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Henry Cowell’s Musical Autobiography

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 80 min
Event Type: Documentary Program Origin: KPFA

In this fascinating program, first broadcast in 1961, Henry Cowell talks about his life and plays examples of his music culled from his entire career as a composer. He recalls a number of significant incidents from his childhood including, giving up violin at age 8, hearing Irish tunes hummed by his father, and early American Ozark mountain tunes sung by his mother. Growing up in San Francisco, he was exposed to international influences as he played and hummed along with his Japanese, Chinese & Tahitian playmates, all of which had an impact on his later compositions.

Part 1 of 3:  
Musical Selections:  The Tides of Manaunaun (1912) (2:22) -- Advertisement [excerpt] (1917) (1:05) -- Aeolian Harp (1923) (2:33) -- The Banshee (1925) (2:11) -- Fabric (1920) (1:21) -- Tiger (1930) (3:23)
Genre:  New Music
Subject:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Piano music; New music
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965
First Broadcast Date:  4/6/1961
 
Part 2 of 3:  
Musical Selections:  Ostinato Pianissimo (3:20) -- Set of Five (17:17) -- Symphony No. 4 (10:42)
Performers:  Anahid Ajemian, violin (Set of Five)
Maro Ajemian, piano (Set of Five)
Elden Bailey, percussion (Set of Five)
Eastman Rochester Orchestra (Symphony No. 4)
Howard Hanson, conductor (Symphony No. 4)
Genres:  New Music; Orchestral Music
Subject:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Orchestral music; New music; Piano music; Percussion music; Trios (Piano, percussion, violin); Suites (Piano, percussion, violin); Symphonies
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Ajemian, Maro; Ajemian, Anahid; Bailey, Elden ; Hanson, Howard
First Broadcast Date:  4/6/1961
 
Part 3 of 3:  
Musical Selections:  Symphony No. 7 (16:08)
Performers:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra (Symphony No. 7)
William Strickland, conductor (Symphony No. 7)
Genres:  New Music; Orchestral Music
Subject:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Orchestral music; New music; Symphonies
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Strickland, William
First Broadcast Date:  4/6/1961
 
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