American Pioneers presents a survey of that peculiarly American innovatory spirit as manifest in the nation's music. On the east coast, early in the twentieth century, this spirit was captured by Charles Ives (whose music lay virtually ignored and unperformed until the world caught up with him, forty years later). On the west coast, Henry Cowell and John Cage encountered similar critical resistance. Their pioneering flair was an act of defiance: Americans throwing off the shackles of European tradition and inventing a new language, seeking to redefine what could or could not be embraced by the term 'music'.
No single book to date has concentrated on this particularly rebellious trend in American music. American Pioneers investigates the life and work of the major American innovators - including Carl Ruggles, Edgard Varese, Harry Partch, Colin McPhee, Lou Harrison and members of America's youngest composing generation - revealing the colourful and often idiosyncratic nature of these characters, and focusing on the peculiarly American quality of their artistic motivation.
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Ives, Varèse, Cowell, and Cage, four composers influential on the American music scene in the 21st century, are the principal players in American Pioneers. Ives and Cage get top billing, though, as Alan Rich aims to show how a genuine "American" classical idiom rose during the closing years of the 19th and 20th centuries. Ives comes across as a true original; in England they would have called him "eccentric." Cranky, obstreperous, and in some ways indifferent to actual performances of his music, he rates as a kind of musical Thoreau.
When Cage studied with Schoenberg, the redoubtable founder of the Second Viennese School told Cage that he was more of an inventor than a composer. Cage took the comment as a compliment, and his experiments with unusual methods of producing (or not producing) sound support Schoenberg's opinion. Cage is on record as claiming that "everything is music." Though he treats Cage sympathetically, Rich acknowledges that certain aspects of Cage's music and philosophical pronouncements leave him open to a charge of charlatanism. For a reader trying to understand the intellectual undercurrents of later 20th century music (and indeed the whole world of art), the detailed discussion of Cage's thought and methods is invaluable.About the Author:
Alan Rich is currently music critic for the Los Angeles Weekly.
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Descripción Phaidon Press, 1995. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. /NEW/SAME AS PICTURED/. Nº de ref. de la librería SKU0018783
Descripción Phaidon Press. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 0714831735. Nº de ref. de la librería M5-510
Descripción Phaidon Press, 1995. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0714831735
Descripción Phaidon Press, 1995. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0714831735