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Marc Blitzstein

Autor: Howard Pollack
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199977089
File Size: 15,22 MB
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A composer and lyricist of enormous innovation and influence, Marc Blitzstein remains one of the most versatile and fascinating figures in the history of American music, his creative output running the gamut from films scores and Broadway operas to art songs and chamber pieces. A prominent leftist and social maverick, Blitzstein constantly pushed the boundaries of convention in mid-century America in both his work and his life. Award-winning music historian Howard Pollack's new biography covers Blitzstein's life in full, from his childhood in Philadelphia to his violent death in Martinique at age 58. The author describes how this student of contemporary luminaries Nadia Boulanger and Arnold Schoenberg became swept up in the stormy political atmosphere of the 1920s and 1930s and throughout his career walked the fine line between his formal training and his populist principles. Indeed, Blitzstein developed a unique sound that drew on everything contemporary, from the high modernism of Stravinsky and Hindemith to jazz and Broadway show tunes. Pollack captures the astonishing breadth of Blitzstein's work--from provocative operas like The Cradle Will Rock, No for an Answer, and Regina, to the wartime Airborne Symphony composed during his years in service, to lesser known ballets, film scores, and stage works. A courageous artist, Blitzstein translated Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera during the heyday of McCarthyism and the red scare, and turned it into an off-Broadway sensation, its "Mack the Knife" becoming one of the era's biggest hits. Beautifully written, drawing on new interviews with friends and family of the composer, and making extensive use of new archival and secondary sources, Marc Blitzstein presents the most complete biography of this important American artist.

Mark The Music

Autor: Eric A. Gordon
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 0595092489
File Size: 22,32 MB
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The recently released Tim Robbins film Cradle Will Rock reawakened worldwide audiences to composer Marc Blitzstein's runaway Broadway hit of 1937, and to the exciting times he lived in. Blitzstein went on to write Regina (based on Lillian Hellman's "The Little Foxes"), the definitive translation of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's Threepenny Opera, and an enormous amount of other music based squarely in American and Broadway traditions. Mark the Music is an engaging biography of this larger-than-life composer that reads like a novel. Practically every page features an illuminating and revealing pen portrait of the most important creative personalities in American culture—Orson Welles, John Houseman, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Robeson, Sean O'Casey, Agnes de Mille, Lotte Lenya, Melvyn Douglas, Shirley Both, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Earl Robinson, Rudolf Bing, and many more. A vibrant journey through mid-20th century America comes to life through the eyes and experience of Marc Blitzstein. The issues that marked Blitzstein's day—censorship, repression, war—are all with us today. This is a story of passion, defiance, glory and tragedy, and ultimately of faith in democratic American values expressed through the arts.

The Ballad Of John Latouche

Autor: Howard Pollack
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190458291
File Size: 24,65 MB
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Born into a poor Virginian family, John Treville Latouche (1914-56), in his short life, made a profound mark on America's musical theater as a lyricist, book writer, and librettist. The wit and skill of his lyrics elicited comparisons with the likes of Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, and Cole Porter, but he had too, noted Stephen Sondheim, "a large vision of what musical theater could be," and he proved especially venturesome in helping to develop a lyric theater that innovatively combined music, word, dance, and costume and set design. Many of his pieces, even if not commonly known today, remain high points in the history of American musical theater. "A great American genius" in the words of Duke Ellington, Latouche initially came to wide public attention in his early twenties with his cantata for soloist and chorus, Ballad for Americans (1939), with music by Earl Robeson-a work that swept the nation during the Second World War. Other milestones in his career included the all-black musical fable, Cabin in the Sky (1940), with Vernon Duke; an interracial updating of John Gay's classic, The Beggar's Opera, as Beggar's Holiday (1946), with Duke Ellington; two acclaimed Broadway operas with Jerome Moross: Ballet Ballads (1948) and The Golden Apple (1954); one of the most enduring operas in the American canon, The Ballad of Baby Doe (1956), with Douglas Moore; and the operetta Candide (1956), with Leonard Bernstein and Lillian Hellman. Extremely versatile, he also wrote cabaret songs, participated in documentary and avant-garde film, translated poetry, adapted plays, and much else. Meanwhile, as one of Manhattan's most celebrated raconteurs and hosts, he developed a wide range of friends in the arts, including, to name only a few, Paul and Jane Bowles (whom he introduced to each other), Yul Brynner, John Cage, Jack Kerouac, Frederick Kiesler, Carson McCullers, Frank O'Hara, Dawn Powell, Ned Rorem, Virgil Thomson, Gore Vidal, and Tennessee Williams-a dazzling constellation of diverse artists working in sundry fields, all attracted to Latouche's brilliance and joie de vivre, not to mention his support for their work. This book draws widely on archival collections both at home and abroad, including Latouche's diaries and the papers of Bernstein, Ellington, Moore, Moross, and many others, to tell for the first time, the story of this fascinating man and his work.

