last for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. He also received an Academy Award for the music he wrote for the film "The Heiress." "Long Time Ago" is what could be called art songs of the twentieth century. The 1st and 2nd sections are beautifully orchestrated versions of folk songs. In the "Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson", Copland has captured the essence of her poems. Both American soloists, Thomas Hampson, baritone, and Dawn Upshaw, soprano,are both among the finest singers in the world. Copland quotation - "To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable."

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Das Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth)

By Gustav Mahler

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Mahler, Gustav -1860-1911 (Vienna, Austria.) Mahler’s professional career began as a conductor (with great acclaim) of opera and evolved to include symphonic works. His own symphonic compositions utilize large orchestras. His compositions can be emotionally overwhelming, but almost always spiritually rewarding…”These songs focus on a deep love of nature, the futility and beauty of life and, invariably, our mortality. The six songs of the work are shared between a tenor and a mezzo, and range in mood and energy from the intoxication of a drunkard, the pleasures of youth, to the unparalleled and perhaps most perfectly scored single piece of music ever written, Der Abscheid, 'the farewell' - the requiem-esque finale to the song cycle”…Benjamin Seldon(amazon). Mahler quotation - "I don't choose what I compose. It chooses me."

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