Appalachian spring

I have a CD which is only played in my car during March and April each year.

Listening to it animates everything I see. Flowers seem to leap out of the ground, trees burst into leaves before my eyes, squirrels dance and birds pirouette.

The allegro section perfectly captures that feeling of the earth giving birth (see #2 under Themes on the Wikipedia page).


Aaron Copland didn’t have North Georgia in mind when he wrote Appalachian Spring. He wrote it as “Ballet for Martha,” and Martha Graham gave it the title. She wasn’t referring to the season either, but a mountain stream, from a Hart Crane poem.

Copland was amused when people praised him for capturing so well the essence of springtime in the Appalachians.

… the pastoral beauty of Appalachia wasn’t on his mind when he wrote the score: “I gave voice to that region without knowing I was giving voice to it.”

Art that resonates and endures captures an essence that is beyond time and place.

If by chance you’ve never heard it, take 25 minutes right now. Here’s a YouTube version performed by the Ulster Orchestra: Appalachian Spring.

Rituals are a part of savoring life. Appalachian Spring, The Messiah, and More Than a Feeling are among my sacred rituals.

Today’s penny is a 2008, the year of my first spring living in the Appalachians.

2 thoughts on “Appalachian spring”

  1. Beautiful, moving music and a gorgeous photo! I’ve always loved sunlight coming through trees. I’m thinking of G. M. Hopkins’ line “Glory be to God for dappled things,” in “Pied Beauty.”

Comments are closed.