Composer William Pursell during his foray into Pop Music.

Music Of Hartley, Pursell And Nelson – America’s Composers 1953 – Past Daily Weekend Gramophone

Composer William Pursell during his foray into Pop Music.

Composer William Pursell during his foray into Pop Music.

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Continuing this week with American Composers of the 1950’s. This broadcast, part of the America’s Composers series features the Eastman School Student Symphony conducted by Howard Hanson in music by Student composers, studying at the school at the time of this broadcast on March 16, 1953.

Of the composers mentioned in this broadcast, one made a brief foray into the Pop Music world. William Pursell (or Bill Pursell) had a number of hit singles in the early 1960’s and had recorded extensively for Columbia Records before resuming his career in contemporary Classical Music. The other two, Walter Hartley and Ron Nelson have long and distinguished careers in the world of Academia.

All of them have an impressive number of compositions under their belt and are three more reasons why American Classical Music needs to be given a closer look than the passing glance its currently getting. There are a lot more out there than Aaron Copland, in case you didn’t notice. Just sayin’.

Here’s what’s on the player tonight:

1. Walter Hartley: Ballet Music For Orchestra

2. William Pursell: Christ Looking Over Jerusalem

3. Ron Nelson: Savannah River Holiday

It’s a safe bet none of these pieces are available on commercial recordings of any kind, and with the exception of Pursell’s pop material, none of it has been made heard since these first performances. It’s a reminder ¬†that the world of music is huge and vast – and probably not all of it can be heard in one lifetime.

But you can try. . .

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