One of the major figures in American Classical Music in the 1930s and 40s.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – John Alden Carpenter – Tango from Dance Suite – NBC Orchestra cond. by Henri Nosco – July 6, 1944 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
Some Americana tonight – actually North Americana approximating South Americana by a popular composer of the 1930s and 1940s, John Alden Carpenter who premiered his Dance Suite in 1943. Carpenter was considered one of the more accessible of the Modern composers. His works had an adventuresome spirit, while maintaining an aura of the familiar and he was very popular among the group of Modern American Composers during that time.
This performance, the first broadcast of the 2nd movement, is from July 6, 1944 and features the NBC Studio Orchestra conducted by Henri Nosco, as part of the radio series Music Of The New World. As far as I can tell, there isn’t a commercial recording available of this Suite and certainly no commercial recording of this performance.
So something perhaps unfamiliar and rare, all at the same time.
George Whitefield Chadwick – symbolized American Classical Music before the age of Copland.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: George W. Chadwick – A Vagrom Ballad – NBC Studio Orchestra – Henri Nosco – June 28, 1945 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
Before the likes of Aron Copland, Roy Harris and many other composers of the “modern period” of American Classical music revolutionized the concert stages of the world, the music of George Whitefield Chadwick, Horatio Parker, Amy Beach and equally many others, were mainstays of the “romantic period” of American Classical music into the first decade of the 20th century.
Most are relatively forgotten now, but a reassessment of the period has taken place and a number of works by these previously forgotten composers have seen the light of recent day.
One of those composers is George W. Chadwick. Ironically, tonights post, A Vagrom Ballad was recently given a new lease on life by way of a recent recording (2008) as well as a number of his other orchestral and instrumental works, and the overall impression has been favorable.
Tonight it’s a 1945 broadcast recording by The NBC Studio Orchestra, conducted by Henri Nosco as part of NBC’s Music Of The New World series, featuring George Whitfield Chadwick’s A Vagrom Ballad from his Symphonic Sketches, first aired on June 28, 1945.
Composer William Pursell during his foray into Pop Music.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: [audio https://pastdaily.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/americas-composers-program-7-1953.mp3]
Continuing this week with American Composers of the 1950’s. This broadcast, part of the America’s Composers series features the Eastman School Student Symphony conducted by Howard Hanson in music by Student composers, studying at the school at the time of this broadcast on March 16, 1953.
Of the composers mentioned in this broadcast, one made a brief foray into the Pop Music world. William Pursell (or Bill Pursell) had a number of hit singles in the early 1960’s and had recorded extensively for Columbia Records before resuming his career in contemporary Classical Music. The other two, Walter Hartley and Ron Nelson have long and distinguished careers in the world of Academia.
All of them have an impressive number of compositions under their belt and are three more reasons why American Classical Music needs to be given a closer look than the passing glance its currently getting. There are a lot more out there than Aaron Copland, in case you didn’t notice. Just sayin’.
Here’s what’s on the player tonight:
1. Walter Hartley: Ballet Music For Orchestra
2. William Pursell: Christ Looking Over Jerusalem
3. Ron Nelson: Savannah River Holiday
It’s a safe bet none of these pieces are available on commercial recordings of any kind, and with the exception of Pursell’s pop material, none of it has been made heard since these first performances. It’s a reminder that the world of music is huge and vast – and probably not all of it can be heard in one lifetime.
But you can try. . .
Roy Harris – in the 1930’s considered Radical with Gregorian leanings.
Click on the Link: Roy Harris – Fantasy – American Broadcasting Co. Symphony – Roy Harris, cond.
Click on the Link: Roy Harris – Folk Rhythms Of Today – American Broadcasting Co. Symphony – Roy Harris, Cond.
I posted both of these pieces a few years ago via my now-defunct Newstalgia site. Since I have realize there is a whole new audience here, I have decided to run these pieces again. They are works by a major American composer who has fallen slightly into obscurity over the years (his works aren’t performed much in the concert hall), but who demands a place among the very best the 20th Century had to offer in American Classical Music.
These are two works which, as far as I have been able to research, have never been available commercially, nor have I seen them recorded by anyone else in any other form. Their origin is a little vague, because they were issued on a radio Transcription disc for The State Department for use overseas, as a sort of promotion of Americana. From what I have been able to sort out – they were recorded by the short-lived American Broadcasting Co. Symphony Orchestra in around 1946, or late 1945. ABC Radio didn’t come into existence until 1945, being initially part of the larger NBC Radio conglomerate and known as “The Blue Network”.
At any rate, I don’t have information as to which program this came from, what the date is and no other information other than the first cut is Fantasy and the second cut is Folk Rhythms Of Today. Both pieces are conducted by the composer and both are works that could vastly benefit from new recordings, new performances and a new life with a new audience.
But for now, here are two neglected classics from the vast catalog of American music by one of America’s foremost composers of the 20th Century.
Americana – an endless resource for 20th Century composers.
Click on the Link: Douglas Moore – Farm Journal
Since we’re rolling into the Fourth of July shortly, I thought I’d toss on some mid-century Americana tonight, by way of the State Department Transcription Service.
Douglas Moore, who is probably best known for “The Devil and Daniel Webster” is one of those quintessentially American composers whose subject matter and inspiration came largely from American mythology and iconic American imagery.
This weekend it’s a performance (possibly a first performance) of his Farm Journal, as performed on this broadcast recording by the CBS Symphony conducted by Alredo Antonini. Since there is no actual date of performance on the discs, I am venturing to guess it’s 1945 and the recording may have come from the Invitation To Music series on CBS Radio.
In any event, it’s a rare recording of an equally rare performance and work.
Enjoy the coming holiday.