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Marc Blitzstein

Autor: Howard Pollack
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199977089
File Size: 9,12 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: 8,12 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.

American Night

Autor: Alan M. Wald
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 0807837342
File Size: 29,33 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.

Schoenberg S New World

Autor: Sabine Feisst
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199792631
File Size: 28,91 MB
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Arnold Schoenberg was a polarizing figure in twentieth century music, and his works and ideas have had considerable and lasting impact on Western musical life. A refugee from Nazi Europe, he spent an important part of his creative life in the United States (1933-1951), where he produced a rich variety of works and distinguished himself as an influential teacher. However, while his European career has received much scholarly attention, surprisingly little has been written about the genesis and context of his works composed in America, his interactions with Americans and other ?migr?s, and the substantial, complex, and fascinating performance and reception history of his music in this country. Author Sabine Feisst illuminates Schoenberg's legacy and sheds a corrective light on a variety of myths about his sojourn. Looking at the first American performances of his works and the dissemination of his ideas among American composers in the 1910s, 1920s and early 1930s, she convincingly debunks the myths surrounding Schoenberg's alleged isolation in the US. Whereas most previous accounts of his time in the US have portrayed him as unwilling to adapt to American culture, this book presents a more nuanced picture, revealing a Schoenberg who came to terms with his various national identities in his life and work. Feisst dispels lingering negative impressions about Schoenberg's teaching style by focusing on his methods themselves as well as on his powerful influence on such well-known students as John Cage, Lou Harrison, and Dika Newlin. Schoenberg's influence is not limited to those who followed immediately in his footsteps-a wide range of composers, from Stravinsky adherents to experimentalists to jazz and film composers, were equally indebted to Schoenberg, as were key figures in music theory like Milton Babbitt and David Lewin. In sum, Schoenberg's New World contributes to a new understanding of one of the most important pioneers of musical modernism.

Priest Of Music

Autor: William R. Trotter
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
ISBN:
File Size: 14,57 MB
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Mitropoulos' story unfolds against the rich backdrop of the Golden Age of conductors and reveals secret wars among musicians, patrons, promoters, and critics. Based upon extensive research, this radiant account of a tragically noble and neglected giant promises to be the most important musical biography of the decade. Photos.

Sing For Your Supper

Autor: Ethan Mordden
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1466893478
File Size: 9,12 MB
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In the 1930s, Broadway's lights still burned brightly. Ethan Mordden completes his history of the Broadway musical by taking a look at this forgotten era. Shows like Anything Goes brought the glitter of Cole Porter and Merman's brass to the public. Innovations in dance were pioneered by Balanchine and others. Scenic advancements made Astaire's The Band Wagon move across the stage in novel ways. Gershwin's revolutionary Porgy and Bess entered the canon of American Classics. And The Cradle Will Rock and Johnny Johnson took the American political temperature. With his trademark wit and style, Ethan Mordden shines the spotlight on Broadway's forgotten decade.