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

By David Ewen | Go to book overview
in Russia today; but we hear him in the same spirit as we go to a museum to study the forms of the old regime. We can learn certain technical lessons from him, but we do not accept him."We, as revolutionists, have a different conception of music. Lenin himself said that 'music is a means of unifying broad masses of people.' Not a leader of masses, perhaps, but certainly an organizing force! For music has the power of stirring specific emotions in those who listen to it. Good music lifts and heartens and lightens people for work and effort. It may be tragic but it must be strong. It is no longer an end in itself, but a vital weapon in the struggle. . . ."In describing Shostakowitch's style, Belaiev says that it is "the negation of thematic development and consists in the systematic adoption of a method which is the converse of Liszt's 'transformation of themes.' Shostakowitch not only refrains in general from repeating a theme in its original or in a transformed version--the accepted custom with symphonic-composers--but in writing a theme, he avoids the repetition of identical motifs and melodic turns of phrases. One gets the impression that he wants every bar of his composition to be different from the rest. He applies this method to the distribution of the parts, striving to attain a completely independent design for each of the orchestral parts of the score." Shostakowitch's works are not many in number, but each is remarkable for its sureness and solidity, and its consistently high level of inspiration. His latest work--an opera, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, performed in Russia during the Spring of 1934--seems to denote rather strongly that there is no retrogression in his march towards greatness. "This work" writes one critic, Patrick Hughes, "is certainly the finest post- revolutionary Russian opera. I am inclined to think that it is second only to Wozzeck, as being the best opera of the post-war era. . . . Shostakowitch has a rare sense of the theater. He has that peculiarly Russian gift of creating an atmosphere with a very few bars. . . . Lady Macbeth contains much good music, even a few passages of such surprising maturity that one is almost tempted to call them great. Certainly only the last scene in Wozzeck, among recent musical works, is as effective as the last scene of this Soviet piece." Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk was introduced in America in Cleveland on January 31, 1935 under the baton of Artur Rodzinski, and shortly after that performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.Principal works by Dmitri Shostakowitch:
OPERA: The Nose; Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.
ORCHESTRA: First Symphony; October Symphony; May-Day Symphony; Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.
CHAMBER Music: Two Pieces for String Octet.
BALLET: The Golden Age; The Bolt.
About Dmitri Shostakowich:
Sabaneyev Leonid. Modern Russian Composers.
Musical Courier 109:10 July 14, 1934; New York Times December 5, 1931.
Important recordings of music by Dmitri Shostakowich:
VICTOR: First Symphony (Stokowski).
PATHE: The Golden Age.

Jean Sibelius 1865-

"I am convinced that he will ultimately prove to have been not only the greatest of his generation, but one of the major figures in the entire history of music." --CECIL GRAY

JEAN JULIUS CHRISTIAN SIBELIUS, the greatest composer of present-day Scandinavia and one of the great figures in the music of our times, was born in a small town in the interior of Finland, Tavastehus, where his father was a regimental doctor, on December 8, 1865. From a very early age he revealed the fact that a great talent for music was born with him. As a mere boy, he could improvise upon the piano with a neat imagination, and he could compose pieces for solo instruments with a tasteful pen. In his fifteenth year, he began to take violin lessons from the military bandmaster of the town, and succeeded in gaining quite a technical equipment with the instru-

