Jan. 8th, 2017

Book Review

Jan. 8th, 2017 08:27 pm
kenjari: (piano)
The Sounds of Place: Music and the American Cultural Landscape
by Denise Von Glahn

This deeply interesting book examines the ways that American classical music has responded to American places, and the idea of these American places. Von Glahn looks at pieces and composers both well known (Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington, Steve Reich) and more obscure (George Bristow, Ferde Grofe, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich). I really like the way von Glahn discusses each piece - her descriptions are vivid with the right balance of technical information. And she deploys the musical examples very well. Especially impressive is the way the delves into the relationships between the music and the places to which each piece refers. She looks at how each piece evokes a place, and at how the pieces show the changes in the way American culture relates to its natural world.

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