Power Prose And Purse

Autor: Alison LaCroix
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190873469
File Size: 11,76 MB
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From Anthony Trollop to Sinclair Lewis, and from Jane Austen to James Joyce and John Steinbeck, many important novels touch on fundamental questions about the role of money in human affairs. These questions are explored in this volume through the lens of law and literature. The sixteen essays collected here, by important theorists from a range of disciplines, shed new light on the impact of economic change, from the Industrial Revolution to the Great Depression. Students of economics and business will gain a new appreciation of literature's insights on singular events and human emotions. Similarly, scholars and students of literature will gain an appreciation for the power of law and economics to inform literary and social analysis. The volume's focus on novels about money and economic upheaval showcases the power of the disciplinary marriage of law and literature.

Marc Blitzstein

Autor: Leonard Lehrman
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780313300271
File Size: 8,97 MB
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Marc Blitzstein was one of the 20th century's most important American composers, lyricists, and critics, often credited with having virtually invented opera in the American vernacular. Called the father of American opera in the vernacular by luminaries Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein, Blitzstein was a masterful pianist, coach, and accompanist, though, ironically, he made more money on the lyrics to one song--Mack the Knife--than on everything else he ever did. Blitzstein's brilliant career was cut short in 1964 when he died at the age of 58. This book catalogs Blitzstein's own writings and writings about him, followed by detailed listings (chronological, alphabetical, and genre), analysis, a comprehensive performance history, and summaries of all known critiques of his 128 original musical works and 18 texts set to the music of others. This is followed by a complete discography/videography (commercial and private), and an index of names and organizations. Also discussed in detail are the ways in which Blitzstein took music from his earlier works and developed it in his later works. This book provides a unique and full perspective on this influential American composer.

The Rest Is Noise

Autor: Alex Ross
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9781429932882
File Size: 25,71 MB
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The scandal over modern music has not died down. While paintings by Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock sell for a hundred million dollars or more, shocking musical works from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring onward still send ripples of unease through audiences. At the same time, the influence of modern music can be felt everywhere. Avant-garde sounds populate the soundtracks of Hollywood thrillers. Minimalist music has had a huge effect on rock, pop, and dance music from the Velvet Underground onward. Alex Ross, the brilliant music critic for The New Yorker, shines a bright light on this secret world, and shows how it has pervaded every corner of twentieth century life. The Rest Is Noise takes the reader inside the labyrinth of modern sound. It tells of maverick personalities who have resisted the cult of the classical past, struggled against the indifference of a wide public, and defied the will of dictators. Whether they have charmed audiences with the purest beauty or battered them with the purest noise, composers have always been exuberantly of the present, defying the stereotype of classical music as a dying art. Ross, in this sweeping and dramatic narrative, takes us from Vienna before the First World War to Paris in the twenties, from Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia to downtown New York in the sixties and seventies. We follow the rise of mass culture and mass politics, of dramatic new technologies, of hot and cold wars, of experiments, revolutions, riots, and friendships forged and broken. In the tradition of Simon Schama's The Embarrassment of Riches and Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club, the end result is not so much a history of twentieth-century music as a history of the twentieth century through its music.

