^ Back to Top
^ Back to Discography
Classical Music Home

The World's Leading Classical Music Group

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?
Keyword Search
in
 

ROY HARRIS  

(1898 - 1979)

Roy Harris (1898–1979), who grew up in the San Gabriel Valley in California, began composing at the University of California at Berkeley, after which he studied privately in Los Angeles with American composer Arthur Farwell (1872–1952), an enthusiast for American Indian culture who attempted to emancipate modern American music from the strictures as he perceived them of the European tradition. Farwell also introduced Harris to the poetry of Walt Whitman, which Harris embraced and later set many times in various genressolo songs, choral pieces, and orchestral works. But his studies in Paris with the legendary Nadia Boulanger generated his first significant works: a piano concerto, a piano sonata, and a clarinet and string quartet.

After his return to California, Harriss music became more polyphonic. In 1933, his first symphonyin response to an appeal by conductor and champion of new American music Serge Koussevitzky for a great symphony from the [American] westbrought Harris to national attention, and Koussevitzky commissioned him to write two subsequent symphonies. The singlemovement third symphony (1937) became Harriss most popular and frequently performed work. Harris wrote fifteen symphonies, sometimes calling for a variety of instrumental forces beyond the standard symphonic instrumentationsuch as West Point Symphony (1952), which includes a band. Other symphonies have programmatic titles as well: Gettysburg, San Francisco, and, for his last work, the Bicentennial Symphony (1975–76), written as a tribute to Americas 200th birthday. Harris forged an American idiom by combining folksong melodies and modalities with European contrapuntal techniques. His open textures and often easygoing quality have been described as evocative of broad American landscapes and the expanse of the western plains. It [his music] has the energy of a young country looking into the future rather than living in past glories, observed the venerable commentator Milton Cross (best remembered for his hosting of the Saturday afternoon Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts). It has American optimism, enthusiasm and zest.

Harriss association with folksong collectors and singers such as John and Alan Lomax and Woody Guthrie resulted in a number of works based on American folk traditions. His choral oeuvre includes a dramatic chamber work, Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight (1953), based on the poem by Vachel Lindsay, and several religious works, including a Mass setting for mens voices (1947).

Harris was a professor and composer-in-residence at U.C.L.A. throughout the 1960s, and he taught at California State University, Los Angeles, from 1970 until three years before his death.

Box Set Release Catalogue Number
AMERICAN SPIRIT (The): Roots and Transformations Naxos 8.505233

Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
COPLAND, A.: Billy the Kid Suite / BERNSTEIN, L.: On the Waterfront / HARRIS, R.: Symphony No. 3 (An American Panorama) (Dallas Symphony, Mata) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90170
Orchestral
COPLAND, A.: Fanfare for the Common Man / Lincoln Portrait / Canticle of Freedom / HARRIS, R.: American Creed (Portraits of Freedom) (Schwarz) Delos
DE3140
Orchestral, Choral - Secular
DIAMOND: Ahava / Music for Prayer Naxos
8.559412
Choral - Sacred
HARRIS, R.: Piano Music (Complete) (Burleson) Naxos
8.559664
Instrumental
HARRIS, R.: Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6, "Gettysburg" (Bournemouth Symphony, Alsop) Naxos
8.559609
Orchestral
HARRIS, R.: Symphony No. 3 / HANSON, H.: Symphony No. 4 (Eastman Rochester Symphony, Hanson) (1953) Naxos Classical Archives
9.81162
Orchestral
HARRIS: Kentucky Spring / Violin Concerto / Symphony No. 5 First Edition
FECD-0005
Orchestral, Concertos, Orchestral
HARRIS: Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 Naxos
8.559227
Orchestral
HARRIS: Symphonies Nos. 7 and 9 Naxos
8.559050
Orchestral
HARRIS: Symphony No. 7 / SCHUMAN, W.: Symphony No. 6 / PISTON: Symphony No. 4 (Ormandy) (1953-1955) Naxos Classical Archives
9.80239
Orchestral
Orchestral Music - IVES, C. / PERSICHETTI, V. / HARRIS, R. / BACON, E. / GOULD, M. / McKAY, G.F. / TUROK, P. (Lincoln Portraits) (Slatkin) Naxos
8.559373-74
Vocal
PRIMROSE, William: Recital, Vol. 2 (1939-1952) Naxos Historical
8.111383
Chamber Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND OF THE ROCKIES: String of Pearls Altissimo
75442260462
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND OF THE ROCKIES: Whole Nine Yards (The) Altissimo
75442271022
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES ARMY FIELD BAND AND SOLDIERS' CHORUS: Legacy of Nadia Boulanger (The) Altissimo
75442261382
Choral - Secular
WORLD PREMIERE COLLECTION First Edition
FECD-0032
Concertos




 
 
  View Albums
 
 




 Tell a Friend |  Bookmark this page Digg It |  Bookmark this page Del.icio.us. |  Add to Facebook Facebook |  FURL FURL |  Add to MySpace MySpace |  Stumbleupon StumbleUpon |  Twitter Twitter

Famous Composers Quick Link:
Bach | Beethoven | Chopin | Dowland | Handel | Haydn | Mozart | Glazunov | Schumann | R Strauss | Vivaldi
8:02:11 PM, 23 July 2014
All Naxos Historical, Naxos Classical Archives, Naxos Jazz, Folk and Rock Legends and Naxos Nostalgia titles are not available in the United States and some titles may not be available in Australia and Singapore because these countries have copyright laws that provide or may provide for terms of protection for sound recordings that differ from the rest of the world.
Copyright © 2014 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved.     Terms of Use     Privacy Policy
-212-
Classical Music Home
NOTICE: This site was unavailable for several hours on Saturday, June 25th 2011 due to some unexpected but essential maintenance work. We apologize for any inconvenience.