In 1916, the pianist Ferde Grofé drove across the Arizona desert and saw the sun rise over the Grand Canyon. Like millions of others, he was awed by the experience. In 1961, he created Grand Canyon Suite, a suite for an orchestra. It's movements are:
II. The Painted Desert
III. On the Trail
In writings about Ferde Grofé, he is sometimes called America's tone poem composer given his creative use of woodwinds that mimic birds and trumpets that stand in for crickets. Others have discovered mysticism in "Painted Desert," the human comedy of "On the Trail," and death and resurrection in "Cloudburst."
This 33-minute YouTube video features the Grand Canyon Suite with Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. It is illustrated with photographs of the Grand Canyon. As you watch and listen, open your hearts, eyes, and ears to the glories of one of the wonders of the West.
As we let the music wash over us and watched the splendid visuals of this incredible place, we felt reverence for the majesty of the natural world and gratitude for the Creative Spirit at work both here and elsewhere.