Arranged for two pianos, four hands from the ballet “Rodeo”: Rodeo is a ballet composed by Aaron Copland and choreographed by Agnes de Mille, which premiered in 1942. Subtitled “The Courting at Burnt Ranch”, the ballet consists of five sections: “Buckaroo Holiday”, “Corral Nocturne”, “Ranch House Party,” “Saturday Night Waltz”, and “Hoe-Down”.
“Hoe-Down” opens by vamping the first bar of William H. Stepp's interpretation of the folk tune “Bonaparte's Retreat”, which will become a major theme of the section. After a reprisal of the Rodeo theme, the theme proper begins in the strings, as the horns play a simple counterpoint. Instead of building to a climax, this section segues into “Miss McLeod's Reel”, performed by various solo instruments. Copland briefly introduces the Irish theme “Gilderoy” in the clarinet and oboe
“Saturday Night Waltz” While the “Texas minuet” of the “Saturday Night Waltz” plays de Mille's transcribed version of “I Ride an Old Paint” (also known as “Houlihan”) the cowboys and their girls pair off. Expectant of a partner and finding none, the Cowgirl is alone until the Champion Roper approaches her, having failed to best the Wrangler in winning the affections of the Rancher's Daughter. Both this section and the “Corral Nocturne” feature Copland's characteristic economy of sound, where he uses solo instruments in lieu of entire sections.