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

By David Ewen | Go to book overview
ALEXANDER TANSMAN
ployed by him for the andante in works of the sonata-type, that his melodic gifts are severely tested. . . . The first movement of the Sinfonietta is remarkable for that rhythmic dynamism which, altho springing from a work like Le Sacre, expresses a pulsation of life common to many contemporary composers. Tansman has it to a remarkable degree, but this forceful virility, sometimes brutal but never vulgar, does not in any way detract from the beauty of the lyricism which helps to characterize his manifold personality." Alexander Tansman, in commenting on the esthetics of music, says: "Music has never changed its substance, and will never change its goal. Its body will always be melody; and its goal, emotion. . . . Originality has never been an act of will, and to seek it is the least original thing in the world. It is only necessary to become a master of one's technique in order to be able to serve oneself freely of originality and to apply it subsconsciously to musical ideas." Tansman is a passionate traveler. He looks upon his trip to the Orient and his sojourn in Bali, as the most thrilling experience of his life. Next in importance comes the first concert he heard conducted by Toscanini. His favorite diversions are tennis, travel, reading and billiards. He is a devotee of the cinema, and a profound admirer of Charlie Chaplin, to whom he has dedicated his Second Piano Concerto.Principal works by Alexander Tansman:
ORCHESTRA : Danse de la Sorcière; Symphony in A-Minor; Sinfonietta; Ouverture Symphonique; Toccata; two concertos for piano and orchestra; Impressions; Intermezzo Sinfonico; Quatre Danses Polonaises; Deux Moments Symphoniques; Triptyque; Concertino for Piano and Orchestra.
CHAMBER MUSIC : Four string quartets; Suite Divertissement; Mazurkas (for nine instruments); Triptyque.
THEATRE : La Nuit Kurde; Sextuor; Lumières; La Grande Ville.
Pieces for piano; songs, etc.

About Alexander Tansman:

Schwerké Irving. Alexander Tansman: Compositeur Polonais.

Guide du Concert 15:535February 8, 1929; Revue Musicale 10:46February 1929.

Important recordings of music by Alexander Tansman:

FRENCH COLUMBIA : Suite Divertissement; Mazurkas, for piano ( Tansman).


Deems Taylor 1885-

DEEMS TAYLOR was born in New York City on December 22, 1885, and was educated in New York city public schools. As a student at New York University, he collaborated with William Le Baron in writing student shows, and one of them, The Echo, was of sufficient merit to deserve a Broadway performance with Bessie McCoy. Upon graduating from college, Taylor began the study of music, taking a course in harmony under Oscar Coon. The major part of his knowledge of composition and orchestration was learned by himself from textbooks and personal study of scores.

His experiences, after college days, are as amazingly versatile as they are numerous. He enjoyed a brief career on the vaudeville stage, and was once offered "top billing" to do a comic skit with a variety of hats. He began carpentering, and acquired such skill that he was offered, in Stamford, Connecticut, a salary of $17 a day as assistant to an expert cabinet-maker. He was also assistant editor of technical journals, a foreign correspondent, the editor

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