CHARLES T. GRIFFES by Edward M. Maisel


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A limited market, but within that market a first, and presumably needed biography of a modern American composer, whose critical prestige was greater than his popularity. Born in Elmira, New York, Griffes was first encouraged to make music his career by his first teacher who sent him to Berlin for advanced study. At this time he became cognizant of his greatest problem and torment, his tendency towards homosexuality, which he faced honestly and watched vigilantly in all future relationships. Several years of study, one abiding friendship, a return from Europe to America where he received a teaching post in a boys' school. Influences of his life, patrons, compositions, performances, criticism, combine to trace the musician's career to its height with White Peacock, The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan and more difficult sonatas. Then his death at 36, just as he was receiving for the first time recognition from leading critics and conductors. A just, authenticated biography with sound appraisal of the man and his place in American music.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1943
Publisher: Knopf