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

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 157 min
Event Type: Lecture / Panel Discussion Program Origin: Other Minds

On November 13, 2009, at the Presidio Chapel in San Francisco, CA, Other Minds presented the second of two concerts dedicated to the music of Henry Cowell. Born in 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 evening’s event began with a panel discussion, moderated by Charles Amirkhanian, and featuring John Duffy, a composer and former student of Cowell’s, Anahid Ajemian, a violinist and friend of Cowell’s, George Avakian a record producer and husband of Ajemian, Joel Sachs, a musicologist and Cowell biographer, and Sarah Cahill, a pianist famous for her repertoire of new music. This discussion is followed by a concert that included solo piano music, a set of art songs, two string quartets performed by the Colorado Quartet, and chamber music featuring a rare performance by the world renowned violinist David Abel. 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 15:  
Genres:  New Music; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; New music; 20th century classical; Composers
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Duffy, John, 1928-; Ajemian, Anahid ; Avakian, George; Cahill, Sarah; Sachs, Joel
Recording Date:  11/13/2009
 
Part 2 of 15:  
Musical Selections:  Set of Five, for piano, percussion, and violin (1952) (18:24)
Performers:  Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio:
David Abel, violin
Julie Steinberg, piano
William Winant, percussion
Genres:  New Music; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  New music; 20th century classical; Chamber music; Trios (Piano, percussion, violin)
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Abel, David, 1935-; Steinberg, Julie; Winant, William
Recording Date:  11/13/2009
 
Part 3 of 15:  
Musical Selections:  Manaunauan’s Birthing, for voice and piano [text by John Osborne Varian] (1924) (2:56)
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; Varian, John; Hillhouse, Wendy; Gandolfi, Josephine
Recording Date:  11/13/2009
 
Part 4 of 15:  
Musical Selections:  Song in the Songless, for voice and piano [text by George Meredith] (1958) (2:03)
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:  11/13/2009
 
Part 5 of 15:  
Musical Selections:  Rest, for voice and piano [text by Catherine Riegger] (1958) (2:32)
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:  11/13/2009
 
Part 6 of 15:  
Musical Selections:  Three Songs on Poems by Padraic Colum: Night-Fliers (2:23) ; I Heard in the Night (1:54) ; Crane, for voice and piano] (1956) (1:21)
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; Colum, Padraic, 1881-1972 ; Hillhouse, Wendy; Gandolfi, Josephine
Recording Date:  11/13/2009
 
Part 7 of 15:  
Musical Selections:  Music I Heard, for voice and piano [text by Conrad Aiken] (1961) (2:50)
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; Aiken, Conrad, 1889-1973; Hillhouse, Wendy; Gandolfi, Josephine
Recording Date:  11/13/2009
 
Part 8 of 15:  
Musical Selections:  Music When Soft Voices Die, for voice and piano [text by Percy Bysshe Shelley] (1922) (1:42)
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; Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 1792-1822 ; Hillhouse, Wendy; Gandolfi, Josephine
Recording Date:  11/13/2009
 
Part 9 of 15:  
Musical Selections:  Rhythmicana, for piano (1938 (6:50)
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:  11/13/2009
 
Part 10 of 15:  
Musical Selections:  The Banshee, for piano (1925) (3:20)
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:  11/13/2009
 
Part 11 of 15:  
Musical Selections:  The Fairy Answer, for piano (1929) (4:08)
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:  11/13/2009
 
Part 12 of 15:  
Musical Selections:  Tiger, for piano (1928) (3:36)
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:  11/13/2009
 
Part 13 of 15:  
Musical Selections:  Sonata: Hymn ; In Fuguing Style ; Ballad ; Jig ; Finale, for violin and piano (1945) (18:44)
Performers:  David Abel, violin
Julie Steinberg, piano
Genres:  New Music; 20th Century Classical
Subject:  New music; 20th century classical; Chamber music; Sonatas (Violin and piano)
People:  Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965; Abel, David, 1935-; Steinberg, Julie
Recording Date:  11/13/2009
 
Part 14 of 15:  
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:  11/13/2009
 
Part 15 of 15:  
Musical Selections:  String Quartet No. 5 (1955-56) (25:10)
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:  11/13/2009
 
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