I see that Barak Obama, Senator from Illinois, narrated Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait in a Chicago 9/11 concert:
Obama brought an orator's skill without an actor's slick veneer to Copland's "Lincoln Portrait.'' The comforting quality of his voice gave added emotional resonance to Lincoln's words.
This got me thinking about who else has narrated the work. I knew James Earl Jones and General Schwartzkopf had but a quick check on Amazon also reveals Henry Fonda, Carl Sandburg (who wrote the original text), Judy Collins and actor Melvyn Douglas from 1946. Spike Lee's He Got Game used the music without narration. And from an announcement of a recent rendition by the lieutenant governor of Missouri:
Copland wrote Lincoln Portrait shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, hoping that the piece would help to boost patriotic pride and morale at a time when the nation’s fortunes seemed at low ebb.
"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. We, even we here, hold the power and bear the responsibility." [Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862]
He was born in Kentucky, raised in Indiana, and lived in Illinois. And this is what he said. This is what Abe Lincoln said.
aworks great depression/wwii era copland: copland house aworks del.icio.us wikipedia google news yahoo audio singingfish asteroid named after the composer music used by dylan john adams on copland lincoln portrait: wikipedia npr with stream voice of america 1953 new york times article (including withdrawl from the eisenhower inauguration ceremony) boosey & hawkes review of the judy collins cd australian performance lebrecht on margaret thatcher