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United States Music

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Author Topic: United States Music  (Read 29609 times)
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« on: August 21, 2012, 01:57:18 pm »

Music of Harl McDonald

From the collection of Karl Miller
All sources from LPs or Radio Broadcasts

Volume 1:
1-4 Symphony 1: The Santa Fe Trail (the Explorers, The Spanish Settlements, The Wagon Trains of the Pioneers
Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy
Victor M754

5. Rhumba from Symphony Number 2
Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski
Victor 8919

6. Cakewalk from Symphony #4
Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy, Victor 15377

7. Festival of the Workers(Dance of the Workers)
Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski, Victor 8919

NOTE: Tracks 5 and 7 may be commerically available.  I've reposted a corrected link in the downloads section. 

8-9: Two Poems on Hebrew themes
Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy; Victor 14903

10-13: Children’s Symphony (On Familiar Tunes)

Allegro, Andante, Scherzo, Finale
Philadelphia Orchestra/Composer
Columbia ML 2141

Volume 2
1-3: Violin Concerto
Alexander Hilsberg, Violin
Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy
17 March, 1945

4-7: From Childhood, For Harp and Orchestra
Allegro, Moderato, Allegro
Edna Phillips, harp
Philadelphia Orchestra/Composer; Victor M839

8-10: Elegy and Battle Hymn
George Newton, Bass Baritone
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra/Fabien Sevitzky
28 Jan 1943

11.  My Country at War

Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy, Victor M592

Bio from

Born: July 27, 1899 - near Boulder, Colorado, USA
Died: March 30, 1955 - Princeton, New Jersey, USA

The American pianist, composer, conductor, music adminstrator and teacher, Harl McDonald, began to study music in elementary school, where he showed promise as a pianist. He undertook his graduate study at University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where his professors included Vernon Spencer, Ernest Douglas, and Yaraslav de Zielinsky. McDonald earning his bachelor of music degree in 1921. He also studied at the University of Redlands, California. He then traveled to Europe, where he spent a year studying in Leipzig, gaining a further diploma from the conservatory there in 1922.

Harl McDonald returned to the USA during 1923, embarking on a full-time career as a solo pianist and accompanist. In 1924, he also joined the faculty of the Philadelphia Musical Academy as a piano teacher, and remained at that until 1926, when he was hired by the University of Pennsylvania. At Pennsylvania, where he stayed for the next 20 years (1926-1946), McDonald held a number of academic posts (including Director of the University's Choral Society and the University of Pennsylvania Glee Club), rising through the ranks to become senior professor and finally Director of the Music Department.

Harl McDonald also served as general manager of the Philadelphia Orchestra in from 1939 to 1955, and on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association. He also worked as a researcher in the fields of acoustics and sound measurement for the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1955, he published his findings in collaboration with O.H. Schenck in the book New Methods of Measuring Sound. In recognition for this acclaimed book, McDonald was elected to the scientific society Sigma Xi.

In addition to his administrative duties with the University, Harl McDonald composed numerous musical works, often of a programmatic nature.. His four symphonies are subtitled "The Santa Fe Trail" (#1 - 1933), "The Rhumba" (#2 - 1934), "Lamentations of Fu Hsuan" (#3 - 1935) and "Festival of the Workers" (#4 - 1937). His other works include a concerto for two pianos, two piano trios, and choral music. His 1938 Lament for the Stolen, for women's chorus and orchestra, was written in commemoration of the Lindbergh kidnapping.
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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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