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Orpheus in Manhattan: William Schuman and the Shaping of America's Musical Life by Steve Swayne (review)

Orpheus in Manhattan: William Schuman and the Shaping of America's Musical Life by Steve... Book Reviews 521 One might debate some of the interpretations, but the commentary is undeniably in the music. The operatic novelty songs speak of their time. This serious exploration of a peculiar group of popular songs is conducted to the highest standards of scholarship and perceptive analysis, but that does not prevent lighthearted chuckles from leaking through. While almost every page brings enlightenment, many also offer humor. We should have more musicology with chuckles. Edward A. Berlin Miller Place, NY Orpheus in Manhattan: William Schuman and the Shaping of America’s Mu- sical Life. By Steve Swayne. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN-13: 978-0-19-538852-7. Hardcover. Pp. xv, 692. $39.95 Steve Swayne’s book, Orpheus in Manhattan: William Schuman and the Shaping of America’s Musical Life, brings into sharp focus a man who, in addition to con- tributing significantly to American concert repertoires, was also one of the most important powerbrokers in New York’s music scene at mid-century, serving as president of both Juilliard (1945–61) and Lincoln Center (1962–68). Swayne does not seek to upend the general understanding of Schuman as a composer first and foremost; he even considers it “noteworthy” that Schuman described himself as both a “composer and administrator” http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Music University of Illinois Press

Orpheus in Manhattan: William Schuman and the Shaping of America's Musical Life by Steve Swayne (review)

American Music , Volume 30 (4) – Aug 4, 2013

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
ISSN
1945-2349

Abstract

Book Reviews 521 One might debate some of the interpretations, but the commentary is undeniably in the music. The operatic novelty songs speak of their time. This serious exploration of a peculiar group of popular songs is conducted to the highest standards of scholarship and perceptive analysis, but that does not prevent lighthearted chuckles from leaking through. While almost every page brings enlightenment, many also offer humor. We should have more musicology with chuckles. Edward A. Berlin Miller Place, NY Orpheus in Manhattan: William Schuman and the Shaping of America’s Mu- sical Life. By Steve Swayne. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN-13: 978-0-19-538852-7. Hardcover. Pp. xv, 692. $39.95 Steve Swayne’s book, Orpheus in Manhattan: William Schuman and the Shaping of America’s Musical Life, brings into sharp focus a man who, in addition to con- tributing significantly to American concert repertoires, was also one of the most important powerbrokers in New York’s music scene at mid-century, serving as president of both Juilliard (1945–61) and Lincoln Center (1962–68). Swayne does not seek to upend the general understanding of Schuman as a composer first and foremost; he even considers it “noteworthy” that Schuman described himself as both a “composer and administrator”

Journal

American MusicUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Aug 4, 2013

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