Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cloudburst


Truth or Consequences, NM

You can see things out west that you can't see back east. Growing up in an eastern city in the 40s and 50s, I imagined a lot about the west. Sometimes my imagination was helped by music.

Ferde GrofĂ© (27 March 1892 – 3 April 1972) was a 20th century American composer, arranger, and pianist whose primary works were musical pictures of places in the US. GrofĂ© is best known for his composition The Grand Canyon Suite (1931), a work regarded highly enough to be recorded for RCA Victor with the NBC Symphony conducted by Arturo Toscanini in Carnegie Hall in 1945. The movements of the suite are: I. Sunrise; II. Painted Desert; III. On the Trail; IV. Sunset; V. Cloudburst.

The best known movement was 'On The Trail' portraying the donkey ride down to the bottom of the canyon. Everyone knows that tune, even if they don't know where it came from. 'Cloudburst' vividly pictures the fury of nature in a summer thunderstorm over the Grand Canyon.

Years ago, the music helped me imagine the scene. Today the scene brought back the music. Life is good.