Tone Poem Tuesday

The things you learn on the radio! This morning I heard this piece, and after it was done I learned why they played it: on this date in 1962, the lower deck of the George Washington Bridge, which connects Manhattan and New Jersey, opened. American composer William Schuman later wrote this piece for concert band, inspired by the span of this great bridge. Schuman, one of the most important American composers of the 20th century, wrote of this piece:

There are a few days in the year when I do not see George Washington Bridge. I pass it on my way to work as I drive along the Henry Hudson Parkway on the New York shore. Ever since my student days when I watched the progress of its construction, this bridge has had for me an almost human personality, and this personality is astonishingly varied, assuming different moods depending on the time of day or night, the weather, the traffic and, of course, my own mood as I pass by.

I have walked across it late at night when it was shrouded in fog, and during the brilliant sunshine hours of midday. I have driven over it countless times and passed under it on boats. Coming to New York City by air, sometimes I have been lucky enough to fly right over it. It is difficult to imagine a more gracious welcome or dramatic entry to the great metropolis.


Here is George Washington Bridge by William Schuman.

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One Response to Tone Poem Tuesday

  1. Roger says:

    I have walked across the lower level of the GW Bridge in the mid-1970s. There were some…gaps on the walkway. I do not recommend.

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