KPFA-FM Music Dