LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL Archives

CLASSICAL Archives


CLASSICAL@COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL Home

CLASSICAL  February 2008

CLASSICAL February 2008

Subject:

Composers' Voices from Ives to Ellington

From:

James Tobin <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 22 Feb 2008 16:32:32 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (69 lines)

COMPOSERS' VOICES FROM IVES TO ELLINGTON. (An Oral History of American Music)
By Vivian Perlis and Libby Van Cleve
Yale University Press, 2005.  477 pages and two audio CDs.

This is an extremely welcome, readable, well put-together and informative
book.  Made possible by the enormous efforts and resources of the Oral
History American Music archive at Yale University, and the first of a
planned four volume series, it features the words of a number of American
composers (some born in Europe) born no later than 1900, as well as
contributions by many other people, famous and obscure, who knew the
featured composers.

This volume is structured around interviews by or about Charles Ives,
Eubie Blake, Leo Ornstein, Edgard Varese, Carl Ruggles, Dane Rudhyar,
Charles Seeger, Henry Cowell, George Gershwin, Nadia Boulanger, Virgil
Thomson, Aaron Copland, Roy Harris and Duke Ellington.  Ives and Gershwin
died before the beginning of the oral history project and Ellington died
before he could be interviewed.  Supporting interviewees include Bernard
Herrmann, Lou Harrison, Nicolas Slonimsky, Elliott Carter, William Bolcom,
John Cage, Morton Gould, Leopold Stokowski, Leonard Bernstein, Steve
Reich, Philip Glass, John Adams, David Diamond, Ned Rorem, David Del
Tredici, Gunther Schuller, Agnes de Mille, Alvin Ailey and Nat Hentoff.
Some of these are printed as shaded sidebars; others are lengthy.  There
are also very substantial introductions to the composers and the movements
or grouping they represent: early avant-garde, the 'Boulangerie,' etc.

The interviews were conducted over several decades.  I think the earliest
was as early as 1959, but that was borrowed from Columbia University's
oral history project, and they go up to the present century.  The bulk
of the main ones seem to date from the 1970's.  Vivian Perlis was the
founder of the Yale oral history project, which she was able to establish
there with some administrative difficulty.

A previous publication she is known for is the two volumes of Copland's
memoirs.  Amusingly, Virgil Thomson was quite uncooperative in the first
couple of interview attempts because she was not conducting them herself
and he was, let us say, jealous of Copland.

Much of the book consists of first person or observed accounts of the
composers' lives, careers and characters.  My attention was particularly
drawn to accounts by composers of how they saw their own music and
creative processes.  Ornstein, Varese, Cowell, Thomson, Copland and
Harris each had interesting things to say along these lines.  Alvin
Ailey's account of how Ellington's ballet, The River, was put together
is fascinating.

The CDs included both interviews and brief musical excerpts.  Some of
the latter are available on CRI, New World and a couple of other labels;
others appear to be privately provided recordings.  A few of the voices,
such as that of Ellen Taafe Zwilich, would appear represent a preview
of future volumes.  One of the most striking moments is that of Ives'
barber, who was pretty sure Ives was artistic but did not know he was a
musician; he relates an incident where Ives exploded about some music
on the radio which he wanted turned off.

As one might of expect of a volume published by Yale university Press,
there are extensive end notes, a bibliography, index, CD track listings
and recorded music credits.

Highly recommended.

Jim Tobin
Copyright  2008  by R. James Tobin

             ***********************************************
The CLASSICAL mailing list is powered by L-Soft's renowned LISTSERV(R)
list management software together with L-Soft's HDMail High Deliverability
Mailer for reliable, lightning fast mail delivery.  For more information,
go to:  http://www.lsoft.com/LISTSERV-powered.html

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
July 1997

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



COMMUNITY.LSOFT.COM

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager