Copland was interested in experimenting with polyrhythms without direct use of jazz. "I have always regarded the Symphonic Ode as an important work. It had not been easy to compose, and it was difficult to perform, particularly at a time when orchestral performers were not trained to play rhythms that have since become standard." Copland, disappointed that the Ode was rarely performed, made a revised version for the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1955. Nadia Boulanger wrote, ". . . with the Ode, more than ever, I have understood who you are, what you come to say, and how you are ready to give it a definite form."
-Vivian Perlis, 1998