News & Views Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dominick Argento - American Masterpieces: Choral Music Monday, August 23, 2010

The National Endowment for the Arts' American Masterpieces: Choral Music initiative is designed to celebrate our national musical heritage by highlighting significant American choral composers and their works of the past 250 years.  Stanton's Sheet Music is proud to present this series highlighting the composers and their works featured in this groundbreaking project.

(from NEA.gov)
One of America's best-known composers, Dominick Argento (born 1927) joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota in 1958 and taught composition there for 39 years. He was born in York, Pennsylvania, attended the Peabody Conservatory, and earned his Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Howard Hanson, Bernard Rogers, and Alan Hovhaness. Previously he had studied with Henry Cowell, Hugo Weisgall, and Nicolas Nabokov at the Peabody Conservatory. In addition, he studied with Luigi Dallapiccola in Italy. Perhaps no composer in history has had a larger number of eminent masters, and then become one himself.

Argento won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1975 for his song cycle From the Diary of Virginia Woolf. His 14 operas have met with nearly unanimous critical acclaim and have been successfully mounted both in the U.S. and in Europe. He shares with Gian Carlo Menotti - also of Italian heritage - the claim to being America's leading composer of lyric opera. He differs from Menotti in employing less conservative principles of writing; however, although he has employed atonality and serial technique, his music has always remained tonally centered and focused on communicating drama and meaning rather than showing off his craft.

Selected Works:
Easter Day
I Hate and I Love (Odi et Amo)
Jonah and the Whale
A Nation of Cowslips

Peter Quince at the Clavier
Te Deum (Verba Domini cum verbis populi)
Tria Carmina Paschalia
Walden Pond

For more distinguished choral repertoire suggestions, please contact us.

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