Following the less than enthusiastic reception of his only full length opera, Copland arranged an orchestral suite from the score. It includes the love duet, the lively square dance, and the stirring and beautiful The Promise of Living drawn from the quintet at the end of the opera's first act. The composer was gratified when the Suite garnered the good reviews he had hoped the opera would inspire. In 1996, Murry Sidlin created a new suite for soprano, tenor and chamber ensemble based on his successful reduced orchestration of the opera, which uses the same scoring as the 13 instrument version of Appalachian Spring.
Copland conducting a rehearsal of the Tender Land Suite with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, 1970. Photo copyright ARTICA – The Archives of Interlochen Center for the Arts; used by permission.