June 12, 2008

Ambiguous gerund-participle of the day

A new arrival at the MIT Music Library:
Hommann, Charles (1803-?1872). Surviving Orchestral Music.
Collected edition or how-to manual?


rbonotto said...

It says "Score" so I guess we do know.

There are several interesting books about 19th-century American music, though the resurgance of interest in it doesn't seem to be centered in Boston (the Albany Symphony, for instance); pity, because I like the stuff. Chadwick seems to have been something of a wild card, if his operetta 'Tabasco' and his unproduced opera 'The Padrone' are any indication.

I have a vested interest in mentioning the American music anecdotes in 'Slonimsky's Book of Musical Anecdotes,' since I did its illustrations; but Vernon Duke wrote a scathing critique of the beginnings of American Music in his book 'Listen Here!,' which also has the most rabid (and entertaining) attack on Stravinsky ever penned. --Robert B.

Matthew said...

I just picked up a second-hand copy of the Peters compilation "Democratic Souvenirs"—all 19th-century American classical or close-enough-to-classical music. Good stuff. Gottschalk is rather outclassed in the piano music, and Amy Beach's Piano Conerto looks like a blast.

The Omniscient Mussel said...

Nice one. It's still funny on the third viewing.

rbonotto said...

Maybe I'm a bigger Gottschalk fan than you are (I love the earlier volumes of Philip Martin's series on Hyperion). Years ago I suggested to Johnny Reinhard the possibility of my writing a 'Gottschalkiana' for microtone pianos -- I'd like to hear those high-octane arabesques Gott indulges in quarter-tones on the high end of the piano.

Joshua Pierce was at the MicroFest up here last month; he once premiered a piece of mine at Columbia). When I suggested the idea to him, he looked at me as if I was out of my mind.

Do you know John Knowles Paine's "Fuga Giocosa"? It's a very odd take on the old American phrase "Over the Fence and Out" (like "Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits" a part of our collective memory, maybe because it's the last musical phrase you hear during the opening credits on old Three Stooges' shorts). Paine --not usually inclined to humor, and by a number of accounts, something of a pill-- puts this childrens' tune through the Bach-fugue rack, with impressive results.

Matthew said...

I like Gottschalk, too (I'll break out "The Last Hope" on a regular basis), but you could easily come out of a music history course thinking he was the only serious pianist/composer in 19th-century America. William Mason's "Silver Spring"? Impressive.

I don't know that Paine piece. Didn't he do a Double Fugue on "America" or something like that? I seem to remember having a good time trying to hack through it. (This Peters collection includes a big chunk of his opera Azara, by the way. Questionable libretto, but some nice music.)