Copland knew that other music for the gala opening of Philharmonic Hall would be traditional. He said, "I preferred to compose a work expressing something of the tensions, aspirations, and drama inherent in contemporary living." In order to do this, he employed a personalized kind of serialism. The result was an abstract piece that is intense and dramatic in nature. It includes special percussion effects as well as a piano solo. Copland dedicated the piece to the players of the New York Philharmonic.
Title page from Connotations for orchestra open score sketch.
Row charts from Connotations for orchestra.
Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland at the rehearsal for the world premiere of Copland's Connotations, Philharmonic Hall, 1962. Courtesy of the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives. (Photo: Bert Bial)