Three "Leaves of Grass" for Solo Piano
This programmatic triptych celebrates the energy and enthusiasm of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. The Dalliance of Eagles begins with a dreamlike reverie followed by a soaring flight of eighth notes. The second tender and expressive movement leads to the culmination of the set in a whirlwind of sound and sense.
VIV 607, 16 pages, $8.95
The feeling for music which pervades Whitman's poetry has been carried out in this composition – lyrical and with a sense of freedom. The Dalliance of Eagles starts out in a dreamy, soaring fashion and gradually builds up to a state of stirring excitement, ending with a glissando and a brilliant chord.
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A Brief Bio of the Composer
Robert Strassburg, teacher, composer, conductor, musicologist, and poet, was Professor Emeritus of Music at California State University, Los Angeles. He was recipient of CSULA's Outstanding Professor Award. Previous honors include the National Institute of Arts and Letters Macdowell Fellowship and Miami's Composer of the Year.
As a composer he created a wide variety of music, including over forty documentary film scores, and incidental music for the theatre. His compositions include two Torah services, many Psalm settings, the folk opera Chelm and over thirty settings of Walt Whitman's poetry.
He was founding director of the Roy Harris Archives at CSULA and was a leading authority on the music of Ernest Bloch and author of Ernest Bloch: Voice in the Wilderness. He co-chaired the Walt Whitman Centennial held at CSULA in 1992 commemorating the death, in 1892, of the poet, and composed a ten-movement choral symphony, entitled Leaves of Grass, for the occasion. His Musica Judaica output includes an abundant liturgy for the Sabbath, Festivals and High Holy Days.
He was a founding faculty member of the Brandeis-Bardin Institute and Assistant Dean at the University of Judaism's School of Fine Arts from 1960-1966, when he was appointed Professor of Music at California State University, Los Angeles. He was a member of the Jewish Music Commission founded at Valley Beth Shalom to encourage the composition of Jewish music, and held the position of Composer-in-Residence at the Brandeis-Bardin Institute in the summers of 1992 and 1993.
Dr. Strassburg (1915-2003), received his Bachelor of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music, his Master of Arts from Harvard University, and his Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Judaism in Los Angeles.
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