<< -- 4 -- Peter Dickinson GOLDEN AGE
There are some benefits in not having to review a book the moment it
comes out. I have been able to live with Howard Pollack's tome on Copland
since last autumn, having read it right through to start with, and I have
been using it for regular reference ever since. Pollack is an experienced
author with books on Piston, Carpenter and Harvard Composers to his credit.
Shortly after Copland's death in 1990, Pollack decided the time was ripe
for a fuller study of his life and work. Previous books included those by
Arthur Berger (1953) and Julia Smith (1955) as well as two volumes of memoirs
and interviews which Vivian Perlis prepared with Copland himself (1984 &
Pollack's first chapter is A Copland Portrait where he assembles
various statements from friends and colleagues to produce a composite picture.
The Chilean composer, Orrego-Salas, hit the nail on the head when he said:
'I admire greatly your serenity. You are a man and an artist at ease
with yourself. I truly believe that it is exactly there from which the greatness
of your contribution rises.'
There is nothing neurotic about Copland or his music. Even when he adopted,
in a limited way, the techniques of the Second Viennese School, he still
sounded like himself, poised and affirmative.
Copyright © 18 September 2001
Peter Dickinson, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, UK
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