Old American Songs, Set 2


Copland wrote, "Everyone seemed to enjoy singing and hearing the first set of folk song settings so much that I decided to arrange a second group of five." This second set dates from 1952. For the premiere performance on July 24, 1953, Copland accompanied baritone William Warfield, with whom he had given the American debut of the first set of songs.


The audio recording, provided in the audio player to the right, features Thomas Hampson, baritone, and Craig Rutenberg, piano. This song was recorded for Instant Encore as part of American Public Media's Performance Today series, presented by Classical Minnesota Public Radio. To listen, please click on the track name itself. You can download a recording of this entire recital for free through the Instant Encore website with the download code: THSOA2009.

The five numbers in Old American Songs, Set 2 are “The Little Horses,” “Zion's Walls,” “Golden Willow Tree,” “At the River,” and “Ching-a-Ring Chaw.” The set was reworked in 1957 for medium voice and orchestra. The first, fourth, and fifth numbers were also reworked for chorus and orchestra.

Copland’s holograph sketches for both sets of the Old American Songs can be accessed on-line through the Aaron Copland Collection at the Library of Congress.

Sources: Vivian Perlis, 1998, from Boosey & Hawkes Web site; Stephanie Poxon, Ph.D.

Audio PLaylist