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Arthur Farwell: Piano Music Vol. 1 from Toccata

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Author Topic: Arthur Farwell: Piano Music Vol. 1 from Toccata  (Read 228 times)
« on: September 04, 2012, 02:48:41 am »

Arthur Farwell (1872-1952) was an American late-romantic/early modern composer whose music (along with many other American composers of this period Sad) has been neglected by the record companies, save for the "Gods of the Mountain" orchestral suite on that treasured Karl Kreuger 3-CD set and a few piano pieces showing up here and there on various CDs. He was one of the American Indianists, as you can see by the titles of many of his pieces. I have played his fun, challenging, exciting, and humorous piano piece "Sourwood Mountain", included in the book "51 Piano Pieces from the Modern Repertoire", and on the basis of this piece, I believe his output should be explored further. Anyways, this CD (bearing the hopefully true "Volume 1" description) will include "Impressions of the Wa-Wan", "Ceremony of the Omahas", "The Vale of Enitharmon", and the first series of his "Polytonal Studies". The pianist is Lisa Cheryl Thomas. When an article about this CD appears on the Toccata website, I'll post it here Smiley.
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 03:44:07 pm »

. . . "The Vale of Enitharmon" . . .

That's Blake, isn't it. The wikipedia entry is informative, but contradictory in places. For example: "she represents female domination and sexual restraints that limit the artistic imagination" (in the first paragraph), but further on, "represents spiritual beauty and poetic inspiration. . . . As poetic instinct, Enitharmon is represented as being born of the sexual problems that happen during puberty."
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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2012, 02:11:57 am »

Here's the article on the CD from the Toccata website:

The American composer Arthur Farwell (1872–1952) is remembered as the leading member of a group of ‘Indianists’ who used Native American tribal melodies. But Farwell’s stylistic range was much wider than is realised today. This CD, the first of two to be recorded by Lisa Cheryl Thomas, herself of Cherokee, Blackfoot and Sioux ancestry, presents first The Vale of Enitharmon, based on the mythology of William Blake, which mixes Romanticism and Impressionism. Impressions of the Wa-Wan Ceremony of the Omahas represents an American Indian ritual so revered that warring tribes would lay down their arms to let the procession pass. And the experimental Polytonal Studies pit two different keys against each other, exploiting the attraction of opposites to generate unusual harmonies and melodies.

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