Twilight Concert: Appalachian Spring
The Orchestra of Opera North
Wednesday 24 November 2021Book Now
Written for the dancer and choreographer Martha Graham, Aaron Copland’s 1944 masterpiece Appalachian Spring radiates an earthy American pioneer spirit that resonated with a nation emerging from the trauma of the Second World War.
Copland’s Jewish immigrant roots in Brooklyn, jazz, folk music and modernism can all be heard in this celebration of energy, optimism and renewal, and its most famous passage features variations on the Shaker melody later used as the tune for the hymn “Lord of the Dance”.
Opening the concert, Leonard Bernstein’s Piano Trio was written in 1937, when he was only 19. In some respects it evokes the work of Copland – who would become the young composer’s mentor and his teacher of composition – but Bernstein’s originality shines through in its vibrant melding of jazz and neo-classicism, and a bluesy theme that he returned to in his 1944 musical On the Town.