Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French poet, designer, playwright and filmmaker. Cocteau is best known for his novel Les Enfants Terribles, the films The Blood of a Poet, Les Parents Terribles and the Beast and Orpheus, he was described as "one of avant-garde's most influential filmmakers" by AllMovie. Cocteau was born in Maisons-Laffitte, Yvelines, a town near Paris, to Georges Cocteau and his wife, Eugénie Lecomte, his father was a lawyer and amateur painter. From 1900–1904, Cocteau attended the Lycée Condorcet where he met and began a physical relationship with schoolmate Pierre Dargelos who would reappear throughout Cocteau's oeuvre, he left home at fifteen. He published his first volume of Aladdin's Lamp, at nineteen. Cocteau soon became known in Bohemian artistic circles as The Frivolous Prince, the title of a volume he published at twenty-two. Edith Wharton described him as a man "to whom every great line of poetry was a sunrise, every sunset the foundation of the Heavenly City..."
In his early twenties, Cocteau became associated with the writers Marcel Proust, André Gide, Maurice Barrès. In 1912, he collaborated with Léon Bakst on Le Dieu bleu for the Ballets Russes. During World War I Cocteau served in the Red Cross as an ambulance driver; this was the period in which he met the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, artists Pablo Picasso and Amedeo Modigliani, numerous other writers and artists with whom he collaborated. Russian impresario Sergei Diaghilev persuaded Cocteau to write a scenario for a ballet, which resulted in Parade in 1917, it was produced by Diaghilev, with sets by Picasso, the libretto by Apollinaire and the music by Erik Satie. The piece was expanded into a full opera, with music by Satie, Francis Poulenc and Maurice Ravel. "If it had not been for Apollinaire in uniform," wrote Cocteau, "with his skull shaved, the scar on his temple and the bandage around his head, women would have gouged our eyes out with hairpins." He denied being in any way attached to the movement.
Cocteau wrote the libretto for Igor Stravinsky's opera-oratorio Oedipus rex, which had its original performance in the Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt in Paris on 30 May 1927. An important exponent of avant-garde art, Cocteau had great influence on the work of others, including a group of composers known as Les six. In the early twenties, he and other members of Les six frequented a wildly popular bar named Le Boeuf sur le Toit, a name that Cocteau himself had a hand in picking; the popularity was due in no small measure to the presence of his friends. In 1918 he met the French poet Raymond Radiguet, they collaborated extensively and undertook many journeys and vacations together. Cocteau got Radiguet exempted from military service. Admiring of Radiguet's great literary talent, Cocteau promoted his friend's works in his artistic circle and arranged for the publication by Grasset of Le Diable au corps, exerting his influence to have the novel awarded the "Nouveau Monde" literary prize; some contemporaries and commentators thought there might have been a romantic component to their friendship.
Cocteau himself was aware of this perception, worked earnestly to dispel the notion that their relationship was sexual in nature. There is disagreement over Cocteau's reaction to Radiguet's sudden death in 1923, with some claiming that it left him stunned and prey to opium addiction. Opponents of that interpretation point out that he did not attend the funeral and left Paris with Diaghilev for a performance of Les noces by the Ballets Russes at Monte Carlo. Cocteau himself much characterised his reaction as one of "stupor and disgust." His opium addiction at the time, Cocteau said, was only coincidental, due to a chance meeting with Louis Laloy, the administrator of the Monte Carlo Opera. Cocteau's opium use and his efforts to stop profoundly changed his literary style, his most notable book, Les Enfants Terribles, was written in a week during a strenuous opium weaning. In Opium: Journal of drug rehabilitation, he recounts the experience of his recovery from opium addiction in 1929, his account, which includes vivid pen-and-ink illustrations, alternates between his moment-to-moment experiences of drug withdrawal and his current thoughts about people and events in his world.
