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United States Music

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« Reply #135 on: January 05, 2014, 09:20:16 pm »

Music of Louise Talma

From the collection of Karl Miller.

These recordings come from personal collections and radio broadcasts.  To the best of my knowledge, none of them have been commerically released in digital form.

Carmina Mariana (1943, arranged 1963 for chorus and orch)
Pius X Choir of Manhattanville College
(Orch/Conductor unknown)

Dialogues for Piano and Orchestra (1963-64)
Grant Johannesen, Piano
Buffalo Philharmonic/Lukas Foss
[14 December 1965]

A Time to Remember(1966-7)
Hunter College Choir and Orchestra
Ralph Hunter, Conductor
[11 May 1968]

Wikipedia Bio:

Louise Talma (October 31, 1906 in Arcachon, FranceĖAugust 13, 1996 in Saratoga Springs, New York) was a composer. She was raised in New York City and studied at the Institute of Musical Arts (Juilliard School), 1922Ė1930, and received her bachelor of music degree from New York University and masters of arts degree from Columbia University. She studied with Isidor Philipp at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France, and with Nadia Boulanger every summer from 1926 to 1939. She taught at Hunter College of the City University of New York.

She began composing in a spare neoclassical tonal style featuring static harmonies, short distinct melodies in counterpoint, ostinatos, and pedal points varied through mode, tempo, rhythm, metre, and articulation. Also featured were rhythmic units varied through imitation, augmentation, and diminution.

She began using the twelve tone technique in 1954 after hearing Irving Fine's String Quartet, and returned to a neo-tonal style in her last works of the 1980s and 1990s. She wrote most of her compositions at the MacDowell Colony where she also met composers of the "Boston school", Arthur Berger, Lukas Foss, Irving Fine, Alexei Haieff, Harold Shapero, and Claudio Spies. She provided a bequest for one million dollars for the MacDowell Colony in her will. She died at the Yaddo artists colony.

She was the first woman to receive two Guggenheim Fellowships, to be elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1974), and to receive the Sibelius Medal for composition from the Harriet Cohen International Music Awards in London (1963). She was also the first American woman to have a full-scale opera performed in Germany and the first American to teach at Fontainebleau.[1]

Her works include Song of the Songless (1928), Three Madrigals (1928), Two Dances (1934), In principio erat verbum (1939), Six Etudes (1954), The Alcestiad (1955Ė1958) an opera with a libretto by Thornton Wilder, Full Circle (1985), Spacings (1994), and A Time to Remember (1966Ė1967) based on speeches of John F. Kennedy.

Interview with Bruce Duffie:
An excerpt below:

BD:    Now you say youíre a slow worker.  Is it slow in taking shape in your mind, or do you rework it and rework it on the paper over and over again?

LT:    Well, my rate of work is on an average of about four measures a day.  Thatís very little.

BD:    It seems very little.

LT:    And thatís because I hunt around a long time before I get really, absolutely both the sounds and the rhythm that I want

BD:    But then those four measures are right?

LT:    Well, I hope theyíre right.  They seem right to me when I finally have settled on them.  But it takes an astonishingly long time, and itís so frustrating and irritating because you go along, and you know that such-and-such a note is the wrong one!  Donít ask me how I know this, but I know this!  And you hunt and hunt and hunt, and you try absolutely every other note in the octave, and not any one of them seems to be the right one!  [Laughs]  Very frequently it depends upon the rhythmic element in it.  Itís in the wrong place rhythmically, and once you have cleared that up, then the dratted note that you couldnít stand is all right!  I donít understand this, either.  In fact, thatís one of the reasons I would never teach composition, because I canít begin to explain why I make the choices and changes that I do.

BD:    You donít go into a kind of trance, do you?

LT:    Oh, God, no! .....This is very hard work.
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All download links I have posted are for works, that, to  my knowledge, have never been commercially released in digital form.  Should you find I've been in error, please notify myself or an Administrator.  Please IM me if I've made any errors that require attention, as I may not read replies.

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