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Hearing The Pulitzers
Hearing the Pulitzers: A piece-by-piece, episode-by-episode exploration of the winners of the Pulitzer Prize in Music with hosts Andrew Granade and David Thurmaier.
Nov 18, 2022
Episode 38 - 1980: David Del Tredici, In Memory of a Summer Day
In this episode, Dave and Andrew discuss a composer Aaron Copland called a "rare find among composers — a creator with a truly original gift." Will they agree with Copland about David Del Tredici's In Memory of a Summer Day? If you'd like more information about David Del Tredici, we recommend: * Contemporary Music Review's issue on New Tonality, volume 6, issue 2 (1992), including Paul Moravec's interview with Del Tredici. * J. D. Dolan's article on Del Tredici in BOMB, No. 60 (Summer 1997): 42-45 * James E. Chute's dissertation "The reemergence of tonality in contemporary music as shown in the works of David Del Tredici, Joseph Schwantner, and John Adams" (University of Cincinnati, 1991) * A recent interview with Del Tredici
Oct 21, 2022
Episode 37 - 1979: Joseph Schwantner, Aftertones of Infinity
In this episode, Andrew and Dave explore a composer they first encountered with his music for wind band. In his Pulitzer-winning work, Schwantner fashioned a composition critics have described as creating a "poetic illusion—but only an illusion— of movement." Will this illusion win them over? If you'd like more information about Schwantner we recommend: * James Chute's dissertation "The reemergence of tonality in contemporary music as shown in the works of David Del Tredici, Joseph Schwantner, and John Adams" (University of Cincinnati, 1991) * Schwantner's website * Cynthia Folio's article "The synthesis of traditional and contemporary elements in Joseph Schwantner's 'Sparrows,'" Perspectives of New Music, vol. 24, no. 1 (1985): 184-96.
Sep 26, 2022
Episode 36 - 1978: Michael Colgrass, Déjà Vu
In this episode, Dave and Andrew record their first live podcast event! In front of the Kansas City Conducting Symposium, they discuss an unusual work for the Pulitzers in that Michael Colgrass featured the percussion section of the orchestra. Will they enjoy this departure from standard orchestration? If you'd like more information about Colgrass, we recommend: * Colgrass's autobiographies Adventures of an American Composer and My Lessons with Kumi * James Donald Broadhurst's dissertation "The early drum-melodic music of Michael Colgrass and the evolution of the Colgrass drum" (The Ohio State University, 2005)
Sep 7, 2022
Episode 35 - 1977: Richard Wernick, Visions of Terror and Wonder
In this episode, Dave and Andrew discuss a Pulitzer winner that has so fallen out of the repertoire that there is no commercially available recording. But that doesn't mean there aren't interesting things to learn about the state of music in the late 1970s! For example, why was there an extra meeting of the jury, and did all the members participate in the deliberations? Listen to find out! If you'd like more information about Richard Wernick, we recommend: * This interview with Wernick from 2021 with the Network for New Music * Michael Rose's dissertation "Unity in diversity: the synthesis of compositional approaches in Richard Wernick's Vision of terror and wonder" * Bruce Duffie's interview with Wernick Please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts!
Aug 18, 2022
Episode 34 - 1976: Ned Rorem, Air Music
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore a composer better known for his songs who won for an orchestral work, Ned Rorem. They may enjoy The Nantucket Songs but what will they think about Air Music? And was Air Music actually supposed to win the Pulitzer Prize??? Tune in to find out. If you'd like to know more about Ned Rorem, we recommend: * Ned Rorem, The Paris and the New York Diaries, 1951-1961, Open Road Media * J.D. McClatchy's 1999 interview with Ned Rorem in The Paris Review, Issue 150 * A Ned Rorem Reader (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001)
Aug 1, 2022
Episode 33 - 1975: Dominick Argento, From the Diary of Virginia Woolf
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the first song cycle to ever win the Pulitzer Prize, Dominick Argento's From the Diary of Virginia Woolf. Argento always remarked that his music balanced between his desire for fantasy and his need for control. Do Dave and Andrew think this work has that balance? If you'd like more information about Dominick Argento, we recommend: * Jacquelyn Matava's dissertation "Dominick Argento's From the Diary of Virginia Woolf: A Preparation Guide for Performers" (Indiana University, 2014) * Russell Platt's New Yorker article "The Elegant Musical Vessels of Dominick Argento" * Argento's memoir, Catalogue Raisonnâe as Memoir: A Composer's Life (University of Minnesota Press, 2004) Please write a review of us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to the podcast -- thanks!