George Gershwin

Autor: Howard Pollack
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520933149
File Size: 22,65 MB
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This comprehensive biography of George Gershwin (1898-1937) unravels the myths surrounding one of America's most celebrated composers and establishes the enduring value of his music. Gershwin created some of the most beloved music of the twentieth century and, along with Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, and Cole Porter, helped make the golden age of Broadway golden. Howard Pollack draws from a wealth of sketches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, books, articles, recordings, films, and other materials—including a large cache of Gershwin scores discovered in a Warner Brothers warehouse in 1982—to create an expansive chronicle of Gershwin’s meteoric rise to fame. He also traces Gershwin’s powerful presence that, even today, extends from Broadway, jazz clubs, and film scores to symphony halls and opera houses. Pollack’s lively narrative describes Gershwin’s family, childhood, and education; his early career as a pianist; his friendships and romantic life; his relation to various musical trends; his writings on music; his working methods; and his tragic death at the age of 38. Unlike Kern, Berlin, and Porter, who mostly worked within the confines of Broadway and Hollywood, Gershwin actively sought to cross the boundaries between high and low, and wrote works that crossed over into a realm where art music, jazz, and Broadway met and merged. The author surveys Gershwin’s entire oeuvre, from his first surviving compositions to the melodies that his brother and principal collaborator, Ira Gershwin, lyricized after his death. Pollack concludes with an exploration of the performances and critical reception of Gershwin's music over the years, from his time to ours.

Aaron Copland

Autor: Howard Pollack
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 1627798498
File Size: 7,83 MB
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A candid and fascinating portrait of the American composer. The son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Aaron Copland (1900-1990) became one of America's most beloved and esteemed composers. His work, which includes Fanfare for the Common Man, A Lincoln Portrait, and Appalachian Spring, has been honored by a huge following of devoted listeners. But the full richness of Copland's life and accomplishments has never, until now, been documented or understood. Howard Pollack's meticulously researched and engrossing biography explores the symphony of Copland's life: his childhood in Brooklyn; his homosexuality; Paris in the early 1920s; the Alfred Stieglitz circle; his experimentation with jazz; the communist witch trials; Hollywood in the forties; public disappointment with his later, intellectual work; and his struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, Pollack presents informed discussions of Copland's music, explaining and clarifying its newness and originality, its aesthetic and social aspects, its distinctive and enduring personality. "Not only a success in its own right, but a valuable model of what biography can and probably should be. " - Kirkus Reviews

The Leonard Bernstein Letters

Autor: Leonard Bernstein
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300186541
File Size: 24,70 MB
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Leonard Bernstein was a charismatic and versatile musician—a brilliant conductor who attained international super-star status, and a gifted composer of Broadway musicals (West Side Story), symphonies (Age of Anxiety), choral works (Chichester Psalms), film scores (On the Waterfront), and much more. Bernstein was also an enthusiastic letter writer, and this book is the first to present a wide-ranging selection of his correspondence. The letters have been selected for the insights they offer into the passions of his life—musical and personal—and the extravagant scope of his musical and extra-musical activities. Bernstein’s letters tell much about this complex man, his collaborators, his mentors, and others close to him. His galaxy of correspondents encompassed, among others, Aaron Copland,Stephen Sondheim, Jerome Robbins, Thornton Wilder, Boris Pasternak, Bette Davis, Adolph Green, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and family members including his wife Felicia and his sister Shirley. The majority of these letters have never been published before. They have been carefully chosen to demonstrate the breadth of Bernstein’s musical interests, his constant struggle to find the time to compose, his turbulent and complex sexuality, his political activities, and his endless capacity for hard work. Beyond all this, these writings provide a glimpse of the man behind the legends: his humanity, warmth, volatility, intellectual brilliance, wonderful eye for descriptive detail, and humor.

Sounds Of War

Autor: Annegret Fauser
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0199948038
File Size: 13,97 MB
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Classical music in 1940s America had a cultural relevance and ubiquitousness that is hard to imagine today. No other war mobilized and instrumentalized culture in general and music in particular so totally, so consciously, and so unequivocally as World War II. Through author Annegret Fauser's in-depth, engaging, and encompassing discussion in context of this unique period in American history, Sounds of War brings to life the people and institutions that created, performed, and listened to this music.

Cradle Will Rock

Autor: Tim Robbins
Publisher: Newmarket Pr
ISBN:
File Size: 5,16 MB
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Robbins gives the inside scoop to making his upcoming movie from Touchstone Pictures. The cast includes Joan Cusack, John Carpenter, and Hank Azaria. 80 photos.

Bob Dylan In America

Autor: Sean Wilentz
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0767931793
File Size: 9,29 MB
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A noted historian presents an assessment of Bob Dylan and his music that draws on unprecedented access to rare materials and illuminates key cultural influences.

