April 27, 2017

Thoughts on Copland’s 12-tone pieces: “Inscape” and “Connotations”

For the first time, I listened to Copland’s “Inscape”. This piece to my ear is stronger than “Connotations”, which was written 5 years earlier. Even though it’s not my favorite Copland, it is strong and bold (in the sense of Ruggles), and like Stravinsky, Copland maintains enough of his stylistic elements from the past to still sound like- Copland! In both these pieces, it is curious that the rhythms and meters are not nearly as complex as those elements his earlier works- even pieces like El Salon Mexico and Appalachian Spring (works in his popular tonal style)! Copland seems to concentrate in these 12 tone works entirely on sound, intervals, line, and color. What fascinates me is when tonal composers adapt to an atonal style, and visa versa! (Del Tredici, Rochberg, etc.) Indeed, music history is full of surprises!

About Henry Mollicone

Speak Your Mind