Jul 16, 2022
Episode 32 - 1974: Donald Martino, Notturno
In this episode, Dave and Andrew discuss a composer who is usually considered a 12-tone composer, but who also rejected labels. He famously told the New York Times in 1997 that "If anyone writes program notes and says I am a Serial or a 12-tone composer, I am infuriated." How do Dave and Andrew label Martino's music? How does Notturno fit into the style of other winners in the early 1970s? If you'd like more information about Donald Martino and Notturno, we recommend: * James Praznik's 2022 dissertation "Dreaming of Single Hexachords in an Infinite Expanse: An Analysis of Movement II of Donald Martino’s Notturno" * The collection of articles in tribute to Martino in Perspectives of New Music 29/2 (Summer 1991) * Bruce Duffie's interview with Martino
Jun 27, 2022
Episode 31 - 1973: Elliott Carter, String Quartet No. 3
In this episode, Dave and Andrew revisit Elliott Carter, who won his first Pulitzer in 1960. They awarded his String Quartet No. 2 two big thumbs up. Will they be as enthusiastic about Carter's String Quartet No. 3? If you'd like more information about Elliott Carter and his String Quartet No. 3, we recommend: * This performance of the String Quartet No. 3 by the Jack Quartet. * Andrew W. Mead's article "Pitch Structure in Elliott Carter's String Quartet No. 3" in Perspectives of New Music, vol. 22, no. 1/2 (Autumn, 1983 - Summer, 1984): 31-60 * Laura Emmery's book Compositional Process in Elliott Carter's String Quartets: A Study in Sketches (Routledge, 2020)
Jun 5, 2022
Episode 30 - 1972: Jacob Druckman, Windows
In this episode, Dave and Andrew look through Windows at Jacob Druckman's compositional style and legacy in American music. Druckman taught at Yale and the Aspen Music Festival for years, shaping generations of young composers, and coined the term "New Romanticism" when he curated the Horizons Festivals at the NY Philharmonic in the mid-1980s. Yet today, his attempts to merge modernist techniques with audience-friendly sounds are largely forgotten. Should they be? If you'd like to know more about Druckman, we recommend: * Nicholas Papador's dissertation Jacob Druckman: A Bio-Bibliography and Guide to Research, Northwestern University, 2003. * Druckman's interview in Cole Gagne and Tracy Caras's Soundpieces: Interviews with American Composers (Scarecrow Press, 1982) * Bruce Duffie speaks with Jacob Druckman
May 10, 2022
Episode 29 - 1971: Mario Davidovsky, Synchronisms No. 6
In this episode, Dave and Andrew discuss the first episode they have a personal connection to as Andrew has performed Mario Davidovsky's Synchronisms No. 6. How does Dave react to the third music winner to incorporate electronic sounds, and how do those sounds hold up 50 years later? If you'd like more information about Davidovsky, we recommend: * Wesley True's lecture “Men, Music, and Machines. Some Thoughts Generated by the Practice and Performance of Mario Davidovsky’s Synchronisms #6 for Piano and Electronics” published in the Journal of the American Liszt Society vol. 9 (June 1981): 50-54. * Eric Chasalow's "Mario Davidovsky, An Introduction," Agni no. 50 (1999): 195-200. * Davidovsky's bio page on the Edition Peters site.
