(From the liner notes): Ferde Grofe, composer of such well known works as the GRAND CANYON SUITE, MISSISSIPPI SUITE and the HUDSON RIVER SUITE, produced VALLEY OF THE SUN SUITE at the request of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Honorable Howard Pyle, former Governor of Arizona, for the celebration of Reclamation's Golden Jubilee in 1952.
VALLEY OF THE SUN SUITE is the first and only musical story of the miracle of reclamation, and is basically the story of the SALT RIVER PROJECT, the nation's first multi-purpose reclamation project, which coupled the generation of electricity with a vast water storage system to provide a firm foundation for the burgeoning metropolis the Salt River Valley supports today.
More than a half century ago drought-ridden Salt Valley farmers banded together to organized the Project under the authorization of the National Reclamation Act which the late Theodore Roosevelt signed into law in 1902. Hydro electric power generated at Roosevelt Dam was sold to the Gila County copper mines and to power users in the Valley with the resultant revenue being used to assure the Valley of a constant water supply.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the 1952 premiere of the Valley of the Sun Suite, as conducted by Grofe and performed by the Arizona State College (Tempe) Symphonic Orchestra. The pieces opens in a beautifully moody manner with Valley of Ditches, employs themes from the composer's Rocketship X-M soundtrack in The Dam Builders, provides delightful dance music for the Masque of the Yellow Moon, and closes with the gorgeous Reclamation's Golden Jubilee (this blogger's favorite movement).
Today's offering is about as won't-hear-anyplace-else as it gets. To the suite: Valley of the Sun Suite
VALLEY OF THE SUN SUITE (Ferde Grofe)
1. VALLEY OF DITCHES
2. THE DAM BUILDERS
3. MASQUE OF THE YELLOW MOON
4. RECLAMATION'S GOLDEN JUBILEE
Arizona State College (Tempe) Symphonic Orchestra Conducted by Ferde Grofe.
Recorded by Arizona Recoding Productions, Phoenix.
(Canyon ARP 249)