Copland

Aaron Copland, Author, Vivian Perlis, With St. Martin's Press $29.95 (463p) ISBN 978-0-312-03313-2
The concluding volume of what is in effect Copland's autobiography, with commentary by Perlis, who teaches at the Yale School of Music, and many Copland friends and admirers, brings the life of America's oldest living composer up to date. Beginning in mid-WW II with the excitement over Appalachian Spring , shortly followed by the Third Symphony, we see Copland in the postwar years gradually becoming less productive, turning to conducting, and finally moving into a dignified retirement replete with honors and celebrations. This is more a tribute than a revealing portrait, though the details of the composer's meticulously recorded life, and his thoughts about his music, will be invaluable to scholars. Perhaps there is not much to disclose: Copland, like his music, seems highly intelligent, well organized, full of vitality with a dash of melancholy--very much the artist as businessman, teacher, rather than as the anguished, solitary soul of popular fiction. He was the foremost world ambassador for American serious music when it very much needed one, and at least two generations of composers owe him a tremendous debt. Illustrated. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Paperback - 402 pages - 978-0-312-01149-9
Paperback - 463 pages - 978-0-312-05066-5
Hardcover - 402 pages - 978-0-312-16962-6
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