Apr 16, 2022
Episode 28 - 1970: Charles Wuorinen, Time’s Encomium
In this episode, Dave and Andrew discuss the first fully electronic work to ever win a Pulitzer Prize, even though it was the only electronic work its composer ever wrote. Did Charles Wuorinen set a new standard for Pulitzer-winning music or was electronic music a flash in the pan? If you're interested in learning more about Wuorinen, we recommend: * Charles Wuorinen's extensive website * Elliott Schwartz's article "Electronic Music: A Thirty-Year Retrospective" in Music Educators Journal, Vol. 64, No. 7 (March 1978): 36-41. * Perspective of New Music's "Charles Wuorinen: A Celebration at 80," Vol. 56, No. 2 (Summer 2018)
Mar 28, 2022
Episode 27 - 1969: Karel Husa, String Quartet No. 3
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore a composer renowned today for his works for wind band, but celebrated during his lifetime for music that was, in Nicolas Slonimsky's famous phrase, "oxygenated by humanistic romanticism." Join us as we try and tease out exactly what Slonimsky meant by exploring Husa's String Quartet No. 3. If you'd like more information about Husa, we recommend: * Lawrence W. Hartzell's "Karel Husa: The Man and the Music" in The Musical Quarterly Vol. 62, No. 1 (Jan., 1976), pp. 87-104 * Susan Hayes Hitchens's Karel Husa: A Bio-bibliography, published by Greenwood Press in 1991. * New York Times obituary for Husa by Steve Smith: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/04/arts/music/karel-husa-pulitzer-prize-winning-composer-dies-at-95.html
Mar 14, 2022
Episode 26 - 1968: George Crumb, Echoes of Time and the River
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore an early work by a composer who transformed American music with his singular vision. But how did a composer who concocted a personal aesthetic reflecting a fascination with "life, death, love, the smell of the earth, the sounds of the wind and the sea" impact artists like David Bowie and directors like William Friedkin (who used Crumb's music in The Exorcist)? If you'd like more information about George Crumb, we recommend: * George Crumb's New York Times obituary * Thomas Riis's "A Conversation with George Crumb" in The American Music Research Center Journal, Vol. 3 (Jan 1, 1993) * Crumb's article "Music: Does It Have a Future?" in The Kenyon Review Vol. 2, No. 3 (Summer, 1980), pp. 115-122 * Crumb's website: http://www.georgecrumb.net
Mar 1, 2022
Episode 25 - 1967: Leon Kirchner, Third String Quartet
We're back with Season 2 of "Hearing The Pulitzers!" In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the first music winner to incorporate electronics, Leon Kirchner. Kirchner wanted to expand human capabilities by combining live performance with recorded electronic sounds. Although he did not focus his music on electronics after the 3rd Quartet, Kirchner's award ultimately set a trend for the Pulitzer the next few years, as the jury became more and more accepting of new sounds and timbres. If you'd like more information about Leon Kirchner, we recommend: * Robert Rigg's biography Leon Kirchner: Composer, Performer, and Teacher (University of Rochester Press, 2010) * Bruce Duffie's 1990 interview with Leon Kirchner
Nov 1, 2021
Episode 24 - 1966: Leslie Bassett, Variations for Orchestra
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the first music winner in three years, Leslie Bassett. After two decades of honoring fairly conservative, European-derived pieces and two years of not honoring any pieces of music, what direction will the Pulitzer go in the late 1960s? If you'd like more information about Leslie Bassett, we recommend: * Leslie Bassett's homepage * Ellen S. Johnson's Leslie Bassett: a Bio-Bibliography, published in 1994 by Greenwood Press * Stephanie Brunelli's dissertation, The use of the piano in the twentieth-century orchestra: A study of Pulitzer Prize compositions by Copland, Bassett, and Druckman
Sep 18, 2021
Episode 23 - 1965: No Prize (the Pulitzer Hat Trick)
In this episode, Dave and Andrew cover the third year the Pulitzer Board decided not to award a music prize. The 1964 decision not to award a prize might have been shocking, but nothing could have prepared the Pulitzer Board from the fallout of their decision in 1965. Music jury members resigned, the press had a field day, and the trajectory of music winners changed dramatically. We'll chart all the intrigue, including what Duke Ellington had to do with this scandal.
Aug 28, 2021
Episode 22 - 1964: No Prize (again)
In this episode, Andrew and Dave discuss the second time the Pulitzer Board decided not to award a music prize. In fact, in 1964, they did not give awards in the categories of drama, music, and fiction. It was the first time since the Pulitzer Prizes began in 1917 that three separate categories did not have an awardee. To deepen the intrigue, the music board was split, and at least one member wanted to give a music award (and wasn't happy with the other members). We discuss all the drama! What happened in 1964 and what were the ramifications on later music winners?
Aug 13, 2021
Episode 21 - 1963: Samuel Barber, Piano Concerto No. 1
In this episode, Dave and Andrew discuss the third person to win two Pulitzers, Samuel Barber. Barber's prize-winning opera Vanessa was a qualified hit in Episode 16, but how does his Piano Concerto stack up? (Photo of Pianist John Browning, 1966) If you'd like more information about Samuel Barber or his Piano Concerto No. 1, we recommend: * Emily Lu's 1986 dissertation from the University of Wisconsin, "The Piano Concerto of Samuel Barber" * Jonathan Blumhofer's fascinating discussion of the piece in "Rethinking the Repertoire #13 – Samuel Barber’s Piano Concerto" * The interview with pianist John Browning in the Peter Dickinson edited volume Samuel Barber Remembered (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2010.
