Composers of Today: A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations

By David Ewen | Go to book overview
dict of physicians. For a full year, he ensconced himself in a remote hiding- place where he studied pathology. After a year of work in skin diseases, he traveled to his uncle in Switzerland, a physician, and told him what he suspected to be the cause of his malady. Together they worked upon the disease until Bloch was completely cured. Bloch is almost brutally frank. He will unequivocally tell you what he thinks of you, even tho you are only a most casual acquaintance; and he is equally candid where music is concerned. It is for this reason that his friends are few and far between; but these love him devotedly for his unaffected simplicity, his warm heart, and his genius.In his musical preferences, Bloch is decidedly a reactionary. His opinion of most modern composers is blistering. "Many of them do not know how to write a simple fugue," he will say, in discussing their supposedly complex creations. His preferences are rooted deeply in the classical literature of music; and all the masters are his favorite composers.Principal works by Ernest Bloch:
ORCHESTRA: Concerto Grosso; Symphony in C-sharp Minor; Hiver-Printemps; Trois Poèmes Juifs; Two Psalms; Schelomo (for 'cello and orchestra); Israel Sytmphony; Suite (for viola and orchestra); Poems of the Sea; America Symphony; Helvetia.
VOCAL AND DRAMATIC: Macbeth; Poèmes d'Automne; Two Psalms (for soprano); Sacred Service.
CHAMBER MUSIC: String Quartet in B- Minor; Quartet Pieces; Quintet; Three Nocturnes; Méditation Hébraïque; Viola Suite; Violin Sonata; Baal-Shem Suite.
Compositions for piano.

About Ernest Bloch:

Ewen David. Hebrew Music; Rosenfeld Paul . Musical Portraits; Tibaldi-Chiesa M. Ernest Bloch.

Modern Music 5:3November-December 1927; Monthly Musical Record 64:25February 1934; Musical Quarterly 7:20January 1921; Musical Record 1:425May 1934.

Important recordings of music by Ernest Bloch:

VICTOR: Concerto Grosso; Piano Quintet (Pro-Arte-Casella).

COLUMBIA: Nigun (Szigeti).


Rutland Boughton 1878-

"I believe that Boughton's work will eventually be recognized as one of the most remarkable achievements in the story of music. . . . We have musicians of genius amongst us . . . but so far as I know we have no one save Boughton who adds further that much rarer gift, a constructive sense of the theatre, with all that this implies."--CHARLES KENNEDY SCOTT

RUTLAND BOUGHTON was born in Aylesbury, England, on January 23, 1878. Altho he dabbled with music from early childhood, his musical career did not begin seriously until 1900, when he entered the Royal College of Music, becoming a student of Stanford and Walford Davies in composition and counterpoint respectively. After one year of college discipline, he decided to abandon it in order to devote all of his time to composition; his musical schooling, therefore, has been amazingly limited. Yet such early works of his as the Chilterns, a symphonic-poem which was performed under Allen Gill at Hotel Cecil ( December 31, 1901), the Imperial Elegy commemorating the death of Queen Victoria, introduced by Sir Henry J. Wood at Queen's Hall in 1902, and A Summer's Night first performed that same year at a Halford concert at Birmingham, reveal none of those yawning technical gaps which generally characterize the works of composers who have been, for the most part, autodidactic.

For a long while, Boughton supported himself while composing by playing in the orchestra of the Haymarket Theatre, London. These were years of want and misery, heightened by the pain of playing music of a sordid quality each evening. Granville Bantock, the composer, soon rescued Boughton from this agonizing routine, by procuring for him a teaching position at the Midland Institute of Music in Birmingham. Here Boughton remained until 1911, and the security and artistic satisfaction of his new position inspired an unprecedented fertility in every field of musical composition. These works, abounding with unique vitality and spirit, first suggested that he was a composer of importance. "The Choral Variations," commented Herbert Antcliffe, concerning the works

____________________
Boughton: Bo + o + ̄tŭn

-29-

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