A New Home

A New Home


WHEN: Saturday, April 27, 2024
6:30 pm Pre-Concert Discussion
7:30 pm Concert

WHERE: Ritsche Auditorium
Stewart Hall, St. Cloud State University


Appalachian Spring
  Aaron Copland

  2024 Young Performer Competition

Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”
  Antonin Dvorák

Tickets for this concert are 
$25 | Adults
$20 | Seniors (65 and over)
$5 | Students

Tickets available online or at the door.
All tickets are General Admission   

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A New Home

Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring Suite (full orchestra version)

In 1943-44, Copland set out to write music for a ballet by Martha Graham and her company through a commission by the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation. The result was Appalachian Spring, a work that in its original form was written for only thirteen instruments. After receiving immense praise, Copland orchestrated the ballet’s best music into a suite for full orchestra.

The story follows “a pioneer celebration in spring around a newly-built farmhouse in the Pennsylvania hills in the early part of the last century. The bride-to-be and the young farmer-husband enact the emotions, joyful and apprehensive, their new domestic partnership invites. An older neighbour suggests now and then the rocky confidence of experience. A revivalist and his followers remind the new householders of the strange and terrible aspects of human fate. At the end the couple are left quiet and strong in their new house.”

Appalachian Spring may be said to be America’s defining classical work. Its open sonorities depict the expansiveness of the American landscape, while syncopated rhythms inspired by dance allude to our early pioneers. Through the music, we, the audience, feel the spectrum of emotions felt by the bride and husband-to-be: from jovial and prayerful to apprehensiveness when faced with the unknown.

Antonin Dvorák: Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”

Dvorák’s ninth symphony was completed in 1893 in Spillville, Iowa during the composer’s extended stay in the United States (1892-95); he decided to move away from Prague as he had been offered the positions of Artistic Director and Professor of Composition at the National Conservatory of Music in New York. Dvorák was seen as a composer who well understood how incorporating folk-elements and traditions into classical music could help create a national style. As such, part of his mission while in the United States was to help America build its own musical identity. He himself said, “[t]he Americans expect great things of me. I am to show them the way into the Promised Land, the realm of a new, independent art, in short a national style of music!”

Written in four movements, the composition follows the traditional symphonic form from the classical and early-romantic eras. The introduction of the first movement begins softly and in an understated manner. Abruptly, a thunderous strike is heard by the strings, timpani, and woodwinds. When the exposition begins, horns present the principal theme (a recurring theme throughout the entire symphony) while clarinets and bassoons respond with a dancing rhythm. A slower secondary melody is introduced by the flute, with close resemblance to the African-American spiritual ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.’ The second movement, Largo, begins with a solemn brass chorale. Over a soft bed of strings, the English Horn intones a melody imbued with nostalgia and hope. Near the movement’s end, the trumpets and trombones sound the principal theme from the first movement. One final ascent from the violins and a soft sustained chord in the basses signal the end. The third movement, Scherzo, is both playful and dramatic. Near the middle, the cellos and violas recall the principal theme from the first movement. The finale, Allegro con fuoco, drives forward from its opening sequence in the strings. Trumpets and horns declare the movement’s principal theme in unison. Fragments of melodies from previous movements are heard throughout. At the coda, one final statement of the movement’s principal theme is heard in the strings and woodwinds, leading toward a triumphant close. In a brilliant gesture, Dvorák ends the symphony with a softening woodwind chord


Category: , ,
Location: Ritsche Auditorium (Stewart Hall), St. Cloud State University
Date: April 27, 2024
Duration: 1 Day
A New Home: Music that which reflects on those times in life when we find ourselves in a new home (either physically or conceptually).