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Wallingford Riegger

(1885—1961)


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(b Albany, Georgia, 1885; d NY, 1961).

Amer. composer and conductor. As boy learned vn. and vc. Cond. début with Blüthner Orch., 1910. Returned to USA as cellist in St Paul SO, Minnesota. Returned to Ger., 1913–17, as opera cond. and cond. of sym. concerts. On return to USA he held teaching posts at various univs. until settling in NY, 1923. Wrote several scores for Amer. choreographers, 1930–41. Under several pseudonyms made hundreds of arrs. of various kinds of choral mus. to supplement income. Began composing in a 19th‐cent. style; but under influence of the Schoenberg 12‐note method became more adventurous. His use of atonality was always individual. Strong rhythmic drive and contrapuntal forms also characterize his mus. Prin. works:

orch.:

syms.: No.1 (1944, withdrawn), No.2 (1945, withdrawn), No.3 (1946–7), No.4 (1956);

Dichotomy

(1931–2);

Little Black Sambo

(1946);

Music for Orchestra

(1951);

Festival Overture

(1957);

Sinfonietta

(1959);

Duo

, pf., orch. (1960).

dance:

Bacchanale

(1930);

Evocation

(1933);

New Dance

(1935);

Candide

(1937);

Case History No …

(1937);

Pilgrim's Progress

(1941).

soloist with orch.:

Variations

, pf., orch. (1952–3);

Variations

, vn., orch. (1959);

Introduction and Fugue

, vc., wind (1960); conc., pf., ww. quintet (1953).

vocal:

La Belle Dame sans merci

(1923);

From Some Far Shore

(1946);

The Dying of the Light

(1954);

Who Can Revoke?

(1948).

chamber music:

str. qts.: No.1 (1938–9), No.2 (1948), No.3 (1945–7);

Romanza

for str. qt. (1954); pf. quintet (1951); pf. trio (1930); vn. sonatina (1947); woodwind quintet (1952).

piano:

Blue Voyage

(1927);

4 Tone Pictures

(1932);

New and Old

(1944).

Subjects: Music


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