nically sure of itself and possessing such
a new and vital idiom--had been
composed by a young man of twenty-one.
Critics prophesied a magnificent future
for this composer.In 1929, Lambert proved to the critics
that their prophecy had not been in vain,
when he created two works which, to
date, are considered his best productions,
and which were definite proofs that he
was one of the most healthy-blooded and
vital of the younger English composers.
The first of these compositions was the
now-famous Rio Grande, written in a
jazz-idiom that is "idealized, transmuted,
enlisted to a service to which it had
hitherto seemed alien. The effect is, of
course, exotic. . . . But more than that
it is poetically evocative." The other
composition, Music for Orchestra, is regarded by Lambert himself as his most
successful creation. "It is an elaborately
contrapuntal work, tho harmonically it is
simple," explains Beryl de Zoëte. "The
rhythmic line thruout is of great importance and fascinating interest, but
it is also of considerable melodic interest.
It is remarkably concise in form, tho
elaborate in construction. . . . It is an
extremely intellectual, almost wintry,
work, remarkable for its bold architecture."What is so outstanding in the music
of young Constant Lambert is not only
the fact that he possesses an idiom which
is full of pepper and salt--fresh,
vigorous, alive--but also the fact that
his is a technique that is so deft and
subtle that its complexity often escapes
the notice of the listener. As Edwin
Evans points out: "Lambert, being of
a . . . subtle temperament, usually keeps
his remarkable technical skill to the
background. In the Rio Grande, for
instance, it is the sureness of touch,
rather than the ingenuity, which impresses one. The reticence is entirely
sincere. Lambert has no affectation, but
he is an intellectual to whom craftsmanship is incidental and ancillary."Other works of outstanding distinction
which Lambert has composed and which
assure him an important place in modern
music include his Elegiac Blues for
orchestra, composed to the memory of Florence Mills, and his poignant setting
of poems by Li-Po, dedicated to Anna
May Wong.Principal works by Constant Lambert:
|ORCHESTRA : Prize-Fight; The Bird Actors; Rio Grande; Music for Orchestra; Elegiac
|CHAMBER MUSIC : Chamber Concerto.|
|BALLET : Romeo and Juliet.|
|Songs, compositions for piano, etc.|
About Constant Lambert: Chesterian 12:181 1931; Monthly Musical
Record 59:97April 1929; 60:356December 1930.
Important recordings of music by Constant Lambert:
COLUMBIA : Rio Grande.
Charles Martin Loeffler 1861-
"There are poets who are apart--Poe,
the Thomson of the City of Dreadful
Night, Baudelaire. There are dramatists
of kin, as Tourneur, Webster, Ford and Maeterlinck. In music there is Loeffler."--PHILIP HALE
CHARLES MARTIN TORNOV
LOEFFLER, one of the great
voices in the older school of American
music, was born in Alsace on January
30, 1861. His father was a scientist who
dabbled with music; and his mother
was a passionate lover of good poetry.
Before the outbreak of the Franco-
Prussian war, the family moved to the
Russian country town of Smjela, in the
province of Kiev, where the father
supported himself by working for the
government. Young Charles was here
given his first intensive musical instruction. A German musician of the Imperial Orchestra recognized signs of
talent in the boy and so he offered
to give him lessons upon the violin.
From Smjela the family migrated to
Debreczin, Hungary, where the father
taught in the Royal Agricultural Academy. Having lost his teacher, Charles
could no longer pursue his violin
studies. But his musical appetite was
to a measure satisfied by listening to the
plangent music of the Hungarian gypsies
who wandered frequently into town.
By 1875, young Loeffler was fully
convinced that he would devote his life
to music. This realization filled him____________________
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Composers of Today:A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations.
Contributors: David Ewen - Editor, David Ewen - Compiler.
Publisher: H. W. Wilson.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1934.
Page number: 153.
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