An Introduction to Twentieth Century Music

By Peter S. Hansen | Go to book overview

his two string quartets ( 1951 and 1960). Many critics and musicians believe that he will be judged the outstanding American composer of his time. Attention is called to one younger man, Leon Kirchner (b. 1919) in this brief summary. He is a pupil of Roger Sessions, and has also worked informally with Schoenberg and Bartók. This orientation is apparent in his compositions, which include a duo for violin and piano ( 1947), a string quartet ( 1949), and a piano concerto ( 1956 ).

There are so many other young composers of merit that a complete list would be almost interminable. Thus, while at the beginning of the century America could claim only a few native composers, by mid-century she had achieved a position of leadership in music.


SUGGESTED READINGS

Copland. Two full-length studies have been written: Julia Smith, Aaron Copland: His Work and Contribution to American Music ( New York, 1955) and Arthur Berger, Aaron Copland ( New York, 1953). There are numerous periodical articles and the Autumn, 1948 issue of Tempo is devoted to his works. Among Copland's own writings, Music and Imagination ( Cambridge, 1952), and the autobiographical sketch in Our Modern Composers ( New York, 1941) are of interest.

Harris. No comprehensive study of Harris' style has been published. Among periodical articles, the following are recommended: Arthur Farwell, "Roy Harris" Musical Quarterly, XVIII, No. 1, Jan. 1932; Walter Piston, "Roy Harris" Modern Music, Jan.-Feb. 1934; and Nicolas Slonimsky, "Roy Harris" Musical Quarterly, XXXIII, No. 1, Jan. 1947. The last article is particularly recommended for the analy­ sis of style elements it contains. Harris' own views on compositions can be found in American Composers on American Music, edited by Henry Cowell ( Palo Alto, 1933).

Piston. "Walter Piston," by Elliot Carter, in Musical Quarterly, XXXII, No. 3, July 1946; "Piston's Fourth Symphony," by W. Austin, in Music Review, May 1955.

Sessions. Mark A. Schubart, "Roger Sessions: Portrait of an American Composer," Musical Quarterly, XXXII, No. 2, April 1946; various

-337-

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An Introduction to Twentieth Century Music
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Epigraph iii
  • Title Page iv
  • List of Illustrations vi
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Part One - 1900-1914 1
  • Chapter I - Nineteenth Century Background 3
  • Suggested Readings 9
  • Chapter II - Paris 11
  • Chapter III - Paris: Other Composers 33
  • Suggested Readings 52
  • Chapter IV - Germany and Austria 53
  • Suggested Readings 74
  • Chapter V - Music in America 75
  • Chapter VI - Experiments in Music 87
  • Part Two - 1914-1945 105
  • Chapter VII - Paris After World War I 107
  • Chapter VIII - Les Trois 125
  • Chapter IX - Stravinsky 151
  • Chapter X - Schoenberg 175
  • Chapter XI - Berg and Webern 197
  • Suggested Readings 218
  • Chapter XII - Bartók 223
  • Suggested Reading 238
  • Chapter XIII - Hindemith 249
  • Suggested Reading 265
  • Chapter XIV - Soviet Russia 267
  • Suggested Reading 287
  • Chapter XV - England 289
  • Suggested Reading 303
  • Chapter XVI - Music in America 305
  • Suggested Reading 337
  • Part III - 1945-1960 343
  • Chapter XVII - New Directions 345
  • Suggested Reading 357
  • References 359
  • Composers 365
  • Index 367
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