Jun 19, 2021
Episode 20 - 1962: Robert Ward, The Crucible
In this episode, Dave and Andrew turn to the fifth opera to win a Pulitzer Prize, Robert Ward's The Crucible. The opera is based on Arthur Miller's award-winning play that even today is considered an American classic. Does the opera hold up as well? If you're interested in more information about Robert Ward or The Crucible, we recommend: * Robert Kolt's book Robert Ward's The Crucible: Creating an American Musical Nationalism. * Robert Kolt's article "The Devil Made Me Do It! History to Play to Opera: Media Transformation in Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible'" in the Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies Vol. 20, No. 1 (Spring, 2014), pp. 55-76. * Charles Patrick Wolver's 1986 dissertation "Robert Ward's The Crucible: A Critical Commentary."
May 24, 2021
Episode 19 - 1961: Walter Piston, Symphony No. 7
In this episode, Dave and Andrew return to Walter Piston, who first won the Pulitzer in 1948 for his Third Symphony. In 1961, not even a year into his retirement, Piston won again for his Seventh Symphony. Although Piston's music isn't performed much today, Carol Oja has argued that "From the perspective of the early 21st century, the music of Walter Piston sounds mighty appealing." Will Dave and Andrew agree? If you're interested in more information about Walter Piston's teaching, we recommend: * Piston/DeVoto, Harmony * Piston, Counterpoint * Piston, Orchestration
Apr 26, 2021
Episode 18 - 1960: Elliott Carter, Second String Quartet
In this episode, Dave and Andrew discuss the first Pulitzer winner of the 1960s, Elliott Carter for his Second String Quartet. Carter's work has been frequently performed, widely celebrated, and heavily analyzed, but will it be a hit or a miss for our hosts? If you're interested in learning more about Carter or his Second String Quartet, we recommend: * David Thurmaier's "'A Disturbing Lack of Musical and Stylistic Continuity'? Elliott Carter, Charles Ives, and Musical Borrowing" Current Musicology, 96 (Fall 2013), 97-124. * Tiina Koivisto's "Multilayered Rhythms, Meter, and Notated Meter: Temporal Processes in Elliott Carter's Second String Quartet" Theory and Practice, 34 (2009), 141-171. * Elliott Carter's website, a well-maintained source of information about his music and recent recordings and performances. * Laura Emmery's study on the string quartets (including the 3rd, which will win the Pulitzer Prize in 1973): Compositional Process in Elliott Carter's String Quartet…
Mar 27, 2021
Episode 17 - 1959: John La Montaine, Piano Concerto No. 1
In this episode, Dave and Andrew discuss John La Montaine's first piano concerto, a work that made a splash in the late 1950s only to disappear from the repertoire. Similarly, La Montaine has faded from view, so what made this work catch the Pulitzer committee's attention? If you'd like to learn more about John La Montaine, we recommend: * Frank Oteri's 2003 interview "Rediscovering John La Montaine" * Bruce Duffie's 1989 interview with John La Montaine * Erica Beth Weintraub's article “John La Montaine: Life on the Edge” in Music Educators Journal, vol 69, no. 7 (March 1983): 41-43
Mar 12, 2021
Episode 16 - 1958: Samuel Barber, Vanessa
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the fourth opera to win the Pulitzer Prize in the 1950s, Samuel Barber's Vanessa. In the mid-20th century United States, Samuel Barber was one of the most performed American composers, known especially for his beautiful vocal music that closely mirrored European models. But with the Pulitzer traditionally awarding works that are more "American" in sound, does Vanessa represent a departure from convention for Barber or the Pulitzer board? If you'd like more information about Samuel Barber or Vanessa we recommend: * This fascinating background article in Pasatiempo by James M. Keller * Howard Pollack's article "Samuel Barber, Jean Sibelius, and the Making of an American Romantic" in The Musical Quarterly, vol. 84, vo. 2 (Summer, 2000): 175-205 * Barbara B. Heyman's biography Samuel Barber: The Composer and His Music, 2nd edition (Oxford University Press, 2020) * A synopsis of the opera
Feb 26, 2021
Episode 15 - 1957: Norman Dello Joio, Meditations on Ecclesiastes
Norman Dello Joio is one of those composers you might know depending on your background. Sing choral music? You might know him from A Jubilant Song. Play in band? You might have performed his Fantasies on a Theme by Haydn. He was accomplished and prolific composer, but we did not know his Pulitzer winning Meditations on Ecclesiastes before this episode. Join Dave and Andrew as they explore if it fits into the list of winners in the 1950s or is an outlier. If you want to know more about Dello Joio, we recommend: * Dello Joio's website (which was last updated in 2009, but still has useful documentation on his life and career) * Edward Downes's article "The Music of Norman Dello Joio" in The Musical Quarterly Vol. 48, No. 2 (April, 1962): 149-172. * Ann Meyer's interview with Norman Dello Joio published in Music Educators Journal Vol 74, Issue 2 (1987): 53-56.
