The Life and Music of Elie Siegmeister

Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 135 min
Event Type: Interview and Music Program Origin: KPFA

In a recording made on March 24, 1972 and first broadcast on July 31st of that year, Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer Elie Siegmeister and his wife Hannah, while also playing a wide assortment of Siegmeister’s music. Known for his interest in American music and the plight of the working class, Siegmeister has written art songs, operas, musicals, and film scores, as well as a wide variety of orchestral and chamber works. In this delightful interview Siegmeister disputes Amirkhanian’s attempt to divide his career into an early Americana phase and a later period dedicated to more experimental and abstract music, saying that while certain works may emphasize one aspect more than the other both themes are generally present in all his music. An active composer since at least the 1930s Siegmeister knew many of the great American composers of his time and provides entertaining stories about many of them in this program. Not necessarily a modest man, Siegmeister states that he would be happy if most people spent 12 hours a day listening to his music, and with this program you can get started on fulfilling his wishes.

Part 1 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  The Strange Funeral in Braddock, for baritone and piano [text by Michael Gold, ver. 1] (1933) (6.55) / Elie Siegmeister -- The Strange Funeral in Braddock, for bass and piano [text by Michael Gold, ver. 2] (1933) (7:25) / Elie Siegmeister -- Western Suite, for orchestra (1945) (21:00) / Elie Siegmeister -- As I Was Going Along [from the musical “Sing Out Sweet Land”] (1944) (3:18) / [arr. by Elie Siegmeister] -- String Quartet No. 2 (1960) (20:07) / Elie Siegmeister
Performers:  Mordecai Bauman, baritone (Strange ver. 1)
Elie Siegmeister, piano ; conductor (Strange ver. 1 ; As I Was)
Herbert Beattie, bass (Strange ver. 2)
Alan Mandel, piano (Strange ver. 2)
Utah Symphony Orchestra (Western)
Maurice Abravanel , conductor (Western)
Alfred Drake, voice (As I Was)
Galimir String Quartet: (Quartet)
Felix Galimir, violin (Quartet)
Marvin Morgenstern, violin (Quartet)
Samuel Rhodes, viola (Quartet)
Charles McCracken, cello (Quartet)
Genres:  20th Century Classical; Art Songs
Subject:  Siegmeister, Elie, 1909-1991; 20th century classical; Art songs; Songs (Medium voice) with piano; Ballads, English; Songs (Low voice) with piano; Suites (Orchestra); Musicals -- Excerpts; Folk music, English; String quartets
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Siegmeister, Elie, 1909-1991; Siegmeister, Hannah; Gold, Michael, 1894-1967; Bauman, Mordecai; Beattie, Herbert ; Mandel, Alan, 1935-; Abravanel, Maurice, 1903-1993 ; Drake, Alfred, 1914-1992; Galimir, Felix; Morgenstern, Marvin ; Rhodes, Samuel ; McCracken, Charles
Recording Date:  3/24/1972
First Broadcast Date:  7/31/1972
Part 2 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  The Plough and the Stars: Opening Scene [libretto by Edward Howe Mabley, after the play by Sean O’Casey] (1963-69) (3:00) / Elie Siegmeister -- Sextet, for brass and percussion [last movement] (1965) (4:06) / Elie Siegmeister -- The Face of War: Official Notice ; Listen here, Joe ; Peace ; The dove ; War, a song cycle for solo voice and orchestra [text by Langston Hughes] (1966, rev. 1967-68) (9:39) / Elie Siegmeister -- Sonata No. 2, for violin and piano (1965) (16:00) / Elie Siegmeister
Performers:  L. D. Clements, tenor (Plough)
Elie Siegmeister, conductor (Plough)
Gerard Schwarz, trumpet (Sextet)
Allan Dean, trumpet (Sextet)
Edward Birdwell, horn (Sextet)
Arnold Fromme, trombone (Sextet)
Toby Hanks, tuba (Sextet)
Gordon Gottlieb, percussion (Sextet)
William Warfield, baritone (Face)
Henry Lewis, conductor (Face)
Jaime Laredo, violin (Sonata)
Ruth Laredo, piano (Sonata)
Genres:  20th Century Classical; Art Songs
Subject:  Siegmeister, Elie, 1909-1991; 20th century classical; Art songs; Operas -- Excerpts; Sextets (Horn, trombone, trumpets (2), tuba, percussion) ; Songs (Medium voice) with orchestra; Song cycles; Sonatas (Violin and piano)
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Siegmeister, Elie, 1909-1991; Siegmeister, Hannah; Mabley, Edward Howe, 1906-; O'Casey, Sean, 1880-1964 ; Clements, L. D.; Schwarz, Gerard, 1947-; Dean, Allan; Birdwell, Edward R.; Fromme, Arnold, 1925- ; Hanks, Toby ; Gottlieb, Gordon ; Hughes, Langston, 1902-1967 ; Warfield, William ; Lewis, Henry, 1932-1996; Laredo, Jaime ; Laredo, Ruth
Recording Date:  3/24/1972
First Broadcast Date:  7/31/1972


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