American Pioneers: Ives To Cage And Beyond (20th Century Composers)
American Pioneers: Ives to Cage and Beyond (20th Century Composers)
'American Pioneers' investigates the life and work of the major American innovators, including Carl Ruggles, Lou Harrison and members of America's youngest composing generation, revealing the colourful and often idiosyncratic nature of these people."
Ives, Varèse, Cowell, and Cage, four composers influential on the American music scene in the 21st century, are the principal players in American Pioneers. Ives and Cage get top billing, though, as Alan Rich aims to show how a genuine "American" classical idiom rose during the closing years of the 19th and 20th centuries. Ives comes across as a true original; in England they would have called him "eccentric." Cranky, obstreperous, and in some ways indifferent to actual performances of his music, he rates as a kind of musical Thoreau.
When Cage studied with Schoenberg, the redoubtable founder of the Second Viennese School told Cage that he was more of an inventor than a composer. Cage took the comment as a compliment, and his experiments with unusual methods of producing (or not producing) sound support Schoenberg's opinion. Cage is on record as claiming that "everything is music." Though he treats...