Details of Thesis

Title Henry Cowell (1897-1965) and the Impact of His First European Tour (1923)
Author Rischitelli, Victor Emanuel
Institution Australian Catholic University
Date 2005
Abstract In 1923, American composer and pianist, Henry Cowell (1897-1965) gave his first highly successful concert tour of Europe, playing his own unique compositions. This thesis details this tour and discusses its impact. Considering the enormous impact of Cowell’s tour, it has only been discussed briefly. Cowell performed in many European cities, especially in Vienna, Berlin, Paris and London, achieving positive reviews and some notoriety. I discuss how and why he created such an impact, not only during the tour but also immediately following it, in relation to musical life in Europe and the differences between his piano music and the piano music that was being heard at the time. On his tour, Cowell showcased many new piano techniques he had invented, some of which he had discussed in his treatise New Musical Resources (1919). His clusters, string-piano technique and to some degree, his experiments with time and metre, were very new and influenced later generations of composers. His music created such passionate responses from the Europeans that when he returned to America, attitudes towards him and his music had changed for the better. In Europe, Cowell was also impressed by the various societies and publications devoted to new music and as a result he founded, in America, the New Music Society and the publication New Musical Quarterly. These promoted mostly American composers devoted to avant-garde developments in music, providing the foundation for the development of American music.
Thesis 01front.pdf  19KB
02whole.pdf 5,576KB

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