Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.
— by Elder Joseph Brackett, 1848
[used in Appalachian Spring, Aaron Copland]
Just over 75 years ago, during the darkest days of World War II, Aaron Copland and Martha Graham created an iconic ballet about friendship, love, loyalty, and renewal. Their message: the community succeeds only by joining together. Those same enduring virtues will be essential as we cope with, and conquer, the current health crisis. In the turmoil of the unpredictable coming weeks, Copland House will follow the recommendations of the CDC, New York State, and other authorities about public interaction and best health practices. We will also keep you posted about scheduling changes for our concerts and other activities. In the meantime, we are thinking of all of you near and far — our friends, colleagues, collaborators, and supporters — and hoping that you stay safe and healthy. As the beloved Shaker tune at the heart of Appalachian Spring suggests, we also hope you all find solace during these challenging days in simple gifts — family, home, friends, love, compassion — and we look forward to the time when we can again “come down where we ought to be [and] find ourselves in the place just right.”
COPLAND: “Simple Gifts”, from Old American Songs
(William Sharp, baritone; Michael Boriskin, pianist)
Michael Boriskin is the Artistic and Executive Director at Copland House and an internationally-active pianist.