by James C. Stephens


August 10, 1976

Music listening.


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Americana Charles Ives. “From the Steeples and the Mountains.”

Aaron Copeland’s composition “Quiet City.”  Listening to beautiful, lonely American music and his use of horns, oboe and bassoon.

Charles Ruggles: “Men, Mountains and Angels.”

Ives once wrote: “Reality is too often confused with something that lets the ears lie back in an easy chair. And it was this same fellow experimentalist who forthrightly berated a shocked listener who booed an early performance of Men and Mountains. “Stop being such a damned sissy! Why can’t you stand up before fine strong music like this and use your ears like a man.”

The epitaph fitting it is to this score reads:

“Great things are done when men and mountains meet.”

Powerful bass gut level music is inspiring as the human story unfolds.

Man meeting great obstacles in life with strong hearbeat meeting those problems with nothing but guts. The timpani sounds.

Aaron Copeland’s “El Salon Mexico” and “Danzon Cubano.”

Copeland in his “Ode’s and Preludes for a solemn occasion” is so intense it is hard to take but a small dose  of his declarations.


Charles Ruggles Men and Mountains

Leonard Bernstein Explains & Conducts Ives

Aaron Copeland’s Quiet City

Aaron Copeland’s Danzon Cubano

Aaron Copeland Conducts El Salon Mexico

Aaron Copeland’s Preamble for a Solemn Occasion



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