Download Catalogue Raisonne As Memoir: A Composer's Life by Dominick Argento PDF

By Dominick Argento

The prestigious American composer Dominick Argento is understood for the care with which he selects the themes for his works, be they meant for opera condominium, live performance auditorium, recital corridor, or church, and for the non-public involvement and curiosity that continually shine via his track from the prime in 1951 of Songs approximately Spring to Orpheus in 2000. every one bankruptcy of this luminous and revealing memoir relies on a selected composition, surrounded by means of Argento's reflections at the interval in his existence while the piece used to be written and its establishing functionality. Songs approximately Spring, a piece of his undergraduate years, stirs stories of his teacher Nicholas Nabokov (friend of Stravinsky and cousin to Vladimir), with whom he discovered to drink martinis, and likewise of his first collaboration with Carolyn Bailey, the soprano who might later turn into his spouse. within the bankruptcy on Casa Guidi, the 2004 Grammy-winning piece in accordance with letters from Elizabeth Barrett Browning to her sister Henrietta, Argento finds that his collection of that topic was once due partly to the truth that the actual Casa Guidi, the place Browning lived, was once just a couple of blocks from his personal house in Florence and a widespread vacation spot for his visitors. supplying perception into his real compositional strategy, he additionally stocks the personal diary he stored whereas composing The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe, which info his vast learn and coaching for writing that paintings in addition to its tricky street to construction and function. In a life of compositions that experience engaged Western tradition from Chekhov to overlook Manners, from Don Juan to the Bremen city musicians, Dominick Argento has inspired audiences to target the hopes and fears that experience outlined human lifestyles and their very own lives. Now he invitations us to percentage his personal, illuminating the character of musical composition and its carry at the human mind's eye. Dominick Argento taught track conception and composition for almost 40 years on the collage of Minnesota. He was once offered a Pulitzer Prize in 1975 for the music cycle From the Diary of Virginia Woolf and a Grammy in 2004 for most sensible modern Classical Composition for Casa Guidi.

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I could scarcely believe that I was responsible for those bright sonorities and fascinating colors emerging from that orchestra: the experience was exhilarating beyond words. Composition is sometimes a struggle, but orchestration (as far as the one can be separated from the other) is always an enjoyable and easy task, even though it is tedious, eyestraining labor writing down the thousands and thousands of notes required, sometimes for a passage lasting less than a minute. Yet it never fails to thrill me when a combination of sounds I’ve dryly worked out in silence on paper is finally performed by instruments: it reminds me of those childhood experiments—usually guesswork—I used to indulge in with a toy chemistry set, hoping to create invisible ink, secret poisons, or gunpowder.

40 / T HE M ASQUE OF A NGELS Royal Invitation, or Homage to the Queen of Tonga (1964)  Ballet, 40 minutes Suite for chamber orchestra, 23 minutes Scenario by John Olon-Scrymgeour Performed 20 March 1964, Central High School, Saint Paul, Minnesota; Leopold Sipe, conductor, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra B ecause the Des Moines church piece had fallen through, The Masque of Angels did not turn out to be my first important commission. That distinction came from the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Inspiration for the ballet came from the First Chamber Dance Quartet, a New York– based group who performed beautifully through the serious parts of the opera and uproariously in the “Ballet of the Tie That Binds,” which brought down the house.

I hasten to add that this approach does not mean that melody is disregarded or even slighted; on the contrary, melody and lyricism are the sine qua non of all of my music. A good composer ought to be able to make a perfectly acceptable melody of any arbitrary collection of notes, be they arrived at through transposing his area code and phone number or the digits on his Social Security card. A day or two after the premiere of Variations for Orchestra, a letter to the editor appeared in the Minneapolis Tribune.

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