American Night

Autor: Alan M. Wald
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807837342
File Size: 24,24 MB
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American Night, the final volume of an unprecedented trilogy, brings Alan Wald's multigenerational history of Communist writers to a poignant climax. Using new research to explore the intimate lives of novelists, poets, and critics during the Cold War, Wald reveals a radical community longing for the rebirth of the social vision of the 1930s and struggling with a loss of moral certainty as the Communist worldview was being called into question. The resulting literature, Wald shows, is a haunting record of fracture and struggle linked by common structures of feeling, ones more suggestive of the "negative dialectics" of Theodor Adorno than the traditional social realism of the Left. Establishing new points of contact among Kenneth Fearing, Ann Petry, Alexander Saxton, Richard Wright, Jo Sinclair, Thomas McGrath, and Carlos Bulosan, Wald argues that these writers were in dialogue with psychoanalysis, existentialism, and postwar modernism, often generating moods of piercing emotional acuity and cosmic dissent. He also recounts the contributions of lesser known cultural workers, with a unique accent on gays and lesbians, secular Jews, and people of color. The vexing ambiguities of an era Wald labels "late antifascism" serve to frame an impressive collective biography.

Jerome Robbins

Autor: Deborah Jowitt
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9780684869858
File Size: 10,70 MB
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Presents the life of Jerome Robbins who began as a modern dancer and went on to become an influential choreographer whose work changed the course of ballet and musical comedy in America.

The Words And Music Of Brian Wilson

Autor: Christian Matijas-Mecca
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1440838992
File Size: 7,41 MB
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A fascinating study of Brian Wilson's creative career as a composer, producer, performer, and collaborator that addresses all aspects of Brian's five-decade-long music career through his creative methods and processes. • Presents the first complete and career-spanning biography of Brian Wilson and detailed examination of his musical career • Considers Wilson's work with The Beach Boys and the many performers and bands with whom he collaborated as producer, songwriter, and performer in a chronological narrative instead of categorizing his work as "Beach Boys" and "Other" • Discusses Wilson's diverse musical activities as comprising equal parts devoted to composition, production, performance, and collaboration • Sorts through various conflicting narratives about Brian Wilson's career in order to provide an accurate account of his creative chronology

How Sondheim Found His Sound

Autor: Steve Swayne
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 9780472032297
File Size: 26,35 MB
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“Steve Swayne’s How Sondheim Found His Sound is a fascinating treatment and remarkable analysis of America’s greatest playwright in song. His marvelous text goes a long way toward placing Stephen Sondheim among the towering artists of the late twentieth century!” —Cornel West, Princeton University “Sondheim’s career and music have never been so skillfully dissected, examined, and put in context. With its focus on his work as composer, this book is surprising and welcome.” —Theodore S. Chapin, President and Executive Director, The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization “. . . an intriguing ‘biography’ of the songwriter’s style. . . . Swayne is to be congratulated for taking the study of this unique composer/lyricist into hitherto unnavigated waters.” —Stage Directions “The research is voluminous, as are the artistry and perceptiveness. Swayne has lived richly within the world of Sondheim’s music.” —Richard Crawford, author of America’s Musical Life: A History “Amid the ever-more-crowded bookshelf of writings on Sondheim, Swayne’s analysis of Sondheim’s development as a composer stands up as a unique and worthy study. . . . For the Sondheim aficionados, there are new ideas and new information, and for others, Swayne’s How Sondheim Found His Sound will provide an intriguing introduction into the mind of arguably the greatest and most influential living Broadway composer.” —talkinbroadway.com “What a fascinating book, full of insights large and small. An impressive analysis and summary of Sondheim’s many sources of inspiration. All fans of the composer and lovers of Broadway in general will treasure and frequently refer to Swayne’s work.” —Tom Riis, Joseph Negler Professor of Musicology and Director of the American Music Research Center, University of Colorado Stephen Sondheim has made it clear that he considers himself a “playwright in song.” How he arrived at this unique appellation is the subject of How Sondheim Found His Sound—an absorbing study of the multitudinous influences on Sondheim’s work. Taking Sondheim’s own comments and music as a starting point, author Steve Swayne offers a biography of the artist’s style, pulling aside the curtain on Sondheim’s creative universe to reveal the many influences—from classical music to theater to film—that have established Sondheim as one of the greatest dramatic composers of the twentieth century.