Cocteau was supported throughout his recovery by his friend and correspondent, Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain. Under Maritain's influence Cocteau made a temporary return to the sacraments of the Catholic Church, he again returned to the Church in life and undertook a number of religious art projects. Cocteau's experiments with the human voice peaked with his play La Voix humaine; the story involves one woman on stage speaking on the telephone with her departing lover, leaving her to marry another woman. The telephone proved to be the perfect prop for Cocteau to explore his ideas, "algebra" concerning human needs and realities in communication. Cocteau acknowledged in the introduction to the script that the play was motivated, in part, by complaints from his actresses that his works were too writer/director-dominated and gave the players little opportunity to show off their full range of talents. La Voix humaine was written, as an extravagant aria for Madame Berthe Bovy. Before came Orphée turned into one of hi
EMI Classics was a record label founded by EMI in 1990 in order to reduce the need to create country-specific packaging and catalogs for internationally distributed classical music releases. Following the European Commission's approval of the takeover of EMI Group by Universal Music in September 2012, EMI Classics was listed for divestment; the label was sold to Warner Music Group, which absorbed EMI Classics into Warner Classics in 2013. Classical recordings were simultaneously released under combinations of Angel, Odeon, His Master's Voice, other labels, in part because competitors own these names in various countries; these were moved under the EMI Classics umbrella to avoid the trademark problems. Prior to this, compact discs distributed globally bore the Angel Records recording angel logo that EMI owned globally. Releases created for distribution in specific countries continued to be distributed under the historical names, with the exception of Columbia, since EMI had sold the Columbia name to Sony Music Entertainment.
The red logo harkens back to the Red Seal releases, introduced by EMI predecessor the Gramophone Company in 1902: HMV classical releases were issued with red labels. EMI Classics included the Virgin Classics label, both of them were managed under The Blue Note Label Group in the U. S. until 2013. With the sale of EMI to Universal Music Group in 2012, European regulators forced Universal Music to divest itself of EMI Classics, operated with other European EMI assets to be divested as the Parlophone Label Group. In February 2013, Universal Music sold the Parlophone Label Group, including EMI Classics and Virgin Classics, to Warner Music Group; the European Union approved the deal on May 2013, WMG took control of the label on 1 July 2013. It was announced that the EMI Classics artist roster and catalogue would be absorbed into the Warner Classics label and Virgin Classics would be absorbed into Erato Records. Thomas Adès Craig Armstrong Howard Goodall Karl Jenkins Jon Lord Sir Paul McCartney Wim Mertens Michael Nyman Zbigniew Preisner John Rutter John Tavener Michael Tippett Mohammed Abdel Wahab Libera Libera Maurice André Ole Edvard Antonsen Alison Balsom Markus Stockhausen Manuel Barrueco Xuefei Yang Christoph Hartmann Sabine Meyer Emmanuel Pahud Ransom Wilson Naji Hakim Purbayan Chatterjee Anoushka Shankar Ravi Shankar Dame Janet Baker Joyce DiDonato Fairuz Christa Ludwig Réjane Magloire Kathleen Ferrier Umm Kulthum Max Emanuel Cenčić David Daniels Philippe Jaroussky Gérard Lesne Olaf Bär Thomas Hampson Jonathan Lemalu Willard White List of record labels
West Coast School
The West Coast School are composers and compositional style associated with the West Coast of the United States California. Henry Cowell is considered, "the father of West Coast experimentalism," and the influence of traditional Asian and other world musics may be traced back to Cowell. Rather than Orient/Occident, composer Lou Harrison argues for a Pacific/Atlantic conception, where the West Coast is part of the Pacific, thus associated with Asia more than Europe. Other influences and interests include the use of tonality, just intonation, dance. Techniques employed by composers of the West Coast School include found and percussion instruments, such as the Indonesian gamelan. Harrison cites, "new instruments and new tunings."Composers considered to be part of the West Coast School include Henry Cowell, John Cage, Lou Harrison, Harry Partch. Those four composers were each ultramodernist and gay.
Works for prepared piano by John Cage
American avant-garde composer John Cage started composing pieces for solo prepared piano around 1938–40. The majority of early works for this instrument were created to accompany dances by Cage's various collaborators, most Merce Cunningham. In response to frequent criticisms of prepared piano, Cage cited numerous predecessors. In the liner notes for the first recording of his most acclaimed work for prepared piano and Interludes, Cage wrote: "Composing for the prepared piano is not a criticism of the instrument. I'm only being practical." This article presents a complete list of Cage's works for prepared piano, with comments on each composition. All of Cage's indeterminate works for unspecified forces can be performed on or with Prepared Piano. In interviews conducted in 1974 and 1982, Cage specified that this piece was composed in 1938. However, the manuscript used for Edition Peters' edition of Bacchanale specified 1940 as the date, this has been used by numerous scholars since; the circumstances of the piece's composition are much more clear: it was created for a choreography by the American dancer Syvilla Fort.