Feb 13, 2021
Episode 14 - 1956: Ernst Toch, Symphony No. 3
Like Gian Carlo Menotti before him, Ernst Toch was a European composer who won an American prize. Unlike Menotti, Toch did not have the same success in the United States that he had in Europe and never fully identified as an "American" composer. Join us as we find out how his third symphony, inspired by his experience as a Jew fleeing the Nazis in the 1930s, might tell us something about Toch's place in American musical history. If you'd like to learn more about Ernst Toch, we recommend: * This fascinating article about Toch's experience fleeing the Nazis written by his grandson. * Toch's Geographical Fugue, one of the first examples of "Gesprochene Musik." * Paul A. Pisk and Manton Monroe Marble's 1938 survey of Toch's music written for The Musical Quarterly.
Jan 29, 2021
Episode 13 - 1955:Gian Carlo Menotti, The Saint of Bleecker Street
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the first repeat winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Music. We covered Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul in Episode 8 and now he's back again with The Saint of Bleecker Street. We were generally favorable toward The Consul, finding it an effective, if derivative opera. Will Menotti score another hit with this story of a young woman who displays the stigmata? If you're interested in The Saint of Bleecker Street, we recommend: * The original Broadway cast recording from 1954 * The TV movie version of the opera, broadcast on NBC in 1955 We also recommend exploring the Spoleto festival a bit more, both the Festival of Two Worlds held in Spoleto, Italy and the Spoleto Festival hosted in Charleston, South Carolina, USA.
Jan 12, 2021
Episode 12 - 1954: Quincy Porter, Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra
Quincy Porter bridges many of the themes we've seen so far in the podcast: he was the last student of nineteenth-century American composer Horatio Parker (who also taught 1947 prize winner Charles Ives), he taught composition at an Ivy League school (Yale, in this case) for many years, and he was celebrated for his orchestral music during his lifetime, but is virtually forgotten today. From that list, and from our previous episodes on Howard Hanson, Walter Piston, and Douglas Moore, you might think you have a good sense of what Porter's Ivy League New England musical style might be, but are you right? Join us to find out. For more about Quincy Porter: 1) https://composers.com/composers/quincy-porter 2) https://necmusic.edu/archives/quincy-porter
Nov 10, 2020
EPISODE 11 - 1953: No Prize
It might surprise you to learn that over the past 80 years, there have been a few years when the Pulitzer Board has elected not to award a prize, even when the music committee had a recommendation. In this episode we explore the first of these "no prize" years, discuss what pieces were considered, and make a guess as to why the Pulitzer Board chose to not award a winner.
