In particular, it offers additional support for Virgil Thomson
's claim that "Nadia bullied women, but she served men", a critical issue in understanding Boulanger and her influence (Virgil Thomson
to Leonie Rosenstiel, 14 May 1982.
The music texts, including works by David Ewen, Deems Taylor, Virgil Thomson
, Benny Goodman, and Oscar Levant, offer not only a wide range of musical discussion, but read empathetically in the mindset of wartime servicemen and women abroad, a range of themes that take on heightened resonance in context: especially themes of musical Americanism, musical tropes of democracy, and the personal experience of war.
| WHAT art form is the American Virgil Thomson
It would seem that his unique gift as a song composer evolved in large part due to his four years singing in the Metropolitan Opera Chorus, his long and close friendship with eminent American composer Virgil Thomson
, and, perhaps more importantly, his employment as studio accompanist for the great soprano Zinka Milanov.
Featuring 27 pieces by composers Barber, Dave Brubeck, Norman Dello Joio, Charles Griffes, Muczynski, Alexander Tcherepnin, William Schuman and Virgil Thomson
, the featured repertoire makes for a nice progression from the previous volume.
He was also a playwright whose works include 1966's "The Candied House," based on "Hansel and Gretel"; "Cherry, Larry, Sandy, Doris, Jean, Paul," a comedy about being gay; 1968's "Chuck"; and 1998's "The Astronaut's Tale." He also wrote librettos for operas, such as Virgil Thomson
's "Lord Byron."
And that combination, as Virgil Thomson
once noted, is irresistible.
's 'La Guardia Waltzes' were well-crafted sludge which mercifully didn't go on too long, and Copland's properly home-spun 'Lincoln Portrait' was a sad case of what might have been.
Earlier in the program, however, Morris didn't fare so well with a different musical challenge: Virgil Thomson
and Gertrude Stein's 1934 opera Four Saints in Three Acts.
Most recently, she presented Virgil Thomson
's own abridgement of Four Saints in Three Acts on the occasion of two major exhibitions, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, about American writer Gertrude Stein and the Stein family's art collecting in Paris.
effecting the potentiality of blankness in an attempt to write an aesthetics of cellophane: the poems are painterly and tactile, yet also sonic; transparent and light, and yet sealed from penetration." In fact, cellophane, a recent invention, was readily adopted by Stettheimer as "a metaphor of modernity," which she employed most famously in the set and costumes she created for the 1934 production of Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson
's opera "Four Saints in Three Acts."
Finding himself dissatisfied with much of contemporary music, he moved to Europe, where he studied with the legendary Nadia Boulanger (who also taught Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson
and Quincy Jones) and worked closely with the sitar virtuoso and composer Ravi Shankar.