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St. Louis Symphony Schedules Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait”

The St. Louis Symphony is just now beginning to publicize the 2013-14 program.  Included will be a treat for all of us history buffs who have a thing about President Lincoln, the Lincoln Portrait, slated for September 20,21,and 22 at Powell Hall. 

American Composer Aaron Copland was commissioned to prepare a tribute to martyred President  Abraham Lincoln by popular conductor Andre Kostelanetz shortly after the US entry into WWII.  He completed the work in April 1942 and it premiered in Cincinnati, Ohio May 14, 1942. 

The iconic orchestral work is a narrated piece with excerpts from Lincoln’s writings and congressional speeches including The Gettysburg Address and from popular melodies of  Lincoln’s era like his favorite tune, Camptown Races.   Included as well is a ballad known as Springfield Mountain .  The popular piece has been performed with narrations in Spanish, Portuguese, German, French and other languages.

The Lincoln Protrait, a 15-minute piece, is powerful even without the narrative.  Normally a popular celebrity is invited to be the narrator.  One can only wonder who the St. Louis Synphony will invite.  Previous celebrity narrators in St. Louis were Paul Newman in 2009 and General Norman Schwarzkopf.  The Symphony, which frequently utilizes the large screen on the stage of Powell Hall, will in all probability use a panorama of vivid photo’s.  Nothing the Symphony does is less than spectacular!!

Make a date and go to the Symphony.  You will not regret it and it may be for you a new and very fulfilling experience.  Other pieces on the program will be the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 and Three Places in New England by Charles Ives.  David Robertson will conduct with Kirill Gerstein as piano soloist. 

I will keep you posted as the narrator is announced.             

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