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Ruth Crawford Seeger: Portrait

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Audio CD, January 27, 1998
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Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Crawford Seeger: Music for Small Orchestra (1926) - 1. Slow, pensiveOliver Knussen 7:21Album Only
listen  2. Crawford Seeger: Music for Small Orchestra (1926) - 2. In roguish humor. Not fastOliver Knussen 2:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Crawford Seeger: Three Chants - 1. To An Unkind GodJames Wood 2:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Crawford Seeger: Three Chants - 2. To An AngelJames Wood 2:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Crawford Seeger: Three Chants - 3. To A Kind GodJames Wood 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Crawford Seeger: Piano Study in Mixed Accents (1930)Reinbert de Leeuw 1:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Crawford Seeger: Three Songs - 1. Rat RiddlesLucy Shelton 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Crawford Seeger: Three Songs - 2. Prayers of SteelLucy Shelton 1:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Crawford Seeger: Three Songs - 3. In Tall GrassLucy Shelton 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Crawford Seeger: String Quartet 1931 - 1. Rubato assaiKarin Dolman 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Crawford Seeger: String Quartet 1931 - 2. LeggieroKarin Dolman 2:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Crawford Seeger: String Quartet 1931 - 3. AndanteKarin Dolman 4:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Crawford Seeger: String Quartet 1931 - 4. Allegro possibileKarin Dolman 2:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Crawford Seeger: 2 Ricercare - 1. Sacco, VanzettiReinbert de Leeuw 6:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Crawford Seeger: 2 Ricercare - 2. Chinaman, LaundrymanReinbert de Leeuw 3:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Crawford Seeger: Andante for StringsOliver Knussen 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Crawford Seeger: Rissolty RossoltyOliver Knussen 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Seeger: John Hardy (1940)Oliver Knussen 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Crawford Seeger: Suite (1952) - 1. AllegrettoOliver Knussen 3:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Crawford Seeger: Suite (1952) - 2. Lento rubatoOliver Knussen 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Crawford Seeger: Suite (1952) - 3. Allegro possibileOliver Knussen 4:22$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Performer: Lucy Shelton, Reinbert De Leuuw
  • Orchestra: Schonberg Ensemble, New London Chamber Choir
  • Conductor: Oliver Knussen, James Wood
  • Audio CD (January 27, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GXW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,761 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Crawford is a neglected but significant figure in the development of American music in the 20th century. Perhaps it's that she took 15 years off from composing in the middle of her life to help found the American folk revivalist movement carried on by her children Michael, Peggy, and stepson Pete. But her early works define their own new territory next to contemporaries and friends Henry Cowell and Carl Ruggles. With a decidedly proletarian slant, Crawford's earlier works merge folk melodies and forms of meandering clarity and layer them between swirls of chamber dissonance. These include settings of her friend Carl Sandburg's conversational poetry, the political words of Daily Worker writer H.T. Tsiang, the curious and circular patterns in String Quartet No. 1, and the homespun-meets-high-art Rissolty Rossolty. The CD finishes with a song setting by her husband Charles, and her "comeback" work, 1952's Suite for Wind Quartet, which patchworks rolling contemplation, lyrical melody, and forceful irregular rhythms together. --Robin Edgerton

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Forbes on January 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Ruth Crawford Seeger - A Portrait
The male-dominated atmosphere of most of the arts in history has made the search for women's voices often a very difficult one, even for women earlier in this century. So many women of original achievement or promising talent were eclipsed by the men in their lives; think of Alma Mahler for instance, who had a real talent for the human voice, but sublimated it to the promotion of the music of her husband, and then to the promotion of the arts of her other husbands. Sometimes this searching for earlier women's voices leads to the promotion of composers with somewhat dubious abilities such as Amy Beach. But other times it reveals composers of freshness and distinction. Such is the case with Ruth Crawford Seeger. Her output, though small, is some of the most distinctive and original of her generation.
Ruth Crawford began her career in Chicago, at the time, hardly a hotbed of musical experimentation. However, even in this out of the way location, she was able to keep abreast of the new musical experiments in Europe. Music for Small Orchestra represents her music of this time, impressionistic but non-tonal. There are echoes of Ives in the work, as well as Scriabin, and Debussy. The orchestral imagination is distinctive and both works show evidence of considerable formal innovation. The Three Chants continues in this mystical vein, but with even more evidence of development of craft.
In the 1930s Crawford Seeger moved to New York and became active in the most radical wing of American composition. Influenced by iconoclastic composers like Henry Cowell, Varese, Ives, and her husband, Charles Seeger, she adopted a technique of "dissonant counterpoint".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By hh on October 28, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
How easy to fit in, how challenging to do your own thing when it flies in the face of cultural mandates. Crawford was visionary and courageous and I love celebrating her life and music. She refused to succumb to the atonal fascists and said: music is head and heart, don't put unnecessary yokes on a composer. So, she used dissonance and atonality well, but never became one of the boys, never became a slave to style. She wrote good music and waited for the world to get ready to accept it. She paid a price (how many music buildings on campuses are named after her?) But she left us some great work and a blueprint for what a real artist does and how he/she can live their lives fully and sincerely.
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