Broadway Meets the Avant-Garde in a Juilliard Music Pageant


These are the six Focus packages, beginning on Sunday night:

A set of Joplin’s rags — the phenomenally standard sheet music for “Maple Leaf Rag” helped put American music on the worldwide map — leads immediately into two of Ives’s bustling, changeable Ragtime Dances, carried out by Sachs’ New Juilliard Ensemble. The quickly shifting moods of the dances will provide a brand new context for the equally jittery “Octandre,” written for a small group of winds and brasses and ending in a vibrant scream. Varèse, a local Frenchman, spent the final 50 years of his life in America, and his affect right here made him a pure for this Focus.

Sachs wrote a biography of Henry Cowell, who was a part of a circle of experimental composers with Varèse, and whose brooding Sinfonietta follows “Octandre.” Ruth Crawford was additionally a part of the group, and this system contains her angular “Three Songs to Poems by Carl Sandburg,” earlier than closing with Ives’s Third Symphony, “The Camp Assembly,” a characteristically Ivesian explosion of European kinds and Nineteenth-century Americana.

The army marches of John Philip Sousa, a significant American presence in Europe throughout this era, are hardly ever heard alongside modernists like Milton Babbitt and Leon Kirchner, and Amy Seaside’s String Quartet isn’t heard, interval. Seaside’s heat, thickly chromatic, intensely elegant single-movement quartet — which includes, after the mannequin of Dvorak, the Native American melodies “Summer time Tune,” “Enjoying at Ball” and “Ititaujang’s Tune” — appears to be like each .

The quartet and chamber works by Babbitt, Kirchner, Conlon Nancarrow (greatest identified for his wild player-piano research) and Virgil Thomson lead, nevertheless unexpectedly, to Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Without end,” represented by Vladimir Horowitz’s virtuosic — and, on this firm, actually progressive-sounding — piano association.

Among the many week’s most intriguing rediscoveries is “Deep Tune,” a Martha Graham solo that she first danced in 1937 as a cri de coeur throughout the Spanish Civil Conflict. The rating, by Cowell, was misplaced, so when the dance was revived within the Nineteen Eighties, it was with one other Cowell piece.


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