Cage and Fort were both working at the Cornish School in Washington at the time. The room where the dance was to be performed was not large enough to allow for a percussion ensemble, but had enough space for a grand piano. Cage decided to try placing various objects on the strings of the instrument in order to produce percussive sounds, inspired by Henry Cowell's experiments with extended piano techniques. In 1982 Cage mentioned. Twelve notes are prepared using weather strippings. In the score, in 11 cases out of 12, the performer is instructed to "determine position and size of mutes by experiment." Composed in 1942 for a dance by Merce Cunningham. Eleven notes are prepared; this is the only Cage-Cunningham collaboration from the 1940s for which original choreography has survived. Composed in 1942 for a dance by Valerie Bettis. Ten individual notes are prepared with small screws, a whole range from G1 to C3 is prepared using "two thicknesses of woolen material"; this material is placed between the strings in the following manner: over the first string, under the second, over the third, under the fourth, etc.
Composed in 1942 for a dance by Wilson Williams. Thirteen notes are prepared, all using bolts. Composed in late 1942 for a dance by Merce Cunningham; the title references World War II. Piano preparation involves only bolts. Various extended techniques are used, such as producing sound by plucking strings; the piece starts with quiet, muted tones and becomes louder, climaxing in several successions of large tone clusters, executed using the entire length of the forearm. Composed in 1943 for a dance by Pearl Primus. Piano preparation involves bamboo strips, as well as nuts; the music and the dance were to be accompanied by a speaker reading a poem by Langston Hughes about the condition of Black people in the United States. Composed in 1943 conceived as the third part of She Is Asleep. May be performed without preparations, which involve 11 notes. Most are to be prepared using bolts, one new material is a penny; the music is written down on a single staff and follows the structure 4, 7, 2, 5, 4, 7, 2, 3, 5, repeated twice.
Composed in 1944 for a dance by Merce Cunningham, dedicated to Valerie Bettis. Titled Meditation. Only eight notes are prepared with weather strippings. Two thirds of the piece are written down on a single staff; the two prepared notes are only used for a trill at the end of the work. A suite of three pieces, composed in 1944. Choreographed by Merce Cunningham as Effusions avant l'heure / Games / Trio; the title references Cage's separation from his wife Xenia, which happened in 1945. Composed in 1944. A short work that only uses four tones. Composed in 1944 for a dance by Merce Cunningham. A work in three sections: Section 1 contains seven bars each. According to Cunningham, the subject of the work is fear: it describes "awareness of the unknown and the final defeat". Composed in 1944 for a dance by Merce Cunningham. Composed in 1944 for a dance by Merce Cunningham. Written on a single staff scored as a single melodic line; this work, composed in 1944, is a revision of a 1943 piano piece titled Triple-Paced.
The 1944 version was choreographed by Merce Cunningham. Composed in 1944; this is Cage's first large-scale work for prepared piano. Twenty-six notes are prepared with various materials; the piece contains six separate sections with different rhythmic structures. According to Cage, The Perilous Night expresses "the loneliness and terror that comes to one when love becomes unhappy". All of the six movements of this work are untitled. 38 years after its composition, his longtime friend artist Jasper Johns included a silkscreen of the score in a large mixed-media diptych which itself is titled “Perilous Night.” Composed in 1945 for a dance by Merce Cunningham. This is another large-scale work with moderately complex piano preparation, it contains five sections. Composed in 1945 for a dance by Jean Erdman. Contains nineteen sections. Thirty-nine notes
String piano is a term coined by American composer-theorist Henry Cowell to collectively describe those pianistic extended techniques in which sound is produced by direct manipulation of the strings, instead of or in addition to striking the piano's keys. Pioneered by Cowell in the 1920s, such techniques are now called upon in the works of avant-garde classical music composers. String piano compositions can involve a wide range of techniques. Among those employed by Cowell, the first major proponent of the approach, are: plucking flicking back and forth across a string with a fingernail sweeping chromatically across the strings with the fingers sweeping across the strings with the flat of the hand sweeping along one or more strings with the flesh of the finger scraping along one or more strings with the fingernailStrings may be pressed at specific points along their length with the fingers of one hand while being played by the other to produce different harmonic pitches; these sounding techniques may be combined with direct muting of the strings with devices similar to those used to mute violins.
In string piano pieces that call for the performer to sit at the keyboard, the keys may be depressed and held down silently with one hand to create chords, including tone clusters, that are played by the other on the strings. For string piano pieces in which the performer stands alongside the instrument without addressing the keyboard, the pedals of the piano may be employed with the help of an assistant or a deadweight. Cowell wrote passages for techniques involving simultaneous manipulation of the strings—sliding along one or more with the fingers or a metal object—and keyboard sounding in order to produce glissando effects. Other objects, such as bows and brushes, may be used to elicit sound directly from the strings. According to Cowell biographer Michael Hicks, "The first'serious' composer to write for piano strings was Percy Grainger: at the close of his In a Nutshell suite, he directs the pianist to play on several bass strings with a yarn-covered mallet." Soon afterward, Cowell began using string piano techniques in his compositions.
