In his Aaron Copland biography, Howard Pollack does say that Episode (1940) is Copland's only piece for solo organ
In actuality, Copland also arranged Preamble for a Solemn Occasion (1949) for organ. This was an orchestral work that was written for the first anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
So which is it? What's the difference?
They way Pollack sees it, Preamble is a great piece (which it is), and Copland sought to give it a wider audience through various arrangements. (Copland dismissed it was a potboiler. He was wrong. It's a great piece.)
Episode, meanwhile, was commissioned by publisher H. W. Gray and organist William Strickland. After it's premiere, the work was largely ignored and, Pollack notes, not mentioned by Copland in his memoirs.
It's always been interesting to me that Copland, whose career was largely launched by his Symphony for Organ and Orchestra, would then largely ignore the organ for the rest of his career.
Surely Copland understood how to write for the organ given his early work. He simply must not have been interested in its potential as a solo instrument.
Labels: Copland, William Strickland
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