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Morton Gould

December 10, 1913 - February 21, 1996
born in Richmond Hill, NY, composed during the Modern period
Morton Gould was an important American composer, generally overshadowed by Copland, Barber, and Bernstein. Like Bernstein, he wrote in both popular and classical styles and often mixed the two. Many record collectors around the middle of the twentieth century knew him primarily as a conductor of popular music, as well as of newer works in the realm of serious music. His "classical" style in composition generally offered few challenges to listeners and often featured well-known themes of a patriotic or folk origin, or were based on melodies from American composers out of the past. Foster Gallery (1939) and American Ballads (1976) fall into this realm.

Gould was born in Richmond Hill, Long Island, New York. He was a musical prodigy of a rare order, playing the piano and composing by age four. His parents were strongly supportive of their young son and helped to get his first work, a waltz entitled Just Six, both performed and published when he was still only six years old.

By age eight, he was performing regularly on radio broadcasts. Later, he studied at the Institute of Musical Arts in New York and in New York University, where he was instructed in composition by Vincent Jones. He also studied piano with Abby Whiteside. In his late teens, Gould played piano in vaudeville and radio in various freelancing assignments, but also held positions with Radio City Music Hall and NBC. At age 21, (1934) he landed a conducting post with WOR Radio, regularly leading an orchestra in popular music fare. He recorded for RCA beginning in the 1930s and made piano rolls for Ampico.

One of Gould's first successes in composition was his Chorale and Fugue in Jazz (1935), which received a prestigious premiere on January 2, 1936, with Leopold Stokowski leading the Philadelphia Orchestra. Gould was beginning to turn out many significant compositions now: his Piano Concerto came in 1937 and his Violin Concerto in 1938. The following year, he wrote the aforementioned work based on popular Stephen Foster themes, Foster Gallery, which was subsequently recorded by Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops Orchestra.

Gould became music director of the popular radio programs "The Chrysler Hour" and "Cresta Blanca Carnival" in the 1940s. He composed three symphonies (of four) in that decade, as well as a spate of other works, including his Viola Concerto (1943) and Fall River Legend (1947).

Gould also wrote for Broadway, turning out Billion Dollar Baby in 1945 and Arms and the Girl in 1950. In 1944, he appeared in the film Delightfully Dangerous, for which he wrote the score. His career scoring films continued with other efforts including Cinerama Holiday (1955) and Windjammer (1958). He also composed numerous scores for television shows in the 1960s and 1970s. His last important effort here was for the mini-series Holocaust (1978), which starred Meryl Streep. In 1966, Gould received a Grammy award for his recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra of Ives' First Symphony.

Gould continued to write concert music, as well, though one might assert that the film world may ultimately have sabotaged his chances somewhat to attain a higher level of art. Still, his Symphony of Spirituals and American Ballads, both premiered in 1976, demonstrated his undiminished talent. From 1986 until 1994 he served as president of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). In 1995, Gould received a Pulitzer Prize for his composition Stringmusic. ~ Robert Cummings, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Gould: American Ballads / Foster Gallery / American Salute

Title: American Ballads, For Orchestra

1. American Ballads, For Orchestra: I. Star-spangled Ov

2. American Ballads, For Orchestra: II. Amber Waves

3. American Ballads, For Orchestra: III. Jubilo

4. American Ballads, For Orchestra: IV. Memorials

5. American Ballads, For Orchestra: V. Saratoga Quickstep

6. American Ballads, For Orchestra: VI. Hymnal

Title: Stephen Foster Gallery, For Orchestra

7. Stephen Foster Gallery, For Orchestra: I. Camptown Races

8. Stephen Foster Gallery, For Orchestra: II. Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming

9. Stephen Foster Gallery, For Orchestra: III. Canebreak Jig

10. Stephen Foster Gallery, For Orchestra: IV. Swanee River

11. Stephen Foster Gallery, For Orchestra: V. Camptown Var

12. Stephen Foster Gallery, For Orchestra: VI. Old Black Joe/my Old Kentucky Home

13. Stephen Foster Gallery, For Orchestra: VII. Village Festival - Quadrilles And Waltzes

14. Stephen Foster Gallery, For Orchestra: VIII. Jeannie With The Light Brown Hair

15. Stephen Foster Gallery, For Orchestra: IX. Camptown Var

16. Stephen Foster Gallery, For Orchestra: X. Hymns: Where Is Thy Spirit Mary/the Angels Are Singing Unto Me

17. Stephen Foster Gallery, For Orchestra: XI. Var On Comrades/fill No Glass For Me/kitty Bell

18. Stephen Foster Gallery, For Orchestra: XII. Camptown Var

19. Stephen Foster Gallery, For Orchestra: XIII. Oh, Susanna (Finale)

Title: American Salute, For Orchestra

20. American Salute, For Orchestra: Fantasia On "When Johnny Comes Marching Home"

x

Track List: Morton Gould: Fall River Legend; Jekyll And Hyde Variations

Title: Jekyll And Hyde Variations

1. Jekyll And Hyde Variations: Theme

2. Jekyll And Hyde Variations: Variation 1

3. Jekyll And Hyde Variations: Variation 2

4. Jekyll And Hyde Variations: Variation 3

5. Jekyll And Hyde Variations: Variation 4

6. Jekyll And Hyde Variations: Variation 5

7. Jekyll And Hyde Variations: Variation 6

8. Jekyll And Hyde Variations: Variation 7

9. Jekyll And Hyde Variations: Variation 8

10. Jekyll And Hyde Variations: Variation 9

11. Jekyll And Hyde Variations: Variation 10

12. Jekyll And Hyde Variations: Variation 11

13. Jekyll And Hyde Variations: Variation 12

14. Jekyll And Hyde Variations: Variation 13

Title: Fall River Legend, Ballet

15. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Prologue

16. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Waltzes

17. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Elegy

18. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Interlude

19. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Dirge

20. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Lullaby

21. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Serenade

22. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Axe

23. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Invitation To Church Social

24. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Church Social

25. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Hymnal Variations

26. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Cotillion

27. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Cotillon Coda

28. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Death Dance

29. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Mob Scene

30. Fall River Legend, Ballet: Epilogue

Comments

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DR STRANGELOVE! ! !
Report as inappropriate
I actually found it to be rather refreshing! I perked up because of the tune, but now I am not wanting to do homework :-( lol :-) My brain is singing, The ants go marching two by two, hoorah, hoorah...
Report as inappropriate
jbarham7
Dont really care for this song. Hard to listen too, not melodious... .
Probably because I am at work and cannot enjoy the whole experience.

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