Music: Portraits in Tone

Three composers went to work on a job usually reserved for painters. Aaron Copland dug into a Modern Library version of Abraham Lincoln's life and letters, and tried to write down his impressions in music. Jerome Kern thumbed through his Mark Twain first editions and manuscripts in his Beverly Hills library. Virgil Thomson spent two hours in Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia's City Hall office in Manhattan, watched and jotted down music while the Mayor received visitors. He also spent a morning in Pundit Dorothy Thompson's library while she read and, after her...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!