The first major treatment of the American art song in more than 40 years. In Volume I: America Comes of Age, Friedberg examines the transition from the European-influenced songs of MacDowell, Loeffler, and Griffes, to the consciously "American" style of Ives, Copland, Harris, and other 20th-century composers. Volume II: Voices of Maturity treats composers born just before or after 1900 and their response to the flood of poetry by American writers in the early 20th century. Volume III: The Century Advances begins where its predecessor ended, with composers born in the second decade of this century, and discusses songs written roughly between 1940 and 1980. Among the 16 composers treated: Samuel Barber, Paul Bowles, David Diamond, Vincent Persichetti, Jean Eichelberger Ivey, Ned Rorem, and Richard Hundley. Among the 26 poets: James Agee, Tennessee Williams, Herman Melville, Wallace Stevens, Stephen Crane, Peter Viereck, Theodore Roethke, and James Purdy.
...Of pivotal importance to all serious students of vocal art. Nats Bulletin A rich tableau of America's song composers, the poets they have chosen to set, and the finest results of their collaboration...any reader who wishes to get a taste of the rich variety of poetic subjects and musical styles that make up the American song tradition over the past century or so will be served here. The set as a whole is an indispensable tool for anyone interested in American art song. Ars Lyrica Ruth Freidberg's wide experience as teacher, coach, and pianist is evident in her judgments in discussing the songs. In the age-old controversy as to the supremacy of words or music in song, she believes that a song is a true marriage. Her three volumes are an invaluable guide to this branch of American music. American Music The most ambitious writing in the area of the American art song since...Upton's The Art-Song in America can be found with Ruth C. Freidberg's volumes...should be in the library of every voice student. The Sonneck Society Newsletter The trilogy provides an excellent exploratory source for songs set to the verse of American poets, and should prove useful at undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as for the general reader. CHOICE