Hosted by: Stephen Peithman

Exploring links between concepts, themes and people in classical music, from medieval to modern

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Saturday, May 3, 2014 Permalink

The Hymn Connection

Hymn book


Two of the 20th century’s most popular orchestral works are based on hymns—one from 16th century England, and the other from 19th century America.  And both hymns are well-known today almost entirely because of their use in those two concert pieces.

In this hour, the story of the Tudor hymn that inspired Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis--and the Shaker tune “Simple Gifts,” rediscovered by Aaron Copland and made famous in perhaps his best-known work, Appalachian Spring.