Newstalgia Weekend Gramophone with America's Composers - last of a weekly series featuring the Eastman Rochester Symphony conducted by Howard Hanson - this week featuring music of Harl MacDonald, Roger Sessions and George Gershwin with spoken intermission feature by Harl MacDonald from April 27, 1953.
November 27, 2011

Roger Sessions - upstart Modern American composer in 1953.

Some Americana this Thanksgiving Weekend. From the weekly radio series America's Composers featuring the Eastman-Rochester Symphony conducted by Howard Hanson. This episode was the last of the 1953 season and features the music of Roger Sessions, Harl McDonald and George Gershwin, along with an intermission talk by Harl McDonald.

Certainly not ear-bending "Modern Music" by any stretch of the imagination, especially when you consider the program ends with the Porgy & Bess Suite of Gershwin's as arranged by Robert Russell Bennett. But this was what was considered Modern Music at the time in very conservative music circles. And this was as far as many would go as far as music appreciation was concerned. Much of it has been largely forgotten - some of it unjustifiably so and some of it undeserved of the neglect.

But this was the state of mainstream culture in America in 1953.

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