Gerhard on Music:
selected writings, edited by Meirion Bowen
(Ashgate ISBN 0-7546-0009-2)
Catalan-born Roberto Gerhard (1896-1970) left significant musical and documentary legacies. After studies with Schoenberg (1923-28), he established himself in the 1930s as one of the leading lights amongs the avant-garde in Spain. His international reputation made him a figurehead in the early festivals of the International Society for Contemporary Music.
Exiled to Britain at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, he began building his fresh and by the 1960s had achieved recognition in the UK, Europe and USA as a major composer.
Neglected, somewhat, since his death in 1970, Gerhard is now once more arousing attention and admiration. In this, the first book in English to be devoted to the composer's many articles, reviews, lectures and broadcasts, Meirion Bowen demonstrates the full range and continuity of artistic and creative thought.
The writings collected here range from his polemical articles of the 1930s in Barcelona, to broadcast talks for BBC radio and lectures given at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Berkshire Music Center, Tanglewood in the early 1960s. They are arranged thematically, to emphasize the evolution of Gerhard's musical interests and affiliations. His early attachment to Spanish and Catalonian musical traditions broadened out to a fascination with folk music of all kinds. While he revered Schoenberg, whose teaching enabled him to discover his own creative individuality, he incorporated Schoenbergian musical techniques only gradually into his style. His artistic imagination later fuelled experiments with electronic and concrete music and enabled him to constantly to break new ground.
Gerhard's writings reveal great speculative skill and offer, with humour and humility, fascinating insights into the nature of creativity common to both artists and scientists. They testify also to a composer of enduring international stature.
The book contains a full list of Gerhard's writings and compositions, a discography and selected bibliography.
Gerhard on Music
ed. Meirion Bowen
'This is a volume of particular value for anyone interested in the way twentieth-century composers wrestled with the inevitable conflicts and challenges of high modernism. Meirion Bowen's decision to group the articles under topics, rather than chronologically, enhances the sense of fundamental recurrent themes which reach across time, and across topical boundaries too...As a record of Gerhard's critical creativity, this volume is invaluable.'(Music & Letters, February, 2001)
"...This is a pricey book, but Meirion Bowen´s judicious arrangment and translating......and most of all Gerhard´s intellectual force, aesthetic sensitivity, eloquence and combination of humility and speculative excitement before the mysteries and contradictions of musical art make it more than worth the money. ...Gerhard on Music is one of the most rewarding books on modern music I´ve read."American Record Guide, May/June 2001