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Roger Sessions : How a Difficult Composer Got That Way - Frederik Prausnitz

Roger Sessions

How a Difficult Composer Got That Way

Hardcover

Published: 1st August 2002
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For more than half of his long life, composer Roger Sessions was a commanding figure on the American musical scene. He enjoyed the solid respect of his peers, and as a teacher of a generation of composers and author of compelling writings on his craft, his influence on musical thought remains profound. Yet, even in his lifetime, his music endured vastly disrespectful neglect. He was a "difficult" composer. Sessions was well aware of it. In a New York Times article, he wrote, "I have sometimes been told that my music is 'difficult' for the listener. There are those who consider this as praise, those who consider it a reproach. For my part I regard it as, in itself, neither one or the other...it is the way the music comes, the way it has to come." The way Sessions's music "had to come" is a recurrent focus of this biography. As the story is told, often in the composer's own words, the complex picture emerges of a remarkable man who, gradually and not very willingly, learned to accept his unexpected lot as a "difficult" composer.
Frederik Prausnitz, an acquaintance of Sessions and conductor of his work, combines personal and musical insights to present this fascinating portrait of an influential, yet often overlooked, modernist composer.

"[A] thorough study of previously unpublished materials."--Symphony "Sessions taught....inspiring generations of composers from Milton Babbitt to David Brewbaker....In his endeavor to explain "how a 'difficult' composer got that way," Prausnitz leads us through Sessions's life....Prausnitz has been, and is, another champion.New champions, "willing ears," and time are needed."--Times Literary Supplement , November 15, 2002 "Prausnitz's book complements Andrea Olmstead's well-balanced but shorter study Rogers Sessions and His Music (1985). Prausnitz offers more detail about Sessions' life and provides perspective about contemporary music in the US and Europe, as he follows Sesions' path from a neoclassic to a 12-tone composer."--Choice "[A] thorough study of previously unpublished materials."--Symphony "Sessions taught....inspiring generations of composers from Milton Babbitt to David Brewbaker....In his endeavor to explain "how a 'difficult' composer got that way," Prausnitz leads us through Sessions's life....Prausnitz has been, and is, another champion....New champions, "willing ears," and time are needed."--Times Literary Supplement , November 15, 2002 "Prausnitz's book complements Andrea Olmstead's well-balanced but shorter study Rogers Sessions and His Music (1985). Prausnitz offers more detail about Sessions' life and provides perspective about contemporary music in the US and Europe, as he follows Sesions' path from a neoclassic to a 12-tone composer."--Choice

Prefacep. vii
Roger Sessionsp. 2
Introductionp. 3
The Matriarchp. 7
The Consortp. 20
Young Rogerp. 25
Letters from Harvardp. 36
Ernest Blochp. 57
Berensonp. 77
The Musical Idea Ip. 91
Summer of 1929p. 103
Berlin Interludep. 121
Homep. 137
Sea Changep. 151
Something Morep. 166
The Musical Idea IIp. 172
Teacherp. 184
Family, Friends, and Montezumap. 200
Berkeleyp. 214
Dallapiccolap. 233
The Musical Idea IIIp. 249
Harvestp. 271
Overviewp. 295
Musical Termsp. 303
Ernest Bloch on Cleveland Dismissal in 1925p. 304
Notesp. 307
Sourcesp. 327
Selective Bibliographyp. 335
Indexp. 339
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195108927
ISBN-10: 0195108922
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 362
Published: 1st August 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.6 x 16.6  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.67