Concert Orchestra Resources

A Pioneer's Tale

Alan Lee Silva (Inspired by Aaron Copland)

Below is a full-length recording of the piece.

"So long as the human spirit thrives on this planet, music in some living form will accompany and sustain it and give it expressive meaning"
- Aaron Copland

This music is heavily inspired by the music of American Composer Aaron Copland (1900 - 1990). Widely considered to be one of the most important American composers of classical music, Copland invented the "western" and "wide open" sound that characterizes A Pioneer's Tale.

A fact sheet about the music can be found here.

More information about Copland's life can be found here.

A full performance of Copland's masterpiece "Appalachian Spring" by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leonard Slatkin can be found below. Slatkin gives a very informative introduction to the piece before he begins...

A performance of four dance episodes from the ballet "Rodeo" can be found below.

Air on the G String

Johann Sebastian Bach (arranged by Gazda)

Below is a full-length recording of the piece

"An agreeable harmony for the honor of God, and the permissible delights of the soul."
- J.S. Bach

J.S. Bach is one of the most revered and admired composers of all time. The Air on the G String from Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 contains one of Bach's most memorable melodies. A gently stepping bass/cello line supports the delicate counterpoint in the upper strings. More information about Bach can be found here. A fact sheet about your music can be found here.

Because this piece is polyphonic and has many moving parts, it may be hard to hear your instrument's part for practice purposes. For that reason, I have included MIDI realizations of each instruments part below which you can use for individual practice on your instrument.

Air on the G String is a piece of Baroque music (music composed from 1600 to 1750). The instruments were different back then, and the way musicians played was also different. You can find out more about how to play music in a Baroque style (also known as "performance practice") in the videos below.

In this video the first violinist plays Bach in a more modern style, and the second one plays Bach in an authentic Baroque style (and with an actual Baroque violin).

Finally, below you can view a performance of the original Air on the G String as performed on authentic Baroque instruments and in an authentic Baroque style (that guitar-like instrument is called an archlute).

Finale from "Serenade for Strings"

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (arranged by Gruselle)

Below is a full-length recording of the piece.

"Where words leave off, music begins."
- P.I. Tchaikovsky

One of the most important romantic composers, and an icon of Russian classical music, Tchaikovsky said that he composed his Serenade for Strings out of "inner conviction". A lush, and heartfelt piece, Serenade for Strings has been a favorite of audiences since it's premier in 1880. Tchaikovsky was a deep and complicated man. You can find a fact sheet for this piece here, and more about Tchaikovsky's life and music here.

The entire serenade for strings is a four-movement work that last nearly 40 minutes. This arrangement takes the opening phrase of the 1st movement (which also appears as a fragment from a slow section of the finale; 4:40 in the recording below) and uses it as the introduction. The actual finale of the original piece can be found below as performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra.

A full performance of the entire serenade for strings by the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Leonard Bernstein can be found below. You will notice that the beginning of the 1st movement uses the same theme as the opening theme of the Gruselle arrangement our orchestra is playing.