||Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
|Related course codes
William Schuman, Vincent Persichetti, and Peter Mennin were three of the most significant American composers of the 20th century, yet their music has largely disappeared from view since their respective deaths. Because they each spent the majority of their careers working at the Juilliard School and Lincoln Center, their music is often viewed as "interchangeable." In The Music of William Schuman, Vincent Persichetti, and Peter Mennin: Voices of Stone and Steel, Walter Simmons provides a thorough examination of the lives and work of these artists, clarifying their considerable individuality both as composers and as human beings. The book begins with a comprehensive introduction summarizing the conventional view of the history of American music, while noting the marginalization of traditionalist composers—those who preferred to work with the musical forms and developmental principles on which the body of Western classical music is based. In the chapters that follow, each composer is presented through a brief overview and a biographical essay, followed by a general description of his style. Extensively researched and including detailed discussions and insights, the sections include lists of the composer's "most representative, fully realized works" and then provide systematic overviews of most or all of their compositions, giving the reader a general understanding of the artist and his work. The overviews contain a description of each composition, information concerning first performance and first recording, excerpts from reviews as well as Simmons' own critical assessment of each, and a statement of its place within the composer's output as a whole. A selected bibliography and essential discography follows at the end of each chapter.