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19. The Restless Searcher (1960)

Michael Sparke University of North Texas Press PDF


The Restless Searcher


It must be coincidental, but Kenton greeted the start of every new decade with a fresh initiative. In 1950 it had been strings and concert music. By 1960 Stan needed the dance halls to survive, and anyway he couldn’t begin to afford the luxury of a large string section. French horns had already been found wanting, changes had already been made to both saxophone and trombone sections, and Stan loved his high trumpets too much to meddle with them. He needed a whole new sound, but was at a loss to know how to proceed. Old friends Gene Roland and

Johnny Richards were recruited to offer advice.

Meanwhile the band kept working, as did Stan’s sense of humor.

After “Love for Sale” on January 25, 1960, Kenton acknowledges the prolonged ovation from what sounds like a large crowd at Cal-Poly State

University, and observes: “It’s very nice of you to react that way. I do however want to advise you that jazz musicians are different than musicians of other forms of music. When they hear a lot of applause they immediately start thinking in terms of money and all sorts of things that are unbecoming to a non-profit organization such as this!”

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5 From “Tobacco Tags” to the Urban Airwaves: 1959–1968

Billy Taylor Indiana University Press ePub

In the late 1950s, we were living in the Riverton, a very secure upper-middle-class Harlem housing development between 135th and 138th Streets. The group of ten or so buildings that made up the Riverton community served as an oasis, a peaceful and comfortable world apart from the normal frenzy of urban life. Many of our neighbors there were celebrities whose children played with ours. Although Kim and Duane were happy youngsters living in a safe and affirming environment, they’d gotten old enough to understand the disturbing images they saw on television. And they knew that people who resembled them—African Americans—were the subject of those unsettling scenes. Thanks to Teddi, we sat at dinner each evening in our tastefully appointed home where life was tranquil, fairly predictable, and good. And although we ourselves were far removed from the protests, bombings, and senseless murders of the South, Duane and Kim demanded to know why.

The air itself was charged and schizophrenic, at times invigorating us with excitement and hope, and at other times thickening with anger and frustration. Change was on the horizon, and there were signs all around. We wanted it and anticipated it. Many white Americans, however, feared and resented it. And by way of television, the fearful entered the living room of my Harlem home, spewing heated words within earshot of my innocent and curious children.

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6 Summer 1911: Concerts in Pavlovsk and Odessa

Galina Kopytova Indiana University Press ePub

THE HEIFETZES SPENT THEIR SUMMER vacation at a dacha in Antakalnis, one of the twenty-six suburbs of Vilnius and a popular area during the summer. A local guidebook from the period described it as follows: “Heading along the bank of the Viliya to the Church of St. Peter and Paul, one can stop in the suburb of Antokol which stretches along the Viliya for almost three versts. Scattered hills to the right of the church are covered with beautiful green pine forests. Not far from there is the Sapezhinsky Garden and Palace . . .”1 The Heifetz family stayed at 9 Petropavlovsk Lane, in a house belonging to a man named Pyotr Guryanov.

The Heifetzes were joined by their young cousin Anyuta Sharfstein-Koch during their summer retreat. Some eight decades later in a phone conversation, Sharfstein-Kochremembered fondly her time with the Heifetz siblings in the hills outside Vilnius. Elza showed her the chickens laying eggs and Pauline took her up to Jascha’s room in the house: “He was busy at the table with all these dead butterflies. . . . I said to him, ‘Where did you get all those butterflies?’ And he said he’ll show me. And he went out and he was running with the net after the butterflies. Can you visualize it? Running after butterflies with a net!” Butterfly catching became a widespread and fashionable hobby during the beginning of the century, and one could often find children and adults alike running through the countryside with nets chasing the colorful insects.

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28. Eight Brief Rules for Composing a Si Placet Altus, ca. 1470–1510

Edited by Jeffery KitePowell Indiana University Press ePub


Composers and performers throughout much of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries added si placet voices to existing polyphonic songs, subtly or dramatically altering their original texture. This polite term, meaning “if you please,”1 takes its name from the rubric placed next to these voices in manuscripts and prints. The technique inspired delight and praise, at least according to its practitioners, like the trombonist Giovanni Alvise who, in 1495, boasted of his expanded versions of motets, “in fact, all Venice does not want to hear anything else!”2

Others were less enthusiastic. In 1547, the theorist Heinrich Glarean complained, “It is truly astonishing that some take it as an occasion of pleasure to attach their own trifles so rashly to other works. Surely one would not want that to happen in his own works, so why not have a care for another? But I labor in vain.”3

And labor in vain he did. Numerous altered and expanded compositions testify to the extent of added voices in songs and motets.4 The si placet repertory ranges from the addition of altus or bassus voices, to the substitution of an original contratenor with a new altus and bassus,5 to fuga ad minimam parts like those added to chansons by Josquin Desprez and Johannes Martini.6 The impact of these additions on musical performance and perception cannot easily be overstated.7

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Songs 10–15

Richard D. Sylvester Indiana University Press ePub


О, нет, молю, не уходи!

Oh no, I beg you, do not leave!

Op. 4, No. 1

Sophia Satina tells us that Rachmaninoff wrote this song at one sitting, as an improvisation on the piano. The musical phrases are a perfect match for the words. The first line of text is like a title to what follows, an introductory phrase “centered on a pivotal note (F), a prominent feature of much of Rachmaninoff’s music” (Norris, 140); then, with agitated triplets in the piano, the voice rushes ahead with pleading intensity. The sentiments are very like an urban romance made famous by the Gypsy singer Varya Panina “Не уходи, побудь со мною” (Don’t leave, stay with me). This shows Rachmaninoff’s affinity for the popular “Gypsy” style of the day (his song was actually written before the Panina song), but the text and music of his song are much more interesting and expressive.

The Symbolist Dmitri Merezhkovsky (1865–1941) was a serious poet who rarely wrote this kind of “cruel romance” text; he published it in a literary magazine in 1890, but he did not include it in his collected works of 1914. Rachmaninoff found it in the magazine, or perhaps Anna Lodyzhenskaya found it and showed it to him. He referred to it in a letter to Natalia Skalon describing the pain he felt while he was writing the elegiac trio after Tchaikovsky’s death: “As it says in one of my romances, I was in torment the whole time and sick in my soul” (LN 1, 229). Though Slonov and Rachmaninoff first performed it in public in Kharkov, its first performance in Moscow was in March 1893, when Leonid Yakovlev, a baritone, sang it at a concert of the Russian Musical Society; it was so well received he had to sing it twice (LN 1, 520).

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