Voices in the Wilderness

Six American Neo-Romantic Composers

By Walter Simmons
(Scarecrow Press, 2004)

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Voices in the Wilderness: Six American Neo-Romantic Composers is the first volume of a projected series, TWENTIETH-CENTURY TRADITIONALISTS, in which Walter Simmons will offer comprehensive assessments of those composers who created significant, artistically meaningful bodies of work without abandoning traditional principles, forms, and procedures. Voices in the Wilderness addresses the lives and works of six American composers of the 20th century who held steadfast to the aesthetic values of romanticism during a period when such values were in disrepute. Each figure is treated via a biographical overview, followed by a comprehensive assessment of his body of work and his current place in the pantheon of American composers.

Voices in the Wilderness is intended to be useful to students and scholars who wish to delve beneath the surface of the subject, as well as to concertgoers and record collectors who are interested in broadening their knowledge and appreciation of this aspect of the repertoire. No musical notation is used, and technical terms are kept to a minimum.

The composers featured in Voices in the Wilderness are Ernest BlochHoward HansonVittorio GianniniPaul CrestonSamuel Barber, and Nicolas Flagello.


Visit the links below to read samples from the book and to listen to representative excerpts of each composer’s work: