|OPERAS: Dobrynia Nikitich; Sister Beatrice.|
|ORCHESTRA: Music to Snow-Maiden; First Symphony; Pastorale Symphony; Third Symphony; Fourth Symphony; etc.|
|CHAMBER MUSIC: String Quartets; Trios; Violin Sonata; 'Cello Sonata; etc.|
|CHORAL: Three Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom; old Russian sacred melodies, etc.|
|Songs, choruses, piano pieces, etc.|
Important recordings of music by Alexander Gretchaninoff:
Montagu-Nathan Montagu. Contemporary Russian Composers; Sabaneyev Leonid. Modern Russian Composers.
|VICTOR: Over the Steppe (Garden); Credo.|
|POLYDOR: My Country.|
LOUIS GRUENBERG, one of the most prominent figures in modern American music, was born in Russia on August 3, 1883. He came to America when he was two years old, and was educated in New York public schools. At the same time, he studied the piano under Adele Margulies. With maturity, the determination to become a serious musician brought him back to Europe, where for a long time he studied under Busoni. His professional life as musician began in the concert field. As a pianist, Gruenberg toured thruout Europe, performing with leading symphony orchestras. It was not until 1912 that Gruenberg definitely decided to accept composing, rather than concert work, as a career. In that year, his first symphonic poem, the Hill of Dreams, received a first prize of $10,000. A few years later, Gruenberg composed his first genuinely successful orchestral work, the Enchanted Isle, which was written during the war as "an attempt"--as Gruenberg confesses--"to make the world somewhat pleasanter than the one existing then." The criticisms which both the Hill of Dreams and the Enchanted Isle received emphatically persuaded Gruenberg that by his natural talents he Was fated to become a composer.
During this period, Gruenberg had also ambitiously created no less than four operas, two of which never reached performance. One of these unperformed operas was based on Anatole France's famous play, The Man Who Married a Dumb Wife. Unfortunately, Gruenberg failed to ask permission from Anatole France for the use of his play, and when he had completed his opera he was faced with the refusal of France's executors. Gruenberg made three special trips to Paris to argue with them but without success. It seems hardly likely that his opera will ever reach performance, unless the executors relent, which seems doubtful.
In 1919, Gruenberg returned to America in the company of his teacher, Busoni. Shortly after his arrival, he produced what critics generally recognize as his greatest work up to the time --Daniel Jaz--for tenor and chamber orchestra, in which Gruenberg succeeded in bringing an altogether new dignity, artistic genuineness and poignancy to jazz. "Certainly," wrote one critic in the Chesterian, "Louis Gruenberg's Daniel Jazz is the most distinguished and inspired music that he has yet given us. There are moments here of exquisite tenderness (listen to the music accompanying the six lines beginning