Conductor JoAnn Falletta on “American” symphonic music

Posted on: July 9, 2013

On July 3, JoAnn Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Virginia Symphony, was interviewed by Robert Siegel on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” Along with the interview, NPR’s Deceptive Cadence blog features an essay by Falletta on “American” qualities in symphonic music, in which she writes, “Our country’s culture is a vast conglomeration of more than 200 years of influences from all over the world. We have taken what began as an extraordinary European tradition and expanded that legacy on American soil … In looking back over the many American works I’ve studied, performed and recorded I’m discussing here only those that claim the title ‘symphony,’ but there are many that eschew that formal structure yet are works of great importance and significant length and scope.” Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown and Beige “is the telling of the African-American experience in the United States, and in music of deep emotion and masterful imagination, presents the composer as indubitably one of the greatest creative artists of the 20th century.” John Knowles Paine’s Symphony No. 1 from 1876 “captures the past of the original symphonic form, but also looks forward to the future of the new world.”  Other works cited are Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s Symphony No. 1, and the symphony by Hollywood composer Jerome Moross.

Posted July 9, 2013