What Makes It Great? with Rob Kapilow, with A Far Cry (2022-23)

Inventing America, Part 2 Copland’s Appalachian Spring: An American Voice for Classical Music
NEC's Jordan Hall

In the second installment of his two-part Inventing America series, Rob Kapilow explores an iconic twentieth-century orchestral work, Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, with the expert assistance of Boston’s self-conducted chamber orchestra A Far Cry. 

Originally commissioned as a ballet for Martha Graham, the suite has become auditory shorthand for a kind of populist Americana, but Kapilow finds elements of the piece that keep avid listeners coming back. From the opening chords, Rob illustrates Copland’s specific choices that surprise, subvert audience expectations, and set the work apart.  

The Inventing America series begins in November 2022, with “The Music of Irving Berlin: An American Voice for Popular Music.” 

“At its heart is one chord which is so the essence, not only of "Appalachian Spring," but in my mind Copland's entire vision of America. And it's right at the very beginning and it's this simple chord. That, to me, is the genesis of the whole piece. And what's so interesting is it's very close to something very simple.”

Rob Kapilow on NPR's "All Things Considered"

Jordan Hall Information

This performance is generously sponsored by
Amy & Joshua Boger.