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Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein
(William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.)

star"It's the best we've got, you know."
-Leonard Bernstein, on Copland's music

star "Can you imagine Aaron wearing a ring, a jeweled cufflink? It's unheard of! Or wearing some king of natty leisure suit? Plain, plain, plain! It goes with Appalachian Spring and Our Town, which I think of as a self-portrait of Aaron."
-Leonard Bernstein

star "Among Copland's own contemporaries few can approach him for both volume and diversity. . . . The Copland catalog contains good stuff under every heading, including that of opera. He has never turned out bad work, nor worked without an inspiration. His stance is that not only of a professional but also of an artist - responsible, prepared, giving of his best."
-Virgil Thomson

star "Aaron is one of the most balanced persons I know; the most tactful, knowing exactly what to say to each person. He wouldn't yield to anything that he didn't want to do. He wouldn't declare anything he didn't mean."
-Harold Clurman

star "Copland's left toe went a-tapping like a trippy metronome, his long arms swooped down in angular beats like the awesome wings of some gaunt, giant-size bird; the tails of his podium uniform flew about as if they had a syncopated life of their own; his smiling, bespectacled head bobbed up and down like a happy Halloween apple."
-Music writer Martin Bernheimer describing Copland's conducting

star "Why call Copland a great American composer? He's a great composer."
-Igor Stravinsky

star "Aaron's music seems to peel away all the extraneous sounds that might interfere with the spine of the thing - which [Isamu] Noguchi did with the sets and Martha [Graham] with the choreography. But then to keep the spine glistening takes a tremendous amount of work."
-Pearl Lang, one of the original dancers in Appalachian Spring

star "There's a certain kind of nobility about the music: each note, each chord is like a declaration. There's a certain way to perform that which I had to learn especially for this Sonata."
-Gil Shaham on Copland's Violin Sonata

star In 1963 Benjamin Britten listed Copland as one of the four living composers he most admired. (The others were Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and Michael Tippett.)

star "If there exists anywhere in the world a stranger concatenation of meaninglessly ugly sounds and distorted rhythms than Mr. Copland's Piano Concerto, Boston has been spared it."
-1972 review of Copland's Concerto in the Boston Post

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