The first set of "Old American Songs" was completed in 1950, the same year that Copland finished his other major song set, "Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson". While Copland was writing the songs, tenor Peter Pears and composer Benjamin Britten came to visit him. Taken by Copland's new settings, they left with his promise of receiving copies of the songs in England to perform. On October 17, 1950, the first set was given its world premiere by Pears with Britten at the piano at their Aldeburgh Festival. The American premiere took place in New York on January 28, 1951, with Copland accompanying baritone William Warfield. The success of the first set prompted Copland to set five more songs. Finished in 1952, the second set was premiered by Warfield and Copland at the Castle Hill Concerts in Massachusetts on July 24 of that year. Copland would later orchestrate both sets for medium voice and small orchestra. Warfield sang the premiere of the orchestrated first set with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Alfred Wallenstein, on January 7, 1955. Grace Bumbry premiered the second set with the Ojai Festival Orcestra on May 25, 1955, with Copland on the podium.
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La Cigale Et Le Pot Au Lait: 16 Melodies For Voice & Piano (Leduc)
Cantique De Noel: C: Med Low Voice: French and English (Schirmer)
Cantique De Noel: High Voice In Eb & Piano (Schirmer)
O Holy Night: Cantique De Noel: Bb: Low Voice(Schirmer)
Holy City: Ab: Vocal: Solo Song
Holy City: C: Vocal: Solo Song
Lord Is My Light In C: Medium Low Voice and Piano
A Childs Prayer: Vocal
Omens Of Spring: Solo Voice
Song For A Baby Sister: To A Baby Brother: Vocal
The Sweet Nighingale: Vocal: Unison
Moirologhia for Jani Christou. (Gr in Latin transcription-E). : Voice: (Barenreiter)