Our Town

July 4 2013

Aaron Copland wrote the music for Sam Wood’s 1940 film adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s 1938 play Our Town. This is the suite extracted from it, for which there is also a piano version. London Symphony Orchestra, Copland, 1967.

The Story of Our TownConversation at the Soda FountainThe Resting Place on the Hill.

He considered making Our Town into an opera. So did Bernstein. Ned Rorem eventually did make one from it (premiere Indiana University Opera Theater with student performers, February 25 2006).

I suppose there is Satie in this, but there is none of Satie’s absurdism.

Wilder and music.

One Response to “Our Town”

  1. davidderrick Says:

    There’s a far stronger spirit of place in American towns than in European ones. Anyone who knows North America doesn’t need to be told that. I mean community and civic sense and am not speaking of poetic things. Not in the richest neighbourhoods or the poorest, but in moderately affluent ones, especially where the population is educated. Eg Berkeley, reflected in berkeleyside.com. Before the digital age, you saw it in local newspapers. In The Washington Blade in the ’90s, the diversity and sheer density of small ads (piano tuners, dog-walkers, just about everything else) reminded me of Victorian England.

    I wonder whether Copland’s critical star isn’t declining. The Americana will live, even if it is unimaginative to post it here, but does anyone listen to the other work?


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