Aaron Copland: A Reader: Selected Writings, 1923-1972


First Published in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

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First Published in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Universally recognized as America's most popular classical composer, Copland was also a prolific writer and critic. His well-known music appreciation text, What To Listen for in Music (1957), became an instant classic, owing in part to his uncanny ability to speak directly to the "common listener" through plain and unaffected language. In the present collection, Kostelanetz (editor, Conversations with Cage) offers four chapters from that landmark book, as well as a generous sampling of Copland's prose spanning nearly 60 years. The text is organized by subject rather than by chronology: the chapters include "Musical Experience," "The Life of Music," "Contemporaries," "His Own Works," and "Personal." As always, Copland's prescience regarding his fellow composers and their music is remarkable, and readers will be struck by his keen intelligence, fair-mindedness, breadth of vision, and self-deprecating humor. Particularly illuminating is the short "Personal" section, which contains some previously unpublished letters. The surprisingly short and incomplete bibliography and the lack of an index or list of works are unfortunate shortcomings. Nevertheless, this is recommended for general collections. More scholarly and substantial than the present work, Copland: 1900 Through 1942 and Copland Since 1943 (both edited by Vivian Perlis) combine the composer's own writings with reminiscences of his friends and colleagues, but they are out of print.-Larry Lipkis, Moravian Coll., Bethlehem, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415939409
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Kostelanetz has edited over 40 collections of essays on American culture, ranging in subject matter from avant-garde fiction to collections of critical writings on John Cage and Frank Zappa. He is also a published critic, writer, and artist.

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Table of Contents

Composer from Brooklyn: An Autobiographical Sketch (1939, 1968)
Editor's Introduction
I Musical Experience 1
How We Listen (1939) 3
Musical Structure (1939) 8
Tone Color (1939) 15
Music and the Human Spirit (1954) 26
II The Life of Music 33
The American Composer Gets a Break (1935) 35
Music Between the Wars (1918-1939) (1941, 1968) 38
Musical Imagination in the Americas (1952) 70
Jazz Structure and Influence (1927) 83
Workers Sing! (1934) 88
Letter on Varese and the League of Composers (1972) 91
Opera and Music Drama (1939) 92
Tip to Moviegoers: Take Off Those Ear-Muffs (1949) 104
Second Thoughts on Hollywood (1940) 111
Composer's Report on Music in South America (1947) 118
Festival in Caracas (1954) 121
III The Musician's Life 123
A Note on Young Composers (1935) 125
Effect of the Cold War on the Artist in the U.S. (1949) 128
Introducing Shostakovitch at Dinner (1949) 132
When Private and Public Worlds Meet (1968) 133
Is the University Too Much With Us? (1970) 137
Tanglewood's Future (1952) 140
From the '20s to the '40s and Beyond (1945) 143
IV Precursors 147
Defends the Music of Mahler (1925) 149
The Ives Case (1933, 1941, 1967) 151
Schoenberg's Expressionism (1941, 1967) 158
Stravinsky's Dynamism (1941, 1967) 162
Bela Bartok (1941, 1967) 166
V Contemporaries 169
The Younger Generation of American Composers: 1926-59 (1960) 171
America's Young Men of Music (1960) 191
George Antheil (1925) 194
Darius Milhaud (1929) 197
Virgil Thomson and Marc Blitzstein (1940, 1968) 202
Carlos Chavez (1928, 1968) 210
Stefan Wolpe (1948) 215
Benjamin Britten (1963) 216
Elliott Carter (1971) 218
William Kapell (1954) 220
Ralph Hawkes (1950) 223
VI His Own Works 225
Symphony for Organ and Orchestra (1924) 227
Music for the Theatre I & II (1925) 229
Dance Symphony (1925) 232
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1926) 234
Two Pieces for String Orchestra (1928) 235
Statements (1934) 236
El Salon Mexico (1936) 237
Sextet (1937) 238
Billy the Kid [Notes on a Cowboy Ballet] (1938) 239
An Outdoor Overture (1938) 242
Lincoln Portrait (1942) 243
Music for Movies (1942) 245
Fanfare for the Common Man (1942) 246
Danzon Cubano I & II (1942) 247
Appalachian Spring [Letters Regarding] (1944) 248
Third Symphony (1946) 257
The Red Pony (1948) 260
Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra with Harp and Piano (1948) 262
12 Poems of Emily Dickinson (1950) 263
Variations on a Shaker Melody (1956) 264
Piano Fantasy I & II (1957) 265
Orchestral Variations (1957) 268
Dance Panels (1959, rev. 1962) 270
Something Wild (1961) 271
Connotations (1962) 274
Emblems (1964) 276
Music for a Great City (1964) 277
Inscape (1967) 278
Three Latin American Sketches (1959-1972) 279
Midday Thoughts (1944, finished 1982) 280
Proclamation (1973-1982, arranged 1985) 281
VII Personal 283
From a Composer's Notebook (1929) 285
From a Composer's Journal (1960) 290
The Teacher and the Pupil (1960) 295
Journal from Venezuela Visit (1954) 296
Latin American Tour Journal (1963) 299
Letters (1923-1944) 306
Conversation with Edward T. Cone (1967) 345
Bibliography 361
Index 363
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