"A Tidal Wave of Encouragement": American Composers' Concerts in the Gilded Age

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 - History - 235 pages
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In July of 1884, pianist Calixa Lavall e performed a recital of works by American composers that began a highly influential series of such concerts. Over the course of the next decade, hundreds of all-American concerts were performed in the United States and Europe, a movement that fostered both the development and the perception of American music as a unique art form. A Tidal Wave of Encouragement-the title of which is derived from one observer's description of the movement-is the first in-depth study of this significant period in American music. Providing a comprehensive history of the Concerts as well as detailed accounts of the intense critical debate surrounding them, author E. Douglas Bomberger reveals how one decade shaped the future of American classical music and very much impacted the way we hear it today.

The movement, crucial in focusing discussion on American music and providing performance opportunities for composers and musicians for whom no such opportunities had before existed, was far more extensive and widespread than most scholarship had credited it. This oversight is due in large part to the dearth of objective studies of the Concerts; previous considerations have tended either toward the merely nostalgic or toward the unnecessarily disparaging. Bomberger's work is a corrective to this, as well as much-needed historical and critical account of a project whose influence had yet to be fully acknowledged.

 

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Contents

Prelude AllAmerican Concerts before 1884
1
The MTNA Concerts 18841888 An Idea Whose Time Had Come
9
Henry E Krehbiel Critic
23
Frank Van der Stuckens Novelty Concerts
29
The Exposition Universelle of 1889 American Music on a World Stage
45
Interlude Flood Tide
65
The MTNA Concerts 18891892 An Idea Whose Time Was Past
73
The Arens Tour of 18911892 Propaganda Parochialism and AllAmerican Concerts
87
Manuscript Societies and the Ghettoization of New Music
145
Postlude Dvořák and New Directions in American Art Music
165
Selected American Composers Concerts 18811901
173
Frank Van der Stuckens American Festival November 1887
183
Programs and Reviews of American Composers Concerts in Europe
189
Repertoire Performed at Public Meetings of the Manuscript Society of New York 18901901
203
Bibliography
213
Index
221

Edward A MacDowell Reluctant Hero
121
The Worlds Columbian Exposition of 1893 American Art Music Humiliated
127

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About the author (2002)

E. DOUGLAS BOMBERGER is an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The author of many journal articles, he is the editor of Brainard's Biographies of American Musicians (Greenwood, 1999).

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