Download Gordon Getty The music of the American composer Gordon Getty

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GordonGetty
ThemusicoftheAmericancomposerGordonGettyhasbeenwidelyperformedinNorth
AmericaandEuropeinsuchprestigiousvenuesasNewYork’sCarnegieHallandLincoln
Center,London’sRoyalFestivalHall,Vienna’sBrahmssaal,andMoscow’sTchaikovskyHall
andBolshoiTheatre,aswellasattheAspen,Spoleto,andBadKissingenFestivals.In1986,
hewashonoredasanOutstandingAmericanComposerattheJohnF.KennedyCenterfor
thePerformingArts,andhewasawardedthe2003GoldBatonoftheAmericanSymphony
OrchestraLeague.
Gettyhasrecentlydevotedconsiderableattentiontoapairofone-actoperas,UsherHouse
(derivedfromEdgarAllanPoe’sTheFalloftheHouseofUsher)andTheCantervilleGhost
(afterOscarWilde’stale).Theformerwillbepremieredin2014bytheWelshNational
Opera.Getty’sfirstopera,PlumpJack,involvingadventuresofShakespeare’sSirJohn
Falstaff,waspremieredbytheSanFranciscoSymphonyin1984andhasbeenrevivedby
theLosAngelesChamberOrchestra,BBCPhilharmonic,andLondonPhilharmonia,among
otherensembles.In2011theMunichRadioOrchestraandaninternationalcastconducted
byUlfSchirmerperformedanewconcertversionofPlumpJack,whichwassimulcaston
BavarianRadioandreleasedin2012byPentaToneClassics.Thesamelabelispreparing
thereleaseofUsherHouse,withLawrenceFosterconductingtheGulbenkianOrchestra
Lisbon.
Getty,whostudiedattheSanFranciscoConservatory,hasproducedasteadystreamof
compositionssincethe1980s,beginningwithTheWhiteElection(1981),amuchperformedsongcycleonpoemsbyEmilyDickinson.Ithasbeenrecordedtwice—by
KaarenEricksonforDelosandbyLisaDelanforPentaTone—andhasbeenperformedin
LincolnCenter’sAliceTullyHallandtheMorganLibrary(inNewYork),theKennedy
CenterandNationalGalleryofArt(inWashington,D.C),andtheHermitageTheatre(inSt.
Petersburg,Russia),amongmanyothervenues.Histhree-songcyclePoorPeter(2005)was
includedbyLisaDelanandpianistKristinPankoninontheirPentaTonerecitalAndIfthe
SongBeWorthaSmile,whichfeaturessongsbysixcontemporaryAmericancomposers.
Poetryfromthenineteenthandearly-twentiethcenturieshasofteninspiredGettyinhis
vocalcompositions.HischoralworksVictorianScenes(1989,totextsbyTennysonand
Housman)andAnnabelLee(1990,toapoembyPoe)werepremieredbytheLosAngeles
MasterChoraleandSinfoniaattheDorothyChandlerPavilion.MichaelTilsonThomasled
theSanFranciscoSymphonyandChorusinAnnabelLeein1998and2004,onthelatter
occasionalsopremieringGetty’sYoungAmerica(2001),acycleofsixmovementsfor
chorusandorchestratotextsbythecomposerandbyStephenVincentBenét.Joanandthe
Bells,acantataportrayingthetrialandexecutionofJoanofArc,hasbeenperformedwidely
sinceits1998premiere,notablyina2004revivalinSt.George’sChapelofWindsorCastle,
underthebatonofMikhailPletnev.In2005,PentaTonereleasedaCDofGetty’sprincipal
choralworksuptothattime,performedbytheSanFranciscoSymphonyOrchestraand
Chorus(MichaelTilsonThomasconducting)andtheEricEricsonChamberChoirand
RussianNationalOrchestra(conductedbyAlexanderVerdernikov).Gettyhasrecently
completedchoralworksbasedonKeats’LaBelleDameSansMerci,HansChristian
Andersen’sTheLittleMatchGirl,andanoriginalpoemthathemodeledonMasefield,The
OldManintheNight.HehaswrittenanewsettingofthetraditionaltextHodieChristus
NatusEstforchildren’schorusorwomen’schorusaccompaniedbychamberensemble,and
iscurrentlyexpandingthatintoatriptychofsimilarlyscoredChristmaspieces.
AlthoughmostofGetty’sworksfeaturethevoice,hehasalsowrittenfororchestra,
chamberensembles,andsolopiano.In2010,PentaTonereleasedaCDdevotedtosixofhis
orchestralpieces,withSirNevilleMarrinerconductingtheAcademyofSt.Martininthe
Fields,andin2013itfollowedupwithaCDofthecomposer’ssolo-pianoworksplayedby
ConradTao.CurrentlyinpreparationisaPentaToneCDofhischambermusic,whichwill
includeastring-quartetversionofhisFourTraditionalPieces,aworkthatwasperformed
inastring-orchestraarrangementbyNadjaSalerno-SonnenbergandtheNewCentury
ChamberOrchestrain2012.Otherrecentperformancesofparticularnotefeaturedhis
balletAncestorSuite,whichin2009wasgivenitspremierestaging,withchoreographyby
VladimirVasiliev,bytheBolshoiBalletandRussianNationalOrchestraattheBolshoi
Theatre,Moscow,andwasthenpresentedatthe2012FestivaldelSoleinNapa,California.
OfhiscompositionsGettyhassaid:“Mystyleisundoubtedlytonal,thoughwithhintsof
atonality,suchasanycomposerwouldlikelyusetosuggestadegreeofdisorientation.But
I’mstrictlytonalinmyapproach.Irepresentaviewpointthatstandssomewhatapartfrom
thetwentiethcentury,whichwasinlargemeasurearepudiationofthenineteenthanda
sockinthenosetosentimentality.WhateveritwasthatthegreatVictoriancomposersand
poetsweretryingtoachieve,that’swhatI’mtryingtoachieve.”’
Getty’smusicispublishedbyRorkMusic.
April2013