Seeger, Ruth Crawford(1901-1953) Website
formerly of New Rochelle, New York
(edited by Rosemary Platt)
Kaleidoscopic Changes on an Original Theme,
Ending with a Fugue
8'15" $ 12.00 #040078 AP-116"[In Kaleidoscopic Changes] Crawford had charted out a daring and advanced path." (Ruth Crawford Seeger, Judith Tick)
Written in 1924, the same year as her first Preludes for piano, Kaleidoscopic Changes was premiered by the young composer shortly before her graduation from the American Conservatory in Chicago. In her recent critically acclaimed biography on Seeger, Judith Tick writes: "The harmonic language of her Kaleidoscopic Changes had its share of influences--Chopin, perhaps even Gershwin--and its moments of originality in its striking dissonance, harmonic boldness, and unpredictable shifts in mood and figure." Even her teacher, Adolf Weidig, was a little bewildered by the newness of the idiom in this piece by one who would become his most reknowned student.
Kaleidoscopic Changes is edited by pianist Rosemary Platt, who also edited Seeger's nine Preludes for piano, and made the first complete recording of these pieces.
Considered by many to be the most important woman composer of the 20th century, Ruth Crawford Seeger was a prominent member of the circle of American avant-garde composers that included Henry Cowell and Aaron Copland. She was the first woman composer to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship, during which she wrote her well-known String Quartet in 1931. Following her marriage to music theorist Charles Seeger, she collaborated with poet Carl Sandburg and folk song archivists Alan and John Lomax on important collections that led to a revival of American folk music. After the Depression she worked intensively with her husband and stepson, folksinger Pete Seeger, for social change.
In recent years there have been new and remastered recordings of her music on labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, the Musical Heritage Society and CRI. And a highly acclaimed biography, Ruth Crawford-Seeger, by Judith Tick was published by Oxford University Press in 1997. The links page on Peggy Seeger's website has more information on her mother's life and music.
Kaleidoscopic Changes on an Original Theme, Ending with a Fugue is the first work by Ruth Crawford Seeger to be published by Arsis Press. Other works are published by C. F. Peters, Continuo Press, Merion Music, and A-R Editions
Quotes by Women of Note