Sunday Serendipity

Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland

Performed by Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Conducted by Leonard Slatkin

In 1942, Martha Graham and Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge commissioned Copland to write a ballet with “an American theme”. Copland did the bulk of the work in 1943/44, and the work was premiered at the Library of Congress on Oct. 30, 1944, with Graham dancing the lead role. In 1945, Copland was commissioned by conductor Artur Rodzinski to rearrange the ballet as an orchestral suite,

Enjoy, Jack

Serendipity for St Paddy’s week

The pandemic has changed how we listen to music and perform it.

Patrick Dexter was stuck at home but still had to practice everyday to keep in shape. He started recording his cello practice and sharing them with friends. Things I love, one the cello but also the wind accompanying it. Of course the dog.

I’ve created a play list of several Celtic tunes and end it with Mozart

Enjoy, Jack

The quote below is from his video including(as I promised him on twitter) the donation links.

Irish folk song ‘Spancil Hill’. Music from my cottage on the West coast of Ireland. Spancil Hill is a traditional Irish song written by Michael Considine. It depicts the plight of Irish immigrants who were living in America, many of which moved to California during the Gold Rush, and the longing for their homeland.

Music from my cottage on the West coast of Ireland.

If you enjoy this music consider buying me a one off coffee at:​ Or become a patron and have access to all my music to download or listen to any time at:

Sunday Serendipity

William Grant Still

Song of a New Race

Even though Still’s Symphony No. 2, (“Song of a New Race” [1937]) is not as well known as his first symphony, its Western-infused-African compositional style helps tell the story of African Americans through the 1900s. This symphony works together with his first, the “Afro-American”, to paint the full picture. While the “Afro-American” symphony used music to show the daily life of African Americans after the Civil War, “Song of a New Race” tells the story of Still’s people in modern times, a new man of various races integrated into American society.

Enjoy, Jack

Sunday Serendipity

Samuel Coleridge- Taylor :Symphonic Variations on an African Air,

I couldn’t find much online about this piece but I did find this

”  Symphonic Variations on an African Air, composed in 1906, is based on an African-American song, “I’m troubled in mind.” The work is interestingly structured, achieving a unity and direction rarely found in variation forms. More than eighty years ago the British musicologist Herbert Antcliffe lamented “the infrequency of… performances” of the work that  “in size… and… demand for orchestral resources, is the biggest of all Coleridge-Taylor’s purely orchestral works.” The piece is engaging, with enchanting melodic invention, a harmonic language that is both characteristically chromatic and modally tinged, and a fine sense of orchestral color. As Antcliffe says, “To those who really wish to know Coleridge-Taylor… no single work of his will reveal him more”

An interesting bit of history. from his wiki page

“His father Daniel Taylor was descended from African-American slaves who were freed by the British and evacuated from the colonies at the end of the American Revolutionary War; some 3,000 of these Black Loyalists were resettled in Nova Scotia. Others were resettled in London and the Caribbean. In 1792 some 1200 blacks from Nova Scotia chose to leave what they considered a hostile climate and society, and moved to Sierra Leone, which the British had established as a colony for free blacks. The Black Loyalists joined free blacks (some of whom were also African Americans) from London, and were joined by maroons from Jamaica, and slaves liberated at sea from illegal slave ships by the British navy “

Enjoy, Jack