Musical Nationalism: American Composers' Search for Identity

By Alan Howard Levy | Go to book overview

3
PARIS AND NEOCLASSICISM

With the Great War, France displaced Germany as the primary foreign influence in American musical composition and pedagogy. In the decade after the war virtually all young American composers born between 1890 and 1910 went to Paris. George Antheil, Ernest Bacon, Samuel Barlow, Robert Russell Bennett, Marc Blitzstein, Radie Britain, Harold Brown, Mark Brunswick, Elliott Carter, Theodore Chanler, Avery Claflin, Aaron Copland, Charles Cushing, Robert Delany, Richard Donovan, John Duke, Herbert Elwell, Ross Lee Finney, Isadore Freed, George Gershwin, Richard Hammond, Howard Hanson, Roy Harris, Frederick Hart, John Haussermann, Walter Heffer, Irwin Heilner, Mary Howe, Harrison Kerr, Clair Leonard, Norman Lockwood, Otto Luening, Quinto Maganini, Harl McDonald, Carl McKinley, Douglas Moore, Walter Piston, Quincy Porter, Bernard Rogers, Robert Sanders, Roger Sessions, Harrington Shortall, Elie Siegmeister, Leo Sowerby, Alexander Steinert, Howard Swanson, Louise Talma, Randall Thompson, Virgil Thomson, Joseph Wagner, Max Wald, Powell Weaver, and Adolph Weiss all spent some time there. For most the stay was short, twelve months or less, but many stayed several years. Two, Virgil Thomson and George Antheil, remained in Paris for many years, associating with the Left Bank literati. Americans went to Paris for many individual reasons, but primarily to study and experience at first hand the great artistic traditions both past and present.

A major attraction of Paris was its general intellectual excitement. Paris was the cosmopolitan crossroads of the artistic world. Scores

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Musical Nationalism: American Composers' Search for Identity
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1 - The German Orthodoxy 3
  • Notes 12
  • 2 - Americanism and French Impressionism 14
  • Notes 28
  • 3 - Paris and Neoclassicism 30
  • Notes 60
  • 4 - Expatriates, Frivolous and Serious: George Antheil and Virgil Thomson 62
  • Notes 82
  • 5 - Roy Harris and Strident Americanism 86
  • Notes 103
  • 6 - A Nice Jewish Boy from Brooklyn 105
  • Notes 125
  • CODA 128
  • Notes 137
  • ESSAY ON SOURCES 139
  • Index 161
  • About the Author 169
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