New York: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. [PN By.Pa.No. 56], [©1944].
Folio. Dark ivory wrappers printed in dark blue, with illustration of a cowboy hat, cactus, spur, and lariat by "W.L.S." to upper. 1f. (recto title, verso publisher's note), 20 pp., being excerpts from the ballet arranged for piano solo by Lukas Foss. With publisher's catalogue to verso of final leaf.
With the autograph signature of the composer to upper wrapper in ink: "Aaron Copland Nov 1947 B.A."
Slightly worn, browned, soiled, and creased; upper wrapper detached and with very small tear to blank lower margin. Lacking lower wrapper.
First Edition in this form. OCLC 13836063.
Billy the Kid, a ballet commissioned by Lincoln Kirstein and composed in 1938, was choreographed by Eugene Loring for Ballet Caravan. Based on the exploits of American outlaw "Billy the Kid" (Henry McCarty 1859-81), the work incorporates both cowboy tunes and American folk songs, reflective of Copland's abiding interest in the American West. It is one of his most popular and frequently performed works along with Rodeo and Appalachian Spring.
Kirstein (1907-1996), an important cultural figure in New York, founded the Ballet Society together with George Balanchine (1904-1983) in 1946, renamed the New York City Ballet in 1948.
A distinguished American composer for screen, stage, and concert hall, "[Copland's] style quickly and persistently became a stylistic convention within Hollywood’s musical vocabulary. ... Copland’s style (as heard in film scores like The Red Pony but even more so in ballet scores like Billy the Kid and Rodeo) has been particularly vital in the genre of the Western and for images of frontiers. In particular, Copland’s fondness for wide open spaces (both melodically and harmonically), together with his sparse orchestration that favored winds and brass over strings, his preferences for static or slow-moving, diatonic harmonies, and his repetition of rhythmic and melodic motives, have been continually utilized in later scores for film and television; this pastoral idiom has been deployed across the political spectrum for various arguments about the United States’s national character and values." Neil Lerner in Grove Music Online.
Price: $275.00 other currencies