One of his first important works to employ the approach is the solo Piece for Piano with Strings. Per the Lichtenwanger listings, Cowell's earliest piece calling for string piano techniques is The Sword of Oblivion for solo piano. Like A Composition, for piano and string quartet, it combines traditional keyboard sounding with direct string playing. Aeolian Harp is Cowell's first composition for string piano—while keys are silently held down, as described above, all the sounding is done by direct address of the strings. Among his other works purely for string piano are The Sinister Resonance. How Old Is Song? is for voice and string piano. John Cage, a student of Cowell's, was inspired by the string piano concept to pursue his explorations of the prepared piano. In Music of the Spheres, composed in 1916–18, the Danish composer Rued Langgaard directs the pianist to play glissandi directly on the piano strings, he calls it "Glissando-piano" in the score. In Langgaard's Insektarium for solo piano from 1917, the pianist is instructed to play directly on the strings in two of the movements.
Although few composers other than Cowell have used the term "string piano" to describe their use of the piano strings, such techniques were called upon during the second half of the 20th century becoming part of the general vocabulary of contemporary pianistic writing and performance. Many composers have used such "inside-the-piano" techniques sporadically, as special effects. Daughters of the Lonesome Isle: John Cage —includes In the Name of the Holocaust for string piano and Music for Piano No. 2, arranged for bowed piano, performed by Margaret Leng Tan George Crumb: Vols. 1 and 2 —includes a number of pieces featuring string piano techniques, performed by Jo Boatright Henry Cowell: A Continuum Portrait, Vol. 1 —includes Irish Suite, for string piano and small orchestra, performed by Continuum, Joel Sachs–conductor, Cheryl Seltzer–piano Henry Cowell: A Continuum Portrait, Vol. 2 —includes Piece for Piano with Strings and The Banshee, performed by Cheryl Seltzer Henry Cowell: Piano Music —includes The Banshee and Aeolian Harp and Sinister Resonance, performed by Henry Cowell New Music: Piano Compositions by Henry Cowell —includes The Banshee, performed by Chris Brown, Aeolian Harp, performed by Sorrel Hays Songs of Henry Cowell —includes How Old Is Song?, performed by Mary Ann Hart–mezzo-soprano, Jeanne Golan–pianist Piano extended technique Crumb, George.
Liner notes to George Crumb: Complete Crumb Edition, Volume Five. Hicks, Michael. Henry Cowell, Bohemian. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-02751-5. Lichtenwanger
Sonatas and Interludes
Sonatas and Interludes is a cycle of twenty pieces for prepared piano by American avant-garde composer John Cage. It was composed in 1946–48, shortly after Cage's introduction to Indian philosophy and the teachings of art historian Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, both of which became major influences on the composer's work. More complex than his other works for prepared piano and Interludes is recognized as one of Cage's finest achievements; the cycle consists of sixteen sonatas and four more structured interludes. The aim of the pieces is to express the eight permanent emotions of the rasa Indian tradition. In Sonatas and Interludes, Cage elevated his technique of rhythmic proportions to a new level of complexity. In each sonata a short sequence of natural numbers and fractions defines the structure of the work and that of its parts, informing structures as localized as individual melodic lines. Cage underwent an artistic crisis in the early 1940s, his compositions were accepted by the public, he grew more and more disillusioned with the idea of art as communication.
He gave an account of the reasons: "Frequently I misunderstood what another composer was saying because I had little understanding of his language. And I found other people misunderstanding what I myself was saying when I was saying something pointed and direct". At the beginning of 1946, Cage met Gita Sarabhai, an Indian musician who came to the United States concerned about Western influence on the music of her country. Sarabhai wanted studying Western music, she took lessons in counterpoint and contemporary music with Cage, who offered to teach her for free if she taught him about Indian music in return. Sarabhai agreed and through her Cage became acquainted with Indian music and philosophy; the purpose of music, according to Sarabhai's teacher in India, was "to sober and quiet the mind, thus rendering it susceptible to divine influences", this definition became one of the cornerstones of Cage's view on music and art in general. At around the same time, Cage began studying the writings of the Indian art historian Ananda K. Coomaraswamy.
