Composer in the world of today; American work for chorus and orchestra
The end. The composer in the world of today. The School of Music and the radio service of the University of Illinois. I invite you to listen to another program in the series. The composer in the world of today. Commented and illustrations on 20th century American music by an American composer. Conducting the series is Bell professor of music at the University of Illinois and an internationally acclaimed composer. The composer in the world of today is produced and recorded by W I L L University of Illinois radio circuits. Under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Week.
They. Have a stash of music for this time of year. Now the composer in the world of today. And here is Beryl Phillips. The title of this program is also the name of a musical composition by this commentator. I compose the work in the late spring and summer of 1964 under what might be called a double discipline one discipline was that all the music must be written for instruments of the woodwind quintet and the other was that each piece must be finished the same day it was begun in the same hour if possible. The latter requirement was not as difficult to carry out as sounds it merely meant that of necessity all the pieces would be short but complete. The first discipline which on the surface does not sound like much of a limitation at all needs a little explanation. First of all the woodwind quintet is a chamber music ensemble as standard to the winds as a string quartet as a recognisable and of A is to the strings. Second the instruments are real woodwinds flute oboe clarinet and bass soon but with the admission of a brass instrument the horn in F
or French horn. This foreigner among the other true woodwinds occupies a traditional place here mostly because its quality mixes extremely well with the other instruments can be used for contrast and compliments them excellently. Third I had written for the woodwind quintet before but at the time I conceived the idea for this piece or rather series of pieces I needed an interesting and arresting excuse for working with the combination again. It came in the nature of a simple question that was simply answered. How many combinations are there possible among the instruments of the woodwind quintet. If one were to write duos how many are possible if one wrote trios and how many if one wrote quartets. The answer for some mathematical reason beyond the horizon of a composer is that there are ten possible different combinations for duals 10 for trios and 5 for quartets having found this out I determined to write one piece each to accommodate these various combinations. This would make 25 pieces but before I finished I found the problem so interesting that for 12
of the combinations I wrote more than one piece so that there are now in this work called music for this time of year. Thirty eight short compositions of varying lengths. We will hear a selection of these on today's program. Recently in this country there has grown up to have been speaking about music. I'm referring to things in a kind of quasi scientific jargon. Thus when talking about the two main schools of composition that confront each other at the present time one should refer to one as a psychosocial school and to the other as a school of total organization. In moral terms these would mean successively music written with people in mind and on the other hand music written surely for the sake of musical designed form and arrangement. I confess to a partiality for the first of these two schools. Call it whatever one wants to. And in the writing of music for the woodwind quintet it was borne in upon me heavily that this medium must take people into account at every juncture. Even at the moment of inventing the musical material and on down to the time of
rehearsal and performance. The result of having the people in the prospective audience in mind at the moment of writing the music is to create short forms not long ones. This is because the tone quality of each of the instruments of the woodwind quintet is so incisive and so positive that the ear cannot endure music with as much length as is possible. Other chamber combinations are the human voice or the orchestra. Also the players of the ensemble are people with technical problems peculiar to the instruments of the woodwind family. These problems are fingering intonation dynamics and articulation but chiefly of breath and breath control. It comes down really to a matter of how long a composer can demand that a performer play without taking a new breath. And this is figured in seconds. Theoretically the string player could move his bow and finger the strings all day long without a break but the wind player has limits in this regard. Among the instruments of the woodwind quintet the horn can sustain without fatigue perhaps up to a minute under certain circumstances. The old boat was the instrument shortest of breath.
The flute clarinet and Bess soon lie somewhere between these two extremes. It can be seen then that writing music for two woodwinds poses problems not so pressing in trios or quartets. It is musically inartistic to have blanks and gaps in the flow of tone. I think that would surely result if we allowed the two players to breathe at the same time. So the construction of the line must take this into account. So must the length speed and dynamics of the music. To illustrate this point here are six short duos for various combinations of woodwinds from music for this time of year. Performed by members of the faculty woodwind quintet of the School of Music of the University of Illinois. The first is for flute an oboe and is called the rapiers. Then a lot on Tico for clarinet and Bess soon and Colfax miniatures A and B for flute and horn Gemini oboe and best sume and Stone Arabia for flute and clarinet.
That was a group of six duels for woodwinds from this composer's music for this time of year. It could be justifiably asked why these pieces have the kind of names they do as a composer I will try to answer two of the duels had titles that were at least faintly descriptives. The first called the rapiers was a kind of duel in the fifth called Gemini was played by the two double reeds of the group. The twins so to speak the oboe and the best soon but the others had not very much direct connotation. In the late 17th and early 18th century French composers who wrote for the class and often gave fanciful titles to short pieces and sweets. And there is not some precedent for it. One that has always intrigued me. Here's a title for a short piece by the mysterious barricades and might have been something about the slightly delirious quality of such naming It decided me to do likewise. Anyhow I thought that such titles as Number 9 A or quartet number 23 smacked too much of austere constructivism our dog. Next come for short trios with differing combinations of instruments. The first call
Jacoby's entrada is a fantasy on one note and the horn playing this one note only throughout the piece. Then comes trace crumbling towards Paradise slope East and finally black hole seen a doctor or an English the kitchen of Doctor folly.
Oh. Those were four trios from this composer's music for this time of year for instruments of the woodwind quintet. To complete the program we will now hear three quartets each with
a different set of instruments. I mean quartet seas are a little longer than the trio's and posed fewer problems off of austerity and more of color and balance. The first call Rondo prelude is as its title suggests in rondo form the second quartet called Never for love they say is a slow one based on a repeated motif given to the horn while the last cold herald of freedom is a fast piece ending in a brilliant register. Here are three quartets from this composer's music for this time of the year played by the faculty woodwind Quartet what woodwind quintet of the School of Music of the University of Illinois. Charles Delaney Flude Martha Salzman oboe Austin McDowell clarinet Sandford Berry best soon and Thomas Holden horn.
You just heard music for this time of year. Today's program was music for instruments of the woodwind quintet by Beryl Philips performed by members of the faculty woodwind quintet of the School of Music of the University of Illinois. This was another program in the series. The composer in the world of today conducting the series is burled Phillips Professor of Music at the University of Illinois and an internationally famed composer. The composer in the world of today was produced and recorded by Kenneth Cutler. Music supervisor of the radio service of the University of Illinois under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center and is being distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the Radio Network.
- Producing Organization
- University of Illinois
- WILL Illinois Public Media
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This program focuses on contemporary American compositions for choruses with orchestral accompaniment.
- Other Description
- How the composer of today sees the contemporary world around him. Interviews, commentary and musical illustration provide a better picture of the modern composer. The series is hosted by Burrill Phillips, composer and professor of music at the University of Illinois.
- Broadcast Date
- Composers--United States--20th century.
- Media type
Host: Phillips, Burrill
Producing Organization: University of Illinois
Producing Organization: WILL Illinois Public Media
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 58-42-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Composer in the world of today; American work for chorus and orchestra,” 1958-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 23, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-gq6r375r.
- MLA: “Composer in the world of today; American work for chorus and orchestra.” 1958-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 23, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-gq6r375r>.
- APA: Composer in the world of today; American work for chorus and orchestra. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-gq6r375r