Fanfare for the Common Man

This brassy blast of pure Americana was one of 18 fanfares commission by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.


Recommended recording:
London Symphony Orchestra/Aaron Copland
Sony Classical SMK 89874


A ‘cowboy ballet’ with American folk tunes within its five-movement structure, Rodeo is fun, sassy and jazzy. The final ‘Hoe-down’ is its signature movement.

Recommended recording:
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra/Michael Tilson Thomas
RCA 82876658402

Appalachian Spring

A beautiful ballet celebrating American pioneers of the 1800s. Copland evokes the wide open spaces of his rural homeland.

Recommended recording:
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein
DG 477 6352

Clarinet Concerto

The opening movement has been called ‘a perfect fusion of Satie and Mahler’. Jazz rhythms combine with a classical scope for a thoroughly modern masterpiece.

Recommended recording:
Benny Goodman (clarinet), Columbia Symphony Orchestra/Bernstein
Sony SK 43337

Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson

Copland didn’t write many songs, but this cycle is one of the finest written after the Second World War. Deeply personal, it deals with love, death and self-discovery.


Recommended recording:
Barbara Bonney (soprano), André Previn (piano)
Decca 455 5112


Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.