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Other Minds Presents:
Henry Cowell: The Whole World of Music, Concert One

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 76 min
Event Type: Music Program Origin: Other Minds

On November 12, 2009, at the Valley Presbyterian Church in Portola Valley, CA, Other Minds presented the first of two concerts dedicated to the music of Henry Cowell. Born in nearby Menlo Park in 1897, Cowell began his musical career as a concert pianist, and is perhaps best known for pioneering such “ultramodern” performance techniques as “tone clusters,” in which the arms are used to play a number of notes simultaneously, and the direct manipulation of the strings of the piano, in a manner that presaged John Cage’s works for prepared piano. Yet Cowell’s greatest contribution to avant-garde music came with his publication of the journal “New Music Quarterly” and its associated recordings. First issued in 1927, and edited by Cowell until 1936 this journal was where many works, by what are now recognized as the greatest 20th century American composers, were first published. Cowell also influenced a whole generation of American composers through his teaching at the New School for Social Research, where his course on “Music of the World’s Peoples” exposed many young composers to Asian and other non-Western music for the first time. In 1936 Cowell’s life took an unexpected and tragic turn when he was convicted on moral’s charges involving consensual oral sex with another man, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. However through the tireless efforts of his wife Sidney, Cowell was released in 1942, and he eventually resumed teaching and composing until finally passing away in 1965, after a number of years of poor health. This concert features a wide selection of his works, including not only his compositions for solo piano, but also a fine selection of songs, a string quartet, and other chamber works. Performers include pianist Sarah Cahill, mezzo-soprano Wendy Hillhouse, and the Colorado String Quartet. The full program guide, complete with extensive biographical details, historical photographs, and a complete description of each composition, can be found at:

