Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Remembering J.F.K. & R.F.K.

On November 22, 1963, Warren Benson responded to the assassination of our President by composing  "The Leaves Are Falling." The title comes from "Autumn," a poem by Rilke, and the work uses the hymn tune "Ein' feste Burg" ("A Mighty Fortress"). It is a groundbreaking piece in the history of band music, not only for its elegiac theme but for its single-movement length and introspective character. It became Benson's best-known work, and a touchstone in the wind band repertory.

If you are a baby boomer, you will doubtless remember where you were on this day almost 50 years ago when you heard the news. Most of us will have been in school. Will anyone share?

We have two Kennedy books at the moment: The Kennedy Brothers: The Rise and Fall of Jack and Bobby and The Bystander: John F. Kennedy and the Struggle for Black Equality.

"All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don't. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity."
"I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil."—Robert Kennedy 

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