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I Hear America Singing

Walt Whitman taught Americans how to hear their country sing in his 1860 poem. Composer Aaron Copland took up Whitman’s call and fashioned his Lincoln Portrait as part of an expressive musical landscape of the country in the early 20th century. Bill reveals the extraordinary Americanness captured in this music — and in election speeches incorporated into operas such as Douglas Moore’s Ballad of Baby Doe — then through the music of Ives, Barber, Ellington, Gershwin, and Mark O’Connor.

Program 1

Join Bill in celebrating great American composers and poet Walt Whitman alike. Here is how the stories of American battle heroes, such as Henry Harrison, are told through the music of American composers. And a campaign speech from William Jennings Bryan is transformed into part of the opera, The Ballad of Baby Doe

Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man
CBS 42430
3:14 v 

Peter: Quintet No. 2 for Strings, I
American Moravian Chamber Ensemble
New World 80507

Billings: “Chester”
Gregg Smith Singers
MMG 10052
Schuman: New England Tryptich
St. Louis Symphony/Slatkin
Anon: “Tippecanoe & Tyler Too” + excerpts
Chester Brass Company
Newport 85548
1:40, 1:29, :15, :43
Trad.: “Shenendoah”
Gunn, bar.; Murphy, p.
EMI 73160
Offenbach: American Eagle Waltz
Cincinnati Pops/Kunzel; Collins, tr.
Vox 9011
Moore: The Ballad of Baby Doe (excerpt)
New York City Opera Chorus & Orchestra/Bailey; Hecht, bar.
Copland: “The Dodger”
Columbia Symphony/Copland; Warfield, bar.
CBS 42430
Program 2

Walt Whitman's words continue to drive the program forward. Abraham Lincoln makes his mark in American compositions, as do his progressive ideas. His impact is illustrated throughout these works. A set of camp ground hymns can also be found here, as they inspired Charles Ives, a firm believer in the arrival of American independence, to write his own symphony. And Copland gets in trouble.

Trad., arr. Seeger: American folk tunes for piano (excerpts)
Eskin, p.
Albany Troy  297
Foster: “Beautiful Dreamer”
Fiddle Fever/Ungar; Hampson, br.
EMI 54621
Trad., arr. Hayes: “Lit’l Boy”  & “Honor,  Honor”
Joubert, p.; Quivar, ms.
EMI 49885
2:50, 1:57
Harris: Symphony No. 6, I
Pacific Symphony/Clark
VareseSarabande 47245
Copland: Lincoln Portrait
Seattle Symphony/Schwarz; Jones, nar.
Del 3140
Ives: Symphony No. 3, The Camp Meeting, finale
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra/Davies
Pro Arte 140
Ives: Symphony No. 2, finale
New York Phil/ Bernstein
DG 474944
Program 3

Balcomb: Ellis Island
Quintet of the Americas
Newport 85512

Dvorák: Quartet for Strings no 12 in F major, Op. 96/B 179, American, I
Guarneri Quartet
Phil 420803
Delius: Florida Suite, I
English Symphony/Boughton
Nimbus 5208
Thomson: Prologue fr. The Plow that Broke the Plains
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra/Marriner
EMI 47715
Gershwin: Concerto in F for Piano, finale
San Francisco Symphony/Thomas; Ohlsson, p.
RCA 60862
Gershwin: Rialto Ripples
Pennario, p.
Angel 64668
Gershwin: Great American Songbook (excerpts)
Watts, p.
Phil 456985
Program 4

Copland: Symphony No. 3, I
Everest 9040

Barber: Adagio for Strings
Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy
EMI 47636
Ellington: Come Sunday
Flanagan, p.
Original Jazz Classics 182

Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
NY Phil/ Bernstein
Sony 63085

Cowell: Aeolian Harp & The Banshee
Cowell, p.
CRI 750
1:35, 1:45

O’Connor: Spring fr. American Seasons
Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra/Yoo; O’Connor, v.
Sony 89660

Program 5

Payne: Symphony No. 1, I
NY Phil/Mehta
New World 374

Griffiths:The White Peacock 
Dallas Symphony Orchestra/Litton
Dor 90224
MacDowell: Piano Concerto No. 2, I
CSO/Hendl; Van Cliburn, p.
RCA 68480
Foss: Early Song
BSO/Ozawa; Perlman, v.
Angel 55360
Gould: Amber Waves
London Phil/Klein
Albany 202
Trad., arr. Charles: America the Beautiful
Ray Charles
O’Connor: Appalachia Waltz
Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra/Yoo; O’Connor, v.
Sony 89660


The Exploring Music streaming website is supported by Mr. & Mrs. William Gardner Brown and the Richard P. and Susan Kiphart Family.  
You have opened up the world of Classical Music to me, where previously, it seemed too complicated.
Steffen Demeter
This is simply one of the very best radio programmes in the medium!...The study of the people, the times, and the events that inform the music we otherwise enjoy and even, heaven forbid, take for granted, brings the entire world of the music and the composer to life.
Walther Davies
There isn't a program you broadcast on Exploring Music" that isn't of interest. I find them all engaging. It is a combination of variety of subject, intellectual curiosity and your obvious enthusiasm which characterize your satisfying programs.
Michael Sanders
It’s a great way to re-engage myself with consciousness before heading off to work.
I Love this program! I am in 7th grade and I am the complete opposite of the other kids. I am 4th chair in the orchestra and I love to read. But most of all, I LOVE classical music!
Claudia Wertz
Your show has helped open my mind and heart to this world of music, and every show I hear confirms my place in music and gives me new ideas for where I'd like to go with it in the future….I grew up with classical music as a child and always held it in my heart, but I didn't have the confidence to be a good student (or a good violinist.)
Christine Anderson
Listening to you is almost interactive.You invite us in with so many well modulated dramatic and informative comments, enticing, enthusiastic interpretations, and coherent, beautiful presentations. It's a privilege to follow you into the musical space you create.
Sally Rosenbaum
I just love this program. It is soothing and comfortable at the end of the day. I find his comments interesting, but they aren't so dragged out that there is very little music. The balance of both is just right.
Jean Quay
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