Aaron Copland (1900-1990) is one of the titans of American art music. A native New Yorker, he went to France at age 21 and became the first American to study with the legendary Nadia Boulanger. His Organ Symphony, written for Boulanger, provided his breakthrough into composition stardom. After experimenting with many different styles, he became best known for his idiomatic treatment of Americana, leaving behind such chestnuts as The Tender Land (1954), Billy The Kid (1938), and Appalachian Spring (1944). This last piece won Copland the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 1945. He was also an acclaimed conductor and writer.
Down a Country Lane was originally a piano piece. Copland wrote it in 1962 on a commission from Life magazine, which published it in hopes of providing quality music to the common piano student. It has been transcribed for both orchestra and band.
It turns out I’m not the first to put together a resource site for this piece. Check out this existing information site – it looks very old by internet standards! But very useful all the same.
Here is a band performance of Down a Country Lane:
And the original piano version – this tempo, faster than how bands typically do it – seems to be standard practice for pianists. View the sheet music at MuseScore while you listen.
Copland has a huge presence on the internet, thus this site will feature only the main portals into his work. Please click far beyond the sites listed here for a complete idea of Copland’s footprint on the web.
Fanfare for Aaron Copland – a blog with information on the composer, extraordinarily useful links, and some downloadable versions of old LP recordings. This is the place to explore the several links beyond the main site.
New York Times archive of Copland-related material. Includes reviews of his music and books as well as several fascinating articles that he wrote.
Down a Country Lane is a 2011 Senior Choice for multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Jager, who will conduct the piece in our April concert.