Frances Fyfield and her team of musical sleuths are at Library of Congress in Washington DC to look at Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring.
Frances Fyfield is back with a new series of Tales from the Stave which begins in the Library of Congress in Washington DC. The manuscript being examined is Aaron Copland's "Appalachian Spring" - written for the Martha Graham Dance company during the Second World War. The Ballet was first performed in the Library itself, and joining Frances is the current Martha Graham Company director of music Aaron Sherber, the former dancer and now Director of the Martha Graham center of Contemporary Dance Janet Eilber and the Library of Congress librarian Loras Schissel.
As well as Copland's beautifully presented pencil-written sketches and score, including the famous shaker tune 'A gift to be simple' there are also the letters written to Copland by Martha Graham in which she outlined her initial ideas about a ballet that has become an American classic. And while charting a close partnership between choreographer and composer, the score also reveals performance secrets such as the changes made to incorporate the desires of a guest performer - Rudolf Nureyev.
Producer: Tom Alban.
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