AMERICAN MUSIC SERIES                                                                                            198 a-h


Arthur Berger

with Ev Grimes

Cambridge, MA

September 20-21, l988




Side A                                                                                                                                            pp. 1-10


Early musical experience--singing old Polish and Jewish songs--improvising at the piano--movie music and singing popular songs--piano lessons--attending City College--writing music in teen years in early ‘30s--Schabel students and musicianship--the Depression--attending NYU School of Music Education--Herrmann--Moross and Gould at NYU--Vincent Jones--polemics and composers--Charles Ives--working for the Daily Mirror--Martin Bernstein’s class--1930’s Leagaue of Composers’ performance of Sacre du Printemps (first stage performance) with Martha Graham--twelve-tone pieces--two Episodes--fondness for Copland’s music--Columbia classes on Schenker analysis--Stravinsky’s neoclassicism--Young Composers’ Group


Side B                                                                                                                                                          pp. 10-18


Young Composers’ Group (cont’d)--Vivian Fine--Stalinism vs. Trotskyism--Siegmeister--reviewing Herrmann--WPA project--Longy School of Music--The Boston Transcript--Harold Shapero--Walter Piston--Hugo Leichtentritt at Harvard--teaching at Mills College--North Texas State Teacher’s College


Side C                                                                                                                                            pp. 18-25


Teaching with Milhaud at Mills College--Entertainment Pieces--Yeats Songs--chromaticism--Stravinsky and Copland influences--commission with Pierre Monteux and San Francisco Symphony--Quartet--neoclassic music--John Cage and Lou Harrison at Mills--technical skills on piano--John Cage and prepared piano--Ideas of Order--lessons with Nadia Boulanger--Stravinsky and sense of detail--spacing of chords


Side D                                                                                                                                            pp. 25-32


Politics and music in the ‘30s--Henry Cowell and Charles Seeger--teaching music analysis at Mills College--tonicization of V--Charles Jones--returning to school--Harvard University--teaching at Brooklyn College--Woodwind Quartet and Virgil Thomson--music criticism and working at New York Sun--editing the Musical Mercury at Harvard in mid ‘30’s--printed miniature scores of Edwin Kalmus--writing under pseudonym of Anthony Shepherd--articles on Copland, Ives, Cowell--articles on aesthetics by David Prall--poetry by Delmore Schwartz--Guitar Trio music used in collage works of Robert Motherwell--LP cover--music criticism for Herald Tribune--relationships with Virgil Thomson--the “interested audience” of the ‘30s and ‘40s--lack of communication in ‘80’s--changes in American culture--Woodwind Quartet reviewed


Side E                                                                                                                                                          pp. 32-40


Neoclassic features in music--Fantasy--Serenade Concertante--commission for CBS--string orchestra pieces--Bagatelles--ideas about popular music--Psalm--Partita for piano-Duo for Violin and Piano--Four Two-Part Inventions--Woodwing Quartet--performance by New York City Philharmonic--Ideas of Order--review in Time Magazine--experiences as music critic


Side F                                                                                                                                               pp. 40-48


Role and training of a music critic--composing at Brandeis--Three One Part Inventions with twelve-tone second movement--Polyphony, a commission from Louisville--Chamber Music for thirteen players--writing twelve-tone music--String Quartet of l958--George Perle’s comments--Chamber Concerto commissioned by Paul Fromm--setting up Perspectives of New Music--Movement for Orchestra--Three Pieces for Two Pianos, written in Italy


Side G                                                                                                                                            pp. 48-57


Septet for Arthur Weisberg Contemporary Chamber Ensemble--Five Pieces for piano--prepared piano music--Chamber Concerto--Perspectives--teaching in the ‘50’s differing approaches of musicologists and composers--Ben Boretz and Perspectives of New Music--Babbitts’s influence on Journal--John Rahn as editor--Trio for Violin, Piano, and Guitar--use of guitar-- Five Songs (in different languages)--technique of writing vocal music--Woodwind Quintet--Duo for Cello and Piano--Trio written for Beaux Arts Trio


Side H                                                                                                                                            pp.  57-61


Radio program on WEVD featuring individual composers of the ‘30’s--revising Chamber Concertos--piece for chamber chorus on Delmore Schwartz’s poem, “Love, Sweet Animal”--composed birthday pieces--retiring from Brandeis--teaching at New England Conservatory--Harold Shapero and his Symphony for Classical Orchestra--writing for New York Review--a changing audience