____________________
Sibelius: sī-bāl'yūs

-249-

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

Table of contents

  • Books of the Same Author ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Key to Pronunciations xiv
  • Joseph Achron 1886- 1
  • George Antheil 1900- 3
  • Kurt Atterberg 1887- 4
  • Louis Aubert 1877- 6
  • Georges Auric 1899- 7
  • Granville Bantock 1868- 8
  • Béla Bartók 1881- 10
  • Arnold Bax 1883- 15
  • Robert Russell Bennett 1894- 16
  • Lord Berners 1883. 20
  • Julius Bittner 1874- 22
  • Arthur Bliss 1891- 23
  • Marc Blitzstein 1905- 24
  • Ernest Bloch 1880- 25
  • Rutland Boughton 1878- 26
  • Walter Braunfels 1882- 29
  • Frank Bridge 1879- 31
  • Alfred Bruneau 1857-1934 32
  • Charles Wakefield Cadman 1881- 35
  • Alfredo Casella 1883- 36
  • Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco 1895- 38
  • Juan José Castro 1895- 40
  • Gustave Charpentier 1860. 41
  • Frederick Shepherd Converse 1871- 46
  • Henry Cowell 1897- 49
  • Sir Frederic H. Cowen 1852- 51
  • Sir Walford Davies 1869- 53
  • Claude Debussy 1862-1918 55
  • Frederick Delius 1863-1934 56
  • Ernst Von Dohnányi 1877. 60
  • Arcady Dubensky 1890- 62
  • Paul Dukas 1865- 64
  • Paul Dupin 1865- 67
  • Georges Enesco 1881- 68
  • Manuel De Falla .1876- 70
  • Gabriel Fauré 1845-1924 72
  • Henri Gagnebin 1886- 79
  • Philippe Gaubert 1879- 80
  • George Gershwin 1898- 80
  • Umberto Giordano 1867- 82
  • Alexander Glazunov 1865- 84
  • Reinhold Glière 1874- 86
  • Michael Gniessin 1883- 90
  • Paul Graener 1872- 91
  • Percy Grainger 1882- 93
  • Alexander Gretchaninoff 1864- 94
  • Louis Gruenberg 1883- 96
  • Alois Hába 1893- 98
  • Henry Hadley 1871- 99
  • Reynaldo Hahn 1874- 101
  • Howard Hanson 1896- 103
  • Sandor Harmati 1892- 104
  • Roy Harris 1898- 106
  • Edward Burlingame Hill 1872- 110
  • Paul Hindemith 1895- 112
  • Gustav Holst 1874-1934 115
  • Arthur Honegger 1892- 117
  • Herbert Howells 1892- 119
  • Jacques Ibert 1890- 120
  • Vincent D'Indy 1851-1931 122
  • Michael Ippolitov-Ivanov 1859- 123
  • John Ireland 1879- 125
  • Frederick Jacobi 1891- 128
  • Leoš Janáček 1854-1928 130
  • Werner Janssen 1900- 131
  • Joseph Jongen 1873. 133
  • Werner Josten 1888- 134
  • Paul Juon 1872- 135
  • Heinrich Kaminski 1886- 136
  • Wilhelm Kienzl 1857- 139
  • Lyof Knipper 1898- 140
  • Zoltan Kodály 1882- 141
  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold 1897- 142
  • A. Walter Kramer 1890- 147
  • Alexander Kreyn 1883- 148
  • Ladislas Lajtha 1892- 151
  • Constant Lambert 1905- 151
  • Charles Martin Loeffler 1861- 152
  • Nikolai Lopatnikoff 1903- 153
  • Igor Markevitch 1912- 157
  • Frank Martin 1890- 159
  • Bohuslav Martinu 1890- 161
  • Joseph Marx 1882- 162
  • Pietro Mascagni 1863- 164
  • Daniel Gregory Mason 1873- 165
  • Nikolai Medtner 1880- 167
  • Nikolai Miaskovsky 1881- 168
  • Georges Migot 1891- 170
  • Darius Milhaud 1892- 171
  • Italo Montemezzi 1875- 175
  • Harold Morris 1890- 176
  • Alexander Mossolov 1900- 177
  • Leo Ornstein 1895- 179
  • Ignace Jan Paderewski 1860- 181
  • Hans Pfitzner 1869- 185
  • Willem Pijper 1894- 189
  • Paul Pisk 1893- 191
  • Walter Piston 1894- 192
  • Ildebrando Pizzetti 1880- 193
  • Francis Poulenc 1899- 194
  • John Powell 1882- 196
  • Serge Prokofieff 1891- 198
  • Henri Rabaud 1873- 199
  • Serge Rachmaninoff 1873- 201
  • Maurice Ravel 1875- 205
  • Rhené-Baton 1879- 210
  • Wallingford Riegger 1885. 212
  • Vittorio Rieti 1898- 213
  • Roger-Ducasse 1875- 215
  • Dane Rudhyar 1895- 218
  • Carl Ruggles 1876- 220
  • Victor De Sabata 1892- 221
  • Lazare Saminsky 1882- 224
  • Ernest Schelling 1876- 226
  • Joseph Schillinger 1895- 228
  • Max Von Schillings 1868-1933 230
  • Florent Schmitt 1870. 232
  • Arnold Schönberg 1874- 234
  • Cyril Scott 1879- 238
  • Alexander Scriabin 1871-1915 240
  • Bernhard Sekles 1872- 242
  • Roger Sessions 1896- 245
  • Dmitri Shostakowitch 1906- 246
  • Christian Sinding 249
  • Leone Sinigaglia 1868- 252
  • David Stanley Smith 1877­ 253
  • Leo Sowerby 1895- 255
  • William Grant Still 1895- 256
  • Albert Stoessel 1894- 258
  • Richard Strauss 1864- 259
  • Igor Stravinsky 1882- 260
  • Edwin J. Stringham 1890- 268
  • Alexander Tansman 1897- 270
  • Deems Taylor 1885- 271
  • Alexander Tcherepnine 1899- 273
  • Nikolai Tcherepnine 1873- 275
  • Virgil Thomson 1896- 276
  • Ernest Toch 1887- 278
  • Vincenzo Tommasini 1880- 279
  • Joaquin Turina 1882. 281
  • Edgar Varèse 1885- 283
  • Ralph Vaughan-Williams 1872- 284
  • Hector Villa-Lobos 1886- 286
  • H. Waldo-Warner 1874- 288
  • William Walton 1902- 290
  • Anton Webern 1883- 291
  • Kurt Weill 1900- 292
  • Jaromir Weinberger 1896- 295
  • Leo Weiner 1885- 296
  • Adolph Weiss 1891- 298
  • Egon Wellesz 1885- 300
  • Alexander Weprik .1899- 301
  • Riccardo Zandonai 1883- 305
  • Bibliography of Modern Music 309
  • Index 313
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