During WWII, Copland could feel that he was doing his part for the War effort by composing patriotic music thatwould be meaningful to the general public. He accepted a commission from bandleader Paul Whiteman, who was requesting pieces from famous composers to be played by his orchestra on the Philco Radio Hour of the American Broadcasting System. The result was the touching Letter From Home. Following the radio premiere, Copland shortened the piece slightly and expanded the orchestration so that it could be performed in the concert hall.
-Vivian Perlis, 1998