Among the ideas that influenced Cage was the description of the rasa aesthetic and of its eight "permanent emotions". These emotions are divided into two groups: four black, they are the first eight of the navarasas or navrasas, they have a common tendency towards the ninth of the navarasas: tranquility. Cage never specified which of the pieces relate to which emotions, or whether there exists such direct correspondence between them, he mentioned, that the "pieces with bell-like sounds suggest Europe and others with a drum-like resonance suggest the East". Cage stated that Sonata XVI, the last of the cycle, is "clearly European, it was the signature of a composer from the West." Cage started working on the cycle in February 1946, while living in New York City. The idea of a collection of short pieces was prompted by the poet Edwin Denby, who had remarked that short pieces "can have in them just as much as long pieces can"; the choice of materials and the technique of piano preparation in Sonatas and Interludes were dependent on improvisation: Cage wrote that the cycle was composed "by playing the piano, listening to differences making a choice".
On several accounts he offered a poetic metaphor for this process, comparing it with collecting shells while walking along a beach. Work on the project was interrupted in early 1947, when Cage made a break to compose The Seasons, a ballet in one act inspired by ideas from Indian philosophy. After The Seasons Cage returned to Sonatas and Interludes, by March 1948 it was completed. Cage dedicated Interludes to Maro Ajemian, a pianist and friend. Ajemian performed the work many times since 1949, including one of the first performances of the complete cycle on January 12, 1949, in Carnegie Hall. On many other occasions in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Cage performed it himself. Critical reaction was uneven, but positive, the success of Sonatas and Interludes led to a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation, which Cage received in 1949, allowing him to make a six-month trip to Europe. There he met Olivier Messiaen, who helped organize a performance of the work for his students in Paris on June 7, 1949.
While still living in Paris, Cage began writing String Quartet in Four Parts, yet another work influenced by Indian philosophy. In the text accompanying the first recording of Sonatas and Interludes, Cage stated that the use of preparations is not a criticism of the instrument, but a simple practical measure. Cage started composing for prepared piano in 1940, when he wrote a piece called Bacchanale for a dance by Syvilla Fort, by 1946 had composed a large number of works for the instrument. However, in Sonatas and Interludes the preparation is complex, more so than in any of the earlier pieces. Forty-five notes are prepared using screws and various types of bolts, but with fifteen pieces of rubber, four pieces of plastic, several nuts and one eraser, it takes about three hours to prepare a piano for performance. Despite the detailed instructions, any preparation is bound to be different from any other, an
Silence: Lectures and Writings
Silence: Lectures and Writings is a book by American experimental composer John Cage, first published in 1961 by Wesleyan University Press. Silence is a collection of essays and lectures Cage wrote during the period from 1939 to 1961; the contents of the book is as follows: "Foreword" "Manifesto" "The Future of Music: Credo" "Experimental Music" "Experimental Music: Doctrine" "Composition as Process", essay in three parts: "Changes" "Indeterminacy" "Communication" "Composition", essay in two parts: "To Describe the Process of Composition Used in Music of Changes and Imaginary Landscape No. 4" "To Describe the Process of Composition Used in Music for Piano 21–52" "Forerunners of Modern Music" "History of Experimental Music in the United States" "Erik Satie" "Edgar Varèse" "Four Statements on the Dance" "Goal: New Music, New Dance" "Grace and Clarity" "In This Day..." "2 Pages, 122 Words on Music and Dance" "On Robert Rauschenberg and His Work" "Lecture on Nothing" Note that in the "Afternote" to the Lecture on Nothing Cage states that it was first delivered in 1949 or 50.
Most sources give the date of 1950. "Lecture on Something" "45' for a Speaker" "Where Are We Going? and What Are We Doing?" "Indeterminacy" "Music Lovers' Field Companion" Most of the works are preceded by a short commentary on their origins, some have an afterword provided. Several works composition. "The Future of Music: Credo" juxtaposes paragraphs of two different texts. The text of the first part of "Composition as Process" is presented in four columns, the text of "Erik Satie" in two. "45' for a Speaker" is similar to Cage's "time length" compositions: it provides detailed instructions for the speaker as to when a particular sentence or a phrase should be said. "Where Are We Going? and What Are We Doing?" is presented in several types of typeface to better reflect the concept of the lecture, presented as four tapes running simultaneously. "Indeterminacy" is a collection of various anecdotes and short stories taken from life or books Cage read: the concept is to tell one story per minute, to achieve the speaker has to either speed up or slow down, depending on the length of the story.
List of compositions by John Cage