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Session 4-5 (AMS-SAM)
Copland: A Centennial Retrospective
II. New Perspectives on Copland

Elizabeth Bergman Crist (University of Texas at Austin), Chair

The Informal Copland: New Material
Vivian Perlis
(Yale University)

Copland, the West, and American Identity
Jessica Burr (Princeton University)

Copland on Hollywood
Sally Bick (Yale University)

Copland and the Dance
Marta Robertson (Gettsyburg College)

Copland, Twelve-Tone Music, and the Cold War
Jennifer Delapp (University Of Maryland, College Park)

Problems of Self-Borrowing in Copland's Music
Daniel Mathers (University Of Cincinnati)

Copland studies, spurred in part by the opening of the Copland Collection at the Library of Congress, currently engages a variety of scholarly issues. Vivian Perlis discusses previously unpublished material from tape recordings made with Copland while reviewing files of juvenilia with him. Jessica Burr examines Copland's popular image as a composer of the American West, and what this image has meant for his place in American musical life. Sally Bick considers how Copland's initial experiences in Hollywood led to a series of important articles that function as a critical assessment and evaluation of Hollywood film music. She also examines how Copland's work helped to foster innovation, elevate standards, and endorse Hollywood film music as a potential genre for the American art-music composer. Notwithstanding such obstacles as mutually exclusive music and dance vocabularies, Marta Robertson examines Copland's choreographic scores within their collaborative and choreographic contexts in order to understand these compositions as complete artworks. In the light of American awareness of Communist opposition to the twelve-tone technique and Copland's difficulties with anti-communist forces, Jennifer Delapp suggests connections between the Cold-War political climate and Copland's interest in dodecaphony. Daniel Mathers provides an overview of important ways in which Copland's music is indebted to self-borrowing; he also considers some of the major problems entailed for research.
This session is part of the SAM series that includes two futher Saturday sessions on Copland and the American Scene (Session 4-26)) and Copland as a World Figure (Session 4-67).

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