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Saturday, July 28, 2018 Permalink

The Hymn Connection

Aaron Copland & Sister Ann Lee, Thomas Tallis & Ralph Vaughan Williams


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.


Title Group/Artist Catalog # UPC
Whales and Nightingales (Judy Collins) Judy Collins Elektra 75010 075596067621
Vaughan Williams: ] Norfolk Rhapsody No. 1 New Philharmonia Orchestra, Adrian Boult EMI CDM 7 640222 077776402222
Vaughan Williams: Collector's Edition [for “Old One Hundredth “] Choir Of Winchester Cathedral and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, David Hill, cond                                  Symphony Orchestra, David Hill, cond. EMI 2066362 5099920663629
Tallis Scholars Sing Thomas Tallis [for Sancte Deus Sancte Deus & Tunes for Archbishop Parker’s Psalter] Tallis Scholars Gimell CDGIM203 755138120327
O Thou Transcendent [DVD] [fpr ] “When Rising from the Bed of Death” from 47:56-48:46] Choir of Gloucester Cathedral Tony Palmer Films TPDVD106 604388698127
Vaughan Williams: Collector's Edition [for Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis] Bournemouth Symphony, Silvestri EMI 2066362 5099920663629
Heartstrings [for “Simple Gifts”] Muriel Anderson CGD 99 671583016827
Simple Gifts Coulter & Phillips Gourd Music 106 090167010622
Simple Gifts Boston Camerata Erato 4509-98491-2 745099849122
Copland: Applachian Spring, etc St. Luke’s  Chamber Ensemble, Davies Nimbus NI 2506 710357250620
Long Time Ago [for Copland, Old American Songs: “Simple Gifts”] (St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Wolff; Hampson Teldec 9031-77310-2 090317731025
John Williams: “Air and Simple Gifts” Yo-Yo Ma, Anthony McGill, Gabriela Montero, and Itzhak Perlman and Itzhak Perlman iTunes download n/a

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