Personalities | Virgil Thomson | Modern Era | Classical

1896–1989
American composer

Thomson was trained in Paris (where he lived for many years) by Nadia Boulanger, and was friendly with several of ‘Les Six’, but his own music is more influenced by Satie and is deeply rooted in American folk music and hymns. It is melodically fresh, harmonically plain and of great simplicity; he was an influence on the later minimalists. His most important works are two operas – Four Saints in Three Acts (1928) and The Mother of Us All (1946) – to texts by Gertrude Stein, several film and ballet scores and a large number of musical portraits, composed ‘from life’. For 14 years he was the trenchantly brilliant music critic of the New York Herald Tribune.

Recommended Recording:
The Plow that Broke the Plains’ Suite, Symphony of the Air (cnd) Leopold Stokowski (Vanguard Classics)

Introduction | Modern Era | Classical
Personalities | Joaquin Turina | Modern Era | Classical

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