5 comments

  1. It says “Score” so I guess we do know. <><>There are several interesting books about 19th-century American music, though the resurgance of interest in it doesn’t seem to be centered in Boston (the Albany Symphony, for instance); pity, because I like the stuff. Chadwick seems to have been something of a wild card, if his operetta ‘Tabasco’ and his unproduced opera ‘The Padrone’ are any indication. <><>I have a vested interest in mentioning the American music anecdotes in ‘Slonimsky’s Book of Musical Anecdotes,’ since I did its illustrations; but Vernon Duke wrote a scathing critique of the beginnings of American Music in his book ‘Listen Here!,’ which also has the most rabid (and entertaining) attack on Stravinsky ever penned. –Robert B.

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  2. I just picked up a second-hand copy of the Peters compilation “Democratic Souvenirs”—all 19th-century American classical or close-enough-to-classical music. Good stuff. Gottschalk is rather outclassed in the piano music, and Amy Beach’s Piano Conerto looks like a blast.

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  3. Maybe I’m a bigger Gottschalk fan than you are (I love the earlier volumes of Philip Martin’s series on Hyperion). Years ago I suggested to Johnny Reinhard the possibility of my writing a ‘Gottschalkiana’ for microtone pianos — I’d like to hear those high-octane arabesques Gott indulges in quarter-tones on the high end of the piano. <><>Joshua Pierce was at the MicroFest up here last month; he once premiered a piece of mine at Columbia). When I suggested the idea to him, he looked at me as if I was out of my mind. <><>Do you know John Knowles Paine’s “Fuga Giocosa”? It’s a very odd take on the old American phrase “Over the Fence and Out” (like “Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits” a part of our collective memory, maybe because it’s the last musical phrase you hear during the opening credits on old Three Stooges’ shorts). Paine –not usually inclined to humor, and by a number of accounts, something of a pill– puts this childrens’ tune through the Bach-fugue rack, with impressive results.

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  4. I like Gottschalk, too (I’ll break out “The Last Hope” on a regular basis), but you could easily come out of a music history course thinking he was the only serious pianist/composer in 19th-century America. William Mason’s “Silver Spring”? Impressive.I don’t know that Paine piece. Didn’t he do a Double Fugue on “America” or something like that? I seem to remember having a good time trying to hack through it. (This Peters collection includes a big chunk of his opera <>Azara<>, by the way. Questionable libretto, but some nice music.)

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