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Noon Edition

Copland: Lincoln Portrait

During World War II, artists in every genre contributed their talents to creating patriotic masterworks. One such artist was the composer Aaron Copland, who was asked to compose a musical portrait of a great American by the conductor Andre Kostelanetz. Originally, Copland wanted to write such a piece about the writer Walt Whitman, but it was encouraged that a political figure was needed. Whose name came up with that suggestion? Abraham Lincoln's, of course, and thus was born this piece, Lincoln Portrait. Written for a full symphony orchestra and a narrator, Copland uses materials from Lincoln's letters and historical documents (most notably the Gettysburg Address) and also quotes popular American tunes such as "Camptown Races" and "Springfield Mountain."

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