Thursday, August 25, 2016

Aaron Copland and the Good Neighbor Policy

This 2014 lecture by Carol Hess from UC Davis at the Library of Congress, entitled "Copland as Good Neighbor: Cultural Diplomacy in Latin America During World War II." is a very good overview of the American's views of the musical scene in Latin America during World War II. The transcript is here.

Copland was often very disparaging about his Brazilian colleague. “Villa-Lobos marshalled a range of modern French processes of composition such that his music is enormously picturesque at times, sometimes cheap and vulgar. Sometimes astonishing original." Copland also said Villa was "Manuel de Falla on a good day; Ottorini Respighi on a bad one."

Prof. Hess is the author of the fabulous book Representing the Good Neighbor: Music, Difference, and the Pan American Dream (Oxford University Press, 2014).

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