Friday, May 6, 2011

Today's Birthdays

Jascha Horenstein (1898-1973)
Godfrey Ridout (1918-1984)
Murry Sidlin (1940)
Ghena Dimitrova (1941-2005)
Nathalie Stutzmann (1965)


Robert Peary (1856-1920)
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Gaston Leroux (1868-1927)
Randall Jarrell (1914-1965)

And from The New Music Box:
At the second of the Copland-Sessions Concerts of Contemporary Music, which was held at the Edyth Totten Theater in New York City on May 6, 1928, pianist John Duke premiered the first three movements of Roger Sessions' First Piano Sonata. Although the program announced a fourth movement, it was not finished in time for the concert. Also on the program were premieres of works by Copland (Two Pieces for String Quartet), Quincy Porter (Piano Quintet), Robert Delaney (Sonata for Violin and Piano) as well as solo piano pieces by Aldoph Weiss, Dane Rudhyar and Ruth Crawford.

In his review of the concert for the Boston Evening Transcript (published on May 11, 1928), Nicolas Slonimsky praised Copland as a "poet" who "works wonders" and Sessions as "a persistent and scholarly searcher for a new style" and one its "chief masons." But he called Rudhyar's music "a Naught to the Nth power." He was somewhat critical about Crawford as well but conceded that "there may be a chance for her in the future." Slonimsky also pointed out that the concert was nearly sold-out, claiming it proof that "there are several hundred persons actively interested in modern music."

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