ELP: Fanfare for the Common Man


JacoMauro | October 15, 2007

Classic ELP song by A. Copeland. This Live version is taken from the brand new upcoming Live DVD of Mauro Aimetti Prog. Project – Emerson, Lake & Palmer Tribute. The only one ELP Italian Tribute.

ELP: Fanfare for the Common Man


Fanfare for the Common Man – Wikipedia

Copland, in his autobiography, wrote of the request: “Eugene Goossens, conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, had written to me at the end of August about an idea he wanted to put into action for the 1942-43 concert season. During World War I he had asked British composers for a fanfare to begin each orchestral concert. It had been so successful that he thought to repeat the procedure in World War II with American composers”. A total of 18 fanfares[1] were written at Goossens’ behest, but Copland’s is the only one which remains in the standard repertoire.

Goossens had suggested titles such as Fanfare for Soldiers, or sailors or airmen, and he wrote that “[i]t is my idea to make these fanfares stirring and significant contributions to the war effort….” Copland considered several titles including Fanfare for a Solemn Ceremony and Fanfare for Four Freedoms; to Goossens’ surprise, however, Copland titled the piece Fanfare for the Common Man. Goossen wrote “Its title is as original as its music, and I think it is so telling that it deserves a special occasion for its performance. If it is agreeable to you, we will premiere it 12 March 1943 at income tax time”. Copland’s reply was “I [am] all for honoring the common man at income tax time”.[2]

Copland later used the fanfare as the main theme of the fourth movement of his Third Symphony.


Copland’s fanfare was revived in 1977 by British rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer on the album Works Volume 1. It became one of the band’s biggest hits when an edited version was released as a single that year. It peaked at #2 in the UK. Keith Emerson had long been an admirer of Copland’s Americana style, previously using Copland’s Hoedown on the band’s Trilogy album in 1972.

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