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

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prestige bulged, with the performance of such works as The Sacrifice, an opera, and the Symphony in C-Minor, until, at one time, Converse was accepted by Europe and America as our foremost composer. Altho Converse's pen has continued its productivity (a recent work of his, Flivver Ten Million, aroused considerable comment because of the uniqueness of the subject the composer chose to express), his fame has been rapidly on the decline. The works which brought him his original fame--his operas and symphonies-- have suddenly aged, and to our modern ears have become faded, almost drab, in their attraction. They have ceased to have a very palpitant meaning to us. In his more recent works, Converse's strict adherence to classical models and traditions induces a stiltedness and lack of freshness which condemn all of his music. Converse's importance in American music, leading critics are convinced, is essentially a historical one; his name should live longer than his music. Frederic Converse, who lives in Boston, is--away from his music--a very fine sportsman. He plays polo efficiently; and he is an expert golfer. His happiest days are spent in his summer home on Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire, where he can pursue his other favorite diversions of shooting, fishing, sailing and gardening. During winter days, his recreation comes in wood- carving--and not the least of his gifts is his ability to make violins.In music, his tastes are orthodox. His favorite composers are Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner and Brahms; among the moderns, only Debussy and Sibelius hold any fascination for him. He is bitterly opposed to modernism in music, feeling strongly that music must be essentially emotional and beautiful; ultra-modern composers arouse only his enmity.He is a very lovable and warm- hearted person. A genial smile is always on his round, moon-shaped face. He bears a tender friendship for everyone with whom he comes into contact. He confesses, also, that he is that strange exception--a thoroly happy man: happy in his work and play, happy with his teaching duties, and happy with his family life. "Life itself," he writes with an almost religious fervor, "is to me a constant marvel--and I thank God for it!"Principal works by Frederick Shepherd Converse:
OPERA: The Pipe of Desire; The Sacrifice.
ORCHESTRA: Symphony in D-Minor; The Masque of St. Louis; Mystic Trumpeter; Symphony in C-Minor; Symphony in E- Minor; Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra; Flivver Ten Million; California.
CHORAL: Job; The Flight of the Eagle.
CHAMMBER MUSIC: String Quartet in A- Minor; Violin Sonata; String Quartet.
About Frederick Shepherd Converse:
Howard J. T. Our American Music.
National Magazine 61:54May-June 1933.

Aaron Copland 1900-

" Copland's work is symbolic of the new world, on every green page of it. . . It places us immensely, alertly in the stream of metallic, modern American things."--


AARON COPLAND, one of the leading spirits in the "New School of Younger American Composers" was born in Brooklyn, New York, November 14, 1900. His musical education was begun in his thirteenth year, when he became a student of Victor Wittgenstein and Clarence Adler in piano; shortly thereafter Copland studied the first elements of harmony with Rubin Goldmark. Copland's progress was so pronounced that there could be no question from the very first as to his aptitude for music, and his teachers urged him to become a musician. In 1921, Copland went to Paris where for three years, as a student of Nadia Boulanger, his musical background became enriched. He returned to America in 1924, but the following year, as the recipient of a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for two years, he returned to Europe to devote himself still further to musical study, and serious musical composition.

The first work to bring him to the notice of the music world was the Cortège Macabre for orchestra, composed in his twenty-second year--a work of remarkable technical skill.

Copland: Cō'plȧnd


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