Monarch of the Flute : The Life of Georges Barrere: The Life of Georges Barrere

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Oxford University Press, USA, Jul 20, 2005 - Music - 464 pages
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Georges Barrere (1876-1944) holds a preeminent place in the history of American flute playing. Best known for two of the landmark works that were written for him--the Poem of Charles Tomlinson Griffes and Density 21.5 by Edgard Varese--he was the most prominent early exemplar of the Paris Conservatoire tradition in the United States and set a new standard for American woodwind performance. Barrere's story is a musical tale of two cities, and this book uses his life as a window onto musical life in Belle Epoque Paris and twentieth-century New York. Recurrent themes are the interactions of composers and performers; the promotion of new music; the management, personnel, and repertoire of symphony orchestras; the economic and social status of the orchestral and solo musician, including the increasing power of musicians' unions; the role of patronage, particularly women patrons; and the growth of chamber music as a professional performance medium. A student of Paul Taffanel at the Paris Conservatoire, by age eighteen Barrere premiered the landmark Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun. He went on to become solo flutist of the Concerts Colonne and to found the Societe Moderne d'Instruments a Vent, a pioneering woodwind ensemble that premiered 61 works for 40 composers in its first ten years. Invited by Walter Damrosch to become principal flute of the New York Symphony in 1905, he founded the woodwind department at the Institute of Musical Art (later Juilliard). His many ensembles toured the United States, building new audiences for chamber music and promoting French repertoire as well as new American music. Toff narrates Barrere's relationships with the finest musicians and artists of his day, among them Isadora Duncan, Yvette Guilbert, Andre Caplet, Paul Hindemith, Albert Roussel, Wallingford Riegger, and Henry Brant. The appendices of the book, which list his 170 premieres and the 50 works dedicated to Barrere, are a resource for a new generation of performers. Based on extensive archival research and oral histories in both France and the United States, this is the first biography of Barrere. It is being published in conjunction with the centennial of his arrival in the United States in May 1905.
  

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Contents

Introduction
3
1 The Fifer 187693
6
2 The Faun 189395
12
3 The Jeune École 189598
24
4 Fin de Siècle 189899
35
In the Vanguard of Progress
42
6 The New Century 190105
59
Enter Walter Damrosch
78
14 Pan Himself 192126
196
15 The Casals of the Flute 192628
227
16 Jubilee 192830
243
17 I Heard the Great Barrère 193136
258
18 The Last Word in Chamber Music 193640
280
19 The Last Survivor 194044
299
Monarch of the Flute
315
Works Dedicated to Barrère and His Ensembles
329

8 The World of the Damrosch Brothers 190509
88
9 A Musical Envoy from France 190912
104
10 Yankee Entrepreneur 191215
120
11 Alliances Françaises 191517
141
12 Over Here 191718
156
13 The Worlds Greatest Flutist 191821
168
Works Premiered by Barrère and His Ensembles
335
Notes
351
Bibliography
399
Index
421
Copyright

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