Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunrise with Aaron Copland


On Easter Sunday morning, at a Sunrise Service, a congregation sings a hymn to Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” fanfare opening.  This was at the Easter Sunrise service this morning at Trinity Presbyterian Church, on the little "mountain" (elevation about 440 feet) behind the church.  You could see the damage to the trees above from the derecho and (to a lesser extent) Sandy in 2012.  


The Congregation sang the words to “Lord of the Dance”.  Actually, the piece of classical music that best fits that description is probably the finale of Beethoven’s Symphony #7.

Back in the 1950s, radio station WGMS in Washington DC used to open the evening “Symphony Hall” with the orchestral fanfare from Copland’s ballet.    It was a popular work then, in musical circles and even among high school music buffs with whom I often socialized.  
  
Here’s an orchestral rendition of Copland’s ballet fanfare, link. :

By way of comparison, the “Fanfare for the Common Man” provides a majestic close to the Symphony #3, with Slatkin conducting here.This music seemed appropriate during the days of battling “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. 

At the 11:15 AM Easter service, the choir, organ and brass band performed two neo-romantic anthems by Roland Martin: "A Song of Resurrection" and "Alleluia: Christ Has Rosne".  The offertory was a more modal "Easter Triumph: Easter Joy" by Carson Cooman.  The prelude included Handel, Farlee, and Boles ("Nigerian Fanfare"). and the Postlude was "Gaudeamus!" by Richard Proulx.

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