The Life & Work of an Uncommon Man
By Howard Pollack
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805049091, 702pp.)
Publication Date: March 1999
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Categories: Historical - U.S.
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A candid and fascinating portrait of the American composer.
The son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Aaron Copland (1900-1990) became one of America's most beloved and esteemed composers. His work, which includes Fanfare for the Common Man, A Lincoln Portrait, and Appalachian Spring, has been honored by a huge following of devoted listeners. But the full richness of Copland's life and accomplishments has never, until now, been documented or understood. Howard Pollack's meticulously researched and engrossing biography explores the symphony of Copland's life: his childhood in Brooklyn; his homosexuality; Paris in the early 1920s; the Alfred Stieglitz circle; his experimentation with jazz; the communist witch trials; Hollywood in the forties; public disappointment with his later, intellectual work; and his struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, Pollack presents informed discussions of Copland's music, explaining and clarifying its newness and originality, its aesthetic and social aspects, its distinctive and enduring personality.
Howard Pollack is associate professor of music history and literature at the University of Houston. He has written four books on classical music and has served as music critic for the Houston Press, among other publications. He lives in Houston.
"The best we've got" (Leonard Bernstein)