This 12-hour trip straddles the fields and farmlands of Indiana and Ohio and the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania, before ending in New York City. The opening of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and the pastorale from Handel’s Messiah set an appropriately rustic tone. Selections from John Williams’ Oscar-nominated score to the film "Lincoln" (2012) and Aaron Copland’s early Dance Symphony may bring to mind the swaying fields of the Midwest's agricultural belt.
Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme By Thomas Tallis and the hymn “In the Sweet By and By” set a contemplative mood, followed by the second movement of Mahler’s Third Symphony, a Dionysian ode to nature originally titled "What the Flowers in the Meadow Tell Me.” With twisty, mountainous terrain comes Hovhaness’ glorious Mysterious Mountain and Webern’s idyllic Im Sommerwind (In the Summer Wind). Mascagni’s famous Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana offers a salute to New Jersey’s Italian-American communities. Vigorous favorites by Dvorak and Gershwin complete the journey in the heart of Manhattan.