Copland's symphonic legacy was secured with the Third Symphony. In the '40s, American composers were searching for The Great American Symphony, and Copland's big four-movement work filled the bill. Composed for Serge Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the jubilant full orchestral forces were a celebration of the end of WWII. Koussevitzky said, "There is no doubt about it — this is the greatest American symphony. It goes from the heart to the heart." The Symphony makes little or no use of folk materials, but Copland borrows from himself by incorporating his triumphant Fanfare for the Common Man in the last movement of this grand work.
-Vivian Perlis, 1998