A Beloved President Inspired This Orchestral Classic

Nov 8, 2016

Abraham Lincoln's words. Aaron Copland's Music. James Earl Jones's speaking voice. Seattle Symphony.

Northwest Public Radio will air Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" just before the start of All Things Considered and election day coverage today at 3:45 pm. 

This piece will inspire and bring reflection as the nation chooses its next president. Join us for Jones's reading of  "of the people, by the people, for the people..." well-known words startlingly fresh and relevant, no matter how many times you have heard the piece, or this recording of it, or the Gettysburg Address.

This and other Lincoln quotes are embedded in Copland's classic American orchestral sound. The piece was composed in 1942. The many celebrated narrators since then have included Neil Armstrong, Walter Cronkite, Tom Hanks, and Carl Sandburg, whose 1959 recording with the NY Philharmonic under Andre Kostelanetz earned a Grammy.

Our recording, conducted by Gerard Schwarz, was released in 1994.