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Virgil Thomson’s scores for both films are among the most famous ever composed for the movies. Aaron Copland praised the music for The Plow for its “frankness and openness of feeling”, calling it “fresher, more simple, and more personal” than the Hollywood norm. He called the music for The River “a lesson in how to treat Americana”.
Virgil Thomson: The Plow that Broke the Plains
War and the Tractor
Wind and Dust
Virgil Thomson: The River
A Big River
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.