Copland's Lincoln Portrait with New York Philharmonic and Carl Sandburg

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maestrob
Posts: 7935
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Copland's Lincoln Portrait with New York Philharmonic and Carl Sandburg

Post by maestrob » Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:58 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRf-KRhN0AI

Image

Narrator and Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sandburg was probably the most famous poet/historian in America when this was recorded in 1958. He was certainly the foremost authority on the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln's Presidency. He narrates here using the style of speaking that harks back to those days, and the performance, conducted by Andre Kostelanetz, is riveting.

It's time to remember and celebrate all that is good about American democracy, and to remember that we have come through crises before and triumphed.
Sandburg's popular multivolume biography Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, 2 vols. (1926) and Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, 4 vols. (1939) are collectively "the best-selling, most widely read, and most influential book[s] about Lincoln." The books have been through many editions, including a one-volume edition in 1954 prepared by Sandburg.

Sandburg's Lincoln scholarship had an enormous impact on the popular view of Lincoln. The books were adapted by Robert E. Sherwood for his Pulitzer Prize-winning play Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1938) and David Wolper's six-part dramatization for television, Sandburg's Lincoln (1974). He recorded excerpts from the biography and some of Lincoln's speeches for Caedmon Records in New York City in May 1957. He was awarded a Grammy Award in 1959 for Best Performance – Documentary Or Spoken Word (Other Than Comedy) for his recording of Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait with the New York Philharmonic. Some historians suggest more Americans learned about Lincoln from Sandburg than from any other source.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sandburg

Heck148
Posts: 3574
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2003 11:53 pm
Location: New England

Re: Copland's Lincoln Portrait with New York Philharmonic and Carl Sandburg

Post by Heck148 » Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:28 pm

I acquired this wonderful recording years ago, on a cassette tape - the concert also included Wm Schuman's New England Triptych - best recording of it I've ever heard....the 2nd mvt - "When Jesus Wept" is most moving - the solo work of Wm Polisi [bssn] and Harold Gomberg [ob] is superb. all the way.
The Copland is really outstanding - the NYPO guys playing "right at the edge" - very exciting...
Sandburg is a terrific narrator as well - somehow his gravelly, rough-sounding voice is most appropriate and effective. the nitty-gritty of Lincoln's stirring words comes thru very convincingly.
It is not so commonly known that Kostelanetz was a regular guest conductor with the NYPO...he was really quite good....he chose to go the commercial route, but still maintained his ties with the mainstream concert scene.
I had the fine experience of performing "Lincoln Portrait" in Boston, in a big, cathedral sized church....the narrator was William Warfield!! His big full bass-baritone voice filled the church....it was really thrilling!!

maestrob
Posts: 7935
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:30 am

Re: Copland's Lincoln Portrait with New York Philharmonic and Carl Sandburg

Post by maestrob » Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:38 am

Heck148 wrote:
Sun Nov 08, 2020 9:28 pm
I acquired this wonderful recording years ago, on a cassette tape - the concert also included Wm Schuman's New England Triptych - best recording of it I've ever heard....the 2nd mvt - "When Jesus Wept" is most moving - the solo work of Wm Polisi [bssn] and Harold Gomberg [ob] is superb. all the way.
The Copland is really outstanding - the NYPO guys playing "right at the edge" - very exciting...
Sandburg is a terrific narrator as well - somehow his gravelly, rough-sounding voice is most appropriate and effective. the nitty-gritty of Lincoln's stirring words comes thru very convincingly.
It is not so commonly known that Kostelanetz was a regular guest conductor with the NYPO...he was really quite good....he chose to go the commercial route, but still maintained his ties with the mainstream concert scene.
I had the fine experience of performing "Lincoln Portrait" in Boston, in a big, cathedral sized church....the narrator was William Warfield!! His big full bass-baritone voice filled the church....it was really thrilling!!
Small world, indeed!

William Warfield was a client of mine when I ran the men's store at the New York Athletic Club. He was a size 42 Long blazer!

Warfield would stay as a guest at the club when he was in New York, but, shamefully, the NYAC during the 1980's still would not admit Black members. There were two Jewish members when I was there, but the club fought New York City legislation (1984) that ordered them to admit women all the way to the Supreme Court. The Court turned away the lawsuit in 1988 (See excerpt below). Instead of paying to restart the lawsuit, the NYAC decided to admit women, and shortly after, very quietly with no fuss, Blacks. When the Supreme Court decision happened, a few troglodytes resigned from the NYAC, but most accepted the decision with good grace. "About time!" I said then, and it was.
The New York Athletic Club was, for most of its history, a men’s club with the purpose to "promote manly sports." A New York City law was passed in 1984 requiring "the admission of women to large, private clubs that play an important role in business and professional life."[13] The NYAC was among a number of clubs that challenged the law as a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing the right to freedom of association. The case made it all the way to the United States Supreme Court where, in June, 1988 the United States Supreme Court.[14] held that the various clubs who had brought the suit were too dissimilar for the court to decide the case and remanded the case back to the District Court (this has sometimes been incorrectly reported as upholding the ban). Facing the high litigation costs of starting the case over on its own, the NYAC changed its by-laws and voluntarily admitted some female members in 1989.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Athletic_Club

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