Conversations with Roger Sessions

Andrea Olmstead, Editor, Roger Sessions, Author Northeastern University Press $21.95 (274p) ISBN 978-1-55553-010-5
Brooklyn-born composer and music professor Roger Huntington Sessions (18961985) generally was regarded as cold, haughty and austere and his works as severe in idiom, yet, essentially, he was very shy and, as these interviews show, he could be delightful company. For the nonspecialist, the conversations about his orchestral, instrumental and vocal music may be forbidding, but once Sessions gets onto his family, college years and friendships, the reader is captivated by his humor, enthusiasm, political awareness and his anecdotes about Boulanger, Klemperer, Schnabel, Schoenberg and Stravinsky. Typical opinions: ""There's no such thing as a really objective approach to any of the arts. Even science is extremely subjective''; ``Every intellectual should empty out his files every ten years or so and reshuffle them and get a new set of folders and arrange them differently.'' About Leonard Bernstein: ``He's been pursuing success; I've been pursuing accomplishment.'' Olmstead is the author of Roger Sessions and His Music. (May 29)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
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