Grand Canyon Suite

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The Grand Canyon Suite is a suite for orchestra by Ferde Grofé, composed between 1929 and 1931. It was initially titled "Five Pictures of the Grand Canyon".

It consists of five movements, each an evocation in tone of a particular scene typical of the Grand Canyon. Paul Whiteman and his orchestra gave the first public performance of the work, in concert at the Studebaker Theatre in Chicago on November 22, 1931.


The movements of the suite are:

I. Sunrise
II. Painted Desert
III. On the Trail
IV. Sunset
V. Cloudburst

In the conductor's score, the coda to the Cloudburst movement is notated as a separate movement: VI. Distant Thunder with Crickets Chirping.[citation needed]


Grand Canyon is a 1958 short Walt Disney film in CinemaScope format directed by James Algar. It features color film footage of the Grand Canyon accompanied by the Grand Canyon Suite, though the order of the movements has been somewhat altered. In the manner of Fantasia, there is no story and no dialogue. The film won an Academy Award in 1959 for Best Short Subject.


Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra recorded the movements of the suite in three studio sessions on April 26, April 27, and April 28, 1932 in Camden, New Jersey for Victor. The suite was released on eight 78 singles on Victor Records in 1932 as 36052, 36053, 36054, and 36055.[1] The movements recorded were "Sunrise", "Painted Desert", "Along the Trail", "Sunset", and "Cloudburst".[2]

Victor also issued the 12" set as use on automatic changers with the sides in stackable order (36056 through 36059). In addition, Victor also separately recorded 2 - 12" 33 1/3 long playing recordings for their short lived "Program Transcription" series (L-35001 and L-35002).


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