http://www.otherminds.org/shtml/Cowellconcertprogram.shtml

Part 1 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  Adagio, for cello and thunderstick [from “Ensemble”] (1924) (3:45)
Performers:  Anthony Brown, thunderstick
Hannah Addario-Berry, cello
Genres:  New Music; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  New music; 20th century classical; Cello music; Cello and thunderstick music
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Brown, Anthony L.; Addario-Berry, Hannah
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 2 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  Toccanta, for soprano, flute, piano, and cello (1938) (12:38)
Performers:  Madison Smith, soprano
Sarah Holzman, flute
Sarah Cahill, piano
Hannah Addario-Berry, cello
Genres:  New Music; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  New music; 20th century classical; Vocalises (High voice) with instrumental ensemble
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Smith, Madison Emery; Holzman, Sarah; Cahill, Sarah; Addario-Berry, Hannah
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 3 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  The Tides of Manaunaun, for piano (1912) (3:01)
Performers:  Sarah Cahill, piano
Genres:  New Music; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  New music; 20th century classical; Piano music
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Cahill, Sarah
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 4 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  The Trumpet of Angus Og, for piano (1924) (3:27)
Performers:  Sarah Cahill, piano
Genres:  New Music; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  New music; 20th century classical; Piano music
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Cahill, Sarah
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 5 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  Exultation, for piano (1919) (1:53)
Performers:  Sarah Cahill, piano
Genres:  New Music; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  New music; 20th century classical; Piano music
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Cahill, Sarah
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 6 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  Aeolian Harp, for piano (1923) (2:10) -- Sinister Resonance, for piano (c. 1930) (3:14)
Performers:  Sarah Cahill, piano
Genres:  New Music; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  New music; 20th century classical; Piano music
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Cahill, Sarah
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 7 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  Anger Dance, for piano (1914) (1:35)
Performers:  Sarah Cahill, piano
Genres:  New Music; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  New music; 20th century classical; Piano music
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Cahill, Sarah
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 8 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  How Old is Song?, for voice and piano [text by Harry Cowell] (1931) (2:40)
Performers:  Wendy Hillhouse, mezzo-soprano
Josephine Gandolfi, piano
Genres:  Art Songs; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  Art songs; 20th century classical; Songs (Medium voice) with piano
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Cowell, Harry; Hillhouse, Wendy; Gandolfi, Josephine
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 9 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  [comments by Wendy Hillhouse]
Performers:  Wendy Hillhouse, speaker
Genres:  Art Songs; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  Art songs; 20th century classical
People:  Hillhouse, Wendy
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 10 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  Thou Art the Tree of Life, for voice and piano [text by Edward Taylor] (1955) (1:01)
Performers:  Wendy Hillhouse, mezzo-soprano
Josephine Gandolfi, piano
Genres:  Art Songs; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  Art songs; 20th century classical; Songs (Medium voice) with piano
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Taylor, Edward, 1642-1729 ; Hillhouse, Wendy; Gandolfi, Josephine
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 11 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  April, for voice and piano [text by Ezra Pound] (1918) (1:20)
Performers:  Wendy Hillhouse, mezzo-soprano
Josephine Gandolfi, piano
Genres:  Art Songs; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  Art songs; 20th century classical; Songs (Medium voice) with piano
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972 ; Hillhouse, Wendy; Gandolfi, Josephine
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 12 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  Where She Lies, for voice and piano [text by Edna St. Vincent Millay] (1924) (2:01)
Performers:  Wendy Hillhouse, mezzo-soprano
Josephine Gandolfi, piano
Genres:  Art Songs; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  Art songs; 20th century classical; Songs (Medium voice) with piano
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 1892-1950 ; Hillhouse, Wendy; Gandolfi, Josephine
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 13 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  The Pasture, for voice and piano [text by Robert Frost] (1944) (1:17)
Performers:  Wendy Hillhouse, mezzo-soprano
Josephine Gandolfi, piano
Genres:  Art Songs; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  Art songs; 20th century classical; Songs (Medium voice) with piano
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Frost, Robert, 1874-1963 ; Hillhouse, Wendy; Gandolfi, Josephine
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 14 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  Spring Pools, for voice and piano [text by Robert Frost] (1958) (1:43)
Performers:  Wendy Hillhouse, mezzo-soprano
Josephine Gandolfi, piano
Genres:  Art Songs; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  Art songs; 20th century classical; Songs (Medium voice) with piano
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Frost, Robert, 1874-1963 ; Hillhouse, Wendy; Gandolfi, Josephine
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 15 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  Rest, for voice and piano [text by Catherine Riegger] (1958) (2:25)
Performers:  Wendy Hillhouse, mezzo-soprano
Josephine Gandolfi, piano
Genres:  Art Songs; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  Art songs; 20th century classical; Songs (Medium voice) with piano
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Harris, Catherine Riegger ; Hillhouse, Wendy; Gandolfi, Josephine
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 16 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  Song in the Songless, for voice and piano [text by George Meredith] (1958) (2:06)
Performers:  Wendy Hillhouse, mezzo-soprano
Josephine Gandolfi, piano
Genres:  Art Songs; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  Art songs; 20th century classical; Songs (Medium voice) with piano
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Meredith, George, 1828-1909 ; Hillhouse, Wendy; Gandolfi, Josephine
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 17 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  Quartet Euphometric, for string quartet (1916-19) (2:06)
Performers:  Colorado String Quartet:
Julie Rosenfeld, violin
D. Lydia Redding, violin
Marka Gustavsson, viola
Katie Schlaikjer, cello
Genres:  New Music; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  New music; 20th century classical; Chamber music; String quartets
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Rosenfeld, Julie (Julie Ann); Redding, Deborah Lydia ; Gustavsson, Marka; Schlaikjer, Katie
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
Part 18 of 18:  
Musical Selections:  String Quartet No. 4 “United”, for string quartet (1936) (18:03)
Performers:  Colorado String Quartet:
Julie Rosenfeld, violin
D. Lydia Redding, violin
Marka Gustavsson, viola
Katie Schlaikjer, cello
Genres:  New Music; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  New music; 20th century classical; String quartets
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Rosenfeld, Julie (Julie Ann); Redding, Deborah Lydia ; Gustavsson, Marka; Schlaikjer, Katie
Recording Date:  11/12/2009
 
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