Copland Fanfare for the Common Man
Copland Fanfare for the Common Man Program Notes
Aaron Copeland wrote Fanfare for the Common for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Music Director Eugene Goosen’s 1942-43 season, when commissioned as part of 18 concert-opening fanfares. Copeland, having finished the fanfare, took some time to consider a title. Early thoughts were Fanfare For the Four Freedoms, after FDR’s 1941 Four Freedoms State of the Union Address, or Fanfare for Democracy. Copland later said he turned on the radio by chance and heard a speech given by Vice-President Henry Wallace: DzSome have spoken of the American Century: I say that the century on which we are entering—the century which will come out of this war—can be and must be the century of the common man…those who write the peace must think of the whole world … there can be no privileged peoples. It was these progressive tendencies (and a curious association with Theosophy and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring set designer Nicolas Roerich) that would see Wallace dropped from FDR’s 1944 ticket in favor of the more middling Harry Truman, who assumed the presidency, while Copland’s fanfare became far more popular than anyone else mentioned here.
Born: November 14, 1900, Brooklyn, New York, NY
Died: December 2, 1990, Sleepy Hollow, NY