Friday, September 13, 2019

Arthur Farwell Polytonal Studies XX (E flat minor & A major) and XVIII (F minor & F# minor) played by Lisa Cheryl Thomas

E flat minor and A major

Arthur Farwell was a pioneer in a musical movement called the Indianist movement that developed in the early 20th century, although this particular work has nothing much to do with that movement as such.  If you guessed that "Indianist" refers to Native American rather than Indian culture from India you guessed correctly.  Farwell was determined that American composers ought to draw on musical inspirations that were ... not-German.  So while arguments that German music has too hegemonic an influence on American musical education might feel relatively new in musicology in the United States for those reading about that it's helpful to remember that there have been Americans who have felt Americans shouldn't be so beholden to German conceptions of musical canonicity going back a century and more.

F minor and F# minor

There's still a Romantic vibe to these studies ... think polytonal Chopin, if you will, more than Charles Ives. 

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