Sep 8, 2020
EPISODE 10 - 1952: Gail Kubik, Symphony Concertante
As we move further into the 1950s, we're entering the doldrums of the Pulitzer Prizes, where few winners have entered the repertoire. Gail Kubik was a phenomenon in his day, writing equally well for the concert hall and the movie theatre. His Symphony Concertante began life as a film score before he extracted themes to craft this work featuring viola, trumpet, and piano. So why have you never heard of the work or, most likely its creator? If you'd like to learn more about Kubik, we recommend: * His delightful score for the Academy Award-winning cartoon Gerald McBoing-Boing. * The extensive information from Kubik's archive at Kansas State University. * Alfred W. Cochran's article "The Functional Music of Gail Kubik: Catalyst for the Concert Hall" in Indiana Theory Review, Vol. 19 (Spring/Fall 1998), 1-11
Aug 15, 2020
Episode 9 - 1951: Douglas Moore, Giants in the Earth
Douglas Moore is a name we've encountered before on Hearing the Pulitzers because he was instrumental in helping establish the Pulitzer Prizes. A decade later, he finally won his own Pulitzer for an opera based on Ole Edvart Rølvaag's novel Giants in the Earth. The opera follows the triumphs and tragedies of Norwegian settlers in the Dakota Territories of 1873, but there isn't even a recording today and the score is hard to find. Is its obscurity warranted? If you'd like to learn more about Moore, we recommend: * Jerry L. McBride's Douglas Moore: A Bio-bibliography * The website dedicated to his more famous and much more performed opera The Ballad of Baby Doe
Jun 14, 2020
Episode 8 - 1950: Gian Carlo Menotti, The Consul
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the winner of the eighth Pulitzer Prize in Music, Gian Carlo Menotti for his opera The Consul. In the middle part of the 20th century, Menotti was one of the most famous composers in America, particularly after his perennial Christmas favorite Amahl and the Night Visitors premiered on December 24, 1951, as the first opera composed for television. The Consul was one of his most celebrated operas during his lifetime and the first opera to receive the Pulitzer, but does it still resonate today? If you'd like to learn more about Menotti, we recommend: * Donald Hixon's Bio-Bibliography on Menotti (Greenwood Press, 2000) * A wonderful interview with Menotti from 1997 conducted by Gene Brooks * The Youtube channel of the Gian Carlo Menotti Archive where you can discover historical recordings of Menotti's works and interviews from many connected to his life and work * A performance of the opera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekrx98zKnk0
May 24, 2020
Episode 7 - 1949: Virgil Thomson, Louisiana Story
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the winner of the seventh Pulitzer Prize in Music, Virgil Thomson for his score to the film Louisiana Story. Virgil Thomson is perhaps best known for his operas like Four Saints in Three Acts or his precise and incisive music criticism at the New York Herald Tribune. But he was also a pioneer in film scoring, particularly documentary film scoring during the Great Depression. In 1936, he wrote his first film score for Pare Lorentz's The Plow that Broke the Plains, and he followed it up with The River two years later for the same director. A decade later, the father of the narrative documentary film, Robert Flaherty, hired Thomson to score what would be his last film. As the only piece of movie music to ever win the Pulitzer, Louisiana Story is at least a curiosity in the prize's history, but does it stand up today? If you'd like more information about Virgil Thomson we recommend: * Anthony Tommasini's magisterial biography Virgil Thomson: Co…
May 4, 2020
Episode 6 - 1948: Walter Piston, Symphony No. 3
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the winner of the sixth Pulitzer Prize in Music, Walter Piston for his Symphony No. 3. Walter Piston was a long-time teacher at Harvard University (Leonard Bernstein and Elliott Carter count among his students) and author of several influential textbooks, including Principles of Harmonic Analysis (1933) and Orchestration (1955). He was also, according to Aaron Copland, “one of the most expert craftsmen American music can boast.” His Symphony No. 3, premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1948, displays that craftsmanship but also the rich, sonorous sound he could pull from the orchestra. But how does it stand up today? If you'd like more information about Walter Piston we recommend: * Carol Oja's essay "Reappraising Walter Piston" * Elliott Carter's summary of his teacher's music "Walter Piston" in The Musical Quarterly, vol. 32, no. 3 (July 1946): 354-375. * Howard Pollack's book Harvard Composers: Walter Piston and His Stude…
Apr 19, 2020
Episode 5 - 1947: Charles E. Ives, Symphony No. 3, "The Camp Meeting"
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the winner of the fifth Pulitzer Prize in Music, Charles E. Ives for his Symphony No. 3, "The Camp Meeting." This piece, largely scored/written between 1908-11, features many of Ives's favorite techniques, including musical borrowing, cumulative form, and mixtures of harmonic techniques all wrapped up in a short and compact chamber symphony. Ives himself had mixed feelings about the piece, thinking it was a transitional "crossway between the older ways and the newer ways," but it caught the attention of the Pulitzer board through its premiere performance in New York conducted by Lou Harrison in 1946. It was also the first piece to win the Pulitzer Prize that written much earlier than its premiere, and it helped propel Ives and his music into the public eye. If you'd like more information about Ives or his Symphony No. 3, we recommend: 1) The Charles Ives Society: www.charlesives.org 2) Charles Ives, Memos, edited by John Kirkpatrick (W.W. No…
