The first movement which is being omitted on this program is entitled "Follow the Drinking Gourd," a popular underground railroad song giving directions to slaves on how to get to Canada from the southern United States (with the aid of the underground railroad).
FOUR FANTASIES ON AMERICAN FOLK SONGS (for piano four-hands) premiered over half a century ago on Jan. 5, 1957 in Carnegie Recital Hall (now Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall). It has been performed on many occasions all over the world and is now accepted as part of the standard repertoire for piano four-hands. It is published by C.F. Peters. It has been recorded on the Alitisa label by the Oregon piano duo Ivory Crush (Maria Choban and Kenn Willson).
FOUR FANTASIES ON AMERICAN FOLK SONGS has also been orchestrated by Townsend. That version may be heard at www.classicalmatters.com/douglas_t_music.htm. It was broadcast on public radio by the Oklahoma City Symphony (now Philharmonic) in 1962, Guy Frasier Harrison conducting. It was most recently performed by the Bronx Arts Ensemble Orchestra in a Memorial Day Concert in Van Cortlandt Park in NYC in 2008, David Gilbert conducting. The parts are on rental from C.F. Peters.