Music of Marion Bauer & Ruth Crawford
MARION BAUER & RUTH CRAWFORD Music of Marion Bauer & Ruth Crawford TROY297 - Price: $16.99
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Major release by two pioneer women composers of the early 20th century.

Marion Bauer and Ruth Crawford Seeger began their life-long friendship in the summer of 1929, when both enjoyed privileged living at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire - a haven for American artists since 1907. At a time when women in music had to face down Victorian stereotypes of dilettantism and sentimentality, the MacDowell Colony provided "a room of one's own." A Peterborough regular, Bauer came for her first visit in 1917. Within two days of arriving for what would be her only stay there, Crawford wrote how it was "glorious to be working again...I never knew the moon and stars could come inside me so." Considering their historical reputations, few people would suspect the meeting points between these two composers - Bauer, representing what Carol Oja in her forthcoming book calls the "forgotten vanguard," and Crawford, known today as a pivotal figure in the radical "ultra-modern" movement. But back then, both believed strongly in the manifest destiny of a similar kind of modernism: both spent the 1920s exploring frontiers of harmony; both greatly admired Scriabin, taking his mystical impressionism as their starting point; and both were influenced by transcendentalist aesthetics. After hearing some of Bauer's piano preludes, Crawford recorded her impressions in her diary: "I am bewildered by the strangeness of the experience, by our affinities. Our manner of building, our feeling very strongly the spirit of our work, our strengths and weaknesses - in all these, though we are individuals, yet we are very close. Though we have only just met, yet our spirits have been friends for years." And now their musics are joined on this beautifully performed new disc. There is no greater proponent of this music than Virginia Eskin, a proven, superb American artist.
Contents:
Marion Bauer, composer
From the New Hampshire Woods, Op. 12
Virginia Eskin, piano

Marion Bauer, composer
Turbulence, Op. 17, No. 2
Virginia Eskin, piano

Marion Bauer, composer
Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 22
Arnold Steinhardt, viola, Virginia Eskin, piano

Marion Bauer, composer
Four Piano Pieces, Op. 21
Virginia Eskin, piano

Ruth Crawford Seeger, composer
Kaleidoscopic Changes on an Original Theme Ending with a Fugue
Virginia Eskin, piano

Ruth Crawford Seeger, composer
Selections from 19 American Folk Songs for Piano
Virginia Eskin, piano

Ruth Crawford Seeger, composer
Suite No. 2 for Four Strings and Piano
Charleston String Quartet, Virginia Eskin, piano

Review:
"At first sight, Marion Bauer (1882-1955) and Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-52) would seem an odd couple. I think of Bauer as relatively romantic, Seeger as uncompromisingly modern and dissonant. Here we discover that not only were they friends at the MacDowell colony in New Hampshire, but they shared a passion for the music of Scriabin. The impression is strengthened in this program, which begins with Bauer's three pieces From the New Hampshire Woods, Opus 12 (1922-3) where she seems to be approaching impressionism by way of the chromatic scale....Seeger's part of the program begins with her Kaleidoscopic Changes on an Original Theme Ending with a Fugue (1924). It was her last work to have a key signature and was played at her graduation recital at Chicago's American Conservatory.... this is an unusual collection of music by two prominent women composers of our century." (American Record Guide)
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