Apr 5, 2020
Episode 4 - 1946: Leo Sowerby, Canticle of the Sun
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the winner of the fourth Pulitzer Prize in Music, Leo Sowerby for Canticle of the Sun. You might not have heard of Sowerby unless you regularly perform church music, but in the mid-20th century he was a powerhouse, especially in the Chicago musical scene. See what we think about Sowerby's setting of Francis of Assisi's hymn and why we think Sowerby might be overlooked today. If you'd like more information about Canticle of the Sun and Leo Sowerby, we recommend: * Brice Gerlach's dissertation "Leo Sowerby's The Canticle of the Sun: An Analysis for Performance." * Timothy Sharp's article "The Choral Music of Leo Sowerby: A Centennial Perspective," which you can find in The Choral Journal. 35, no. 8 (1995): 9–19. * A good recording of the piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1yxjhfSH4A * Leo Sowerby's papers and archives at Northwestern University: https://findingaids.library.northwestern.edu/repositories/3/resources/495
Mar 8, 2020
Episode 3 - 1945: Aaron Copland, Appalachian Spring
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the winner of the third Pulitzer Prize in Music, Aaron Copland for Appalachian Spring. Copland is among the most important and well-known American composers, and his style defined "America" in music for generations. Join us as we explore why Appalachian Spring has become a classic in American music and its reverberations down to today. If you'd like more information about Appalachian Spring and Aaron Copland, we recommend: * Howard Pollack's biography Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man. * Jennifer Delapp-Birket's article "Appalachian Spring at 75: Then and Now" * Copland House: http://www.coplandhouse.org * Publisher (Boosey and Hawkes): https://www.boosey.com/cr/composer/Aaron+Copland?ttype=BIOGRAPHY
Feb 22, 2020
Episode 2: 1944 - Howard Hanson, Symphony No. 4 ("Requiem")
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the winner of the second Pulitzer Prize in Music, Howard Hanson and his Symphony No. 4 ("Requiem"). Hanson is known today for his impact on how we teach and train musicians in colleges and universities, but his music has fallen a bit out of favor. Join us as we see if his exclusion from concert halls is justified. If you'd like to know more about Howard Hanson, we recommend: * Harmonic Materials of Modern Music, Howard Hanson's book on music theory freely available online. * Allen Cohen's Howard Hanson in Theory and Practice, from Praeger Publishers in 2004. * Emily Abrams Ansari, The Sound of a Superpower: Musical Americanism and the Cold War, from Oxford University Press, 2018. This book combines Schuman and Hanson into one chapter and includes chapters on upcoming Pulitzer winners Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson, exploring how all shaped American musical culture midcentury.
Feb 8, 2020
Episode 1 - 1943: William Schuman, Secular Cantata, No. 2, "A Free Song"
In this episode, Dave and Andrew explore the winner of the first Pulitzer Prize in Music, William Schuman and his Secular Cantata No. 2, "A Free Song." The work was William Schuman's contribution to the American war effort during World War II, but remains more of a curiosity than a mainstay in the choral/orchestral repertoire. If you'd like to know more about William Schuman and how he won the prize, we recommend: * Steve Swayne's biography Orpheus in Manhattan: William Schuman and the Shaping of America's Musical Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) * Steve Swayne's article on "A Free Song," "William Schuman, World War II, and the Pulitzer Prize," The Musical Quarterly, Volume 89, Issue 2-3 (Summer-Fall 2006): 273–320 Finally, several listeners have asked about our wonderful announcer for the podcast; Dale Morehouse is a marvelous singer, teacher, and stage director, and we're fortunate he agreed to help us out with the podcast.
Jan 27, 2020
Welcome to "Hearing the Pulitzers!"
Welcome to "Hearing the Pulitzers," a new podcast that examines and analyzes each winning Pulitzer Prize in Music composition and composer! In the first episode, Andrew and Dave discuss the impetus behind starting the podcast, how each episode will be organized, and some opening thoughts on the history of the music prize and the whole concept and meaning of the Pulitzer Prize. Please subscribe to receive each new episode. If you're interested in further reading or want to see what resources we used for this episode, we recommend: * Julia K. Kuhlman's "Prizes, Winning, and Identity: Narrative Vocal Music of the Pulitzer Prize, 2008–2018" * Heinz-Dietrich Fischer's edited book The Pulitzer Prize Winners for Music (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2010). We also want to thank the Society for American Music for their support of this podcast through their Sight and Sound Subvention. The Society for American Music is dedicated to the study, teaching, creation, and dissemination of al…