Made for the 1939 New York World’s Fair (“The World of Tomorrow”), The City is a seminal documentary film distinguished for the organic integration of narration (scripted by city planner Lewis Mumford), cinematography (Ralph Steiner and Willard Van Dyke), and music (Aaron Copland).
The score, arguably Copland’s highest achievement in film, was also his ticket to Hollywood; it has been called “an astonishing missing link not only in the genesis of Copland’s Americana style but in American music and cinema” Mark Swed, The Los Angeles Times
As the film contains no dialogue, it is possible to create a fresh soundtrack and discover musical riches inaudible on the original monaural recording.
As Copland created no suite from The City, the present DVD at the same time marks the first recording of this music in its entirety other than the original film.
Special Features include:
- The City with the original soundtrack (1939) featuring Morris Carnovsky (narrator) and an orchestra conducted by Max Goberman
- Which Playground for your Child: Greenbelt or Gutter (a documentary film from the Greenbelt Museum featuring interviews with three Greenbelt “pioneers”
- George Stoney in Conversation with Joseph Horowitz (2007) a legendary documentary film-maker revisits The City
Recorded at Dekelboum Concert Hall, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, 15 October 2007