John Duke is a towering figure in twentieth century song composition; one who composer Ned Rorem calls "the master of the medium." The opportunity to view the opinions and attitudes of this exemplary composer in his own words is now available in The Selected Writings of John Duke. Editors Robin Fisher and Ruth C. Friedberg have amassed essays, lectures, reviews, and diaries from the Smith College Archives detailing many facets of Duke's life and career, while letters of personal correspondence with Friedberg express the composer's intimate involvement with the poets, performers, and music publishers of his era. Duke's articles from music journals are also reprinted here, expressing his concise and cohesive thoughts about word-setting. Valuable appendixes inventory Duke's complete catalog of works, including comprehensive lists of his songs, arranged both chronologically by composition date and alphabetically by title, detailing literary sources, publishers, and suggested voice categories.
These writings paint an interesting picture of American concert life in the middle of the twentieth century, while providing a fascinating insight into Duke's intellectual and professional development.
Ruth C. Friedberg is Professor Emerita at the University of the Incarnate Word and a concert pianist. She is the author of American Art Song and American Poetry, volumes 1, 2, and 3 (Scarecrow Press 1981, 1984), and The Complete Pianist: Body, Mind, Synthesis (Scarecrow Press, 1993). Robin Fisher is assistant professor at Sacramento State University in California.
Part 1 Foreword Part 2 Preface Part 3 Acknowledgments Part 4 Part 1 John Duke Chapter 5 1 Life and Times Chapter 6 2 The Songwriter Part 7 Part 2 Diaries and Notebooks Chapter 8 3 Diary 1917-1918 Chapter 9 4 Scrapbook 1920-1926 Chapter 10 5 Journal 1930 Part 11 Part 3 Essays Chapter 12 6 Art and God: Two Incomplete Manuscripts Part 13 Part 4 Newspaper Writings Chapter 14 7 "Music": A Weekly Column by John Duke Chapter 15 8 Concert Reviews by John Duke Part 16 Part 5 "The Arts Today" Chapter 17 9 "The Arts and the Intellect" Chapter 18 10 "Contemporary Music and Democarcy" Chapter 19 11 "Professionalism in the Arts Today" or "Art as Big Business" Chapter 20 12 "Is Music Abstract?" Chapter 21 13 "The Problem of the Universal in Contemporary Art" Part 22 Part 6 The Art Song Chapter 23 14 Presentations Chapter 24 15 Publications Part 25 Part 7 Later Life Chapter 26 16 Yale Oral History Interview Chapter 27 17 Letters 1961-1984 Part 28 Appendixes Chapter 29 A Bibliographical Timeline Chapter 30 B Catalog of Works Chapter 31 C Chronological Song Catalog Chapter 32 D Alphabetical Song Catalog Part 33 Selected Bibliography Part 34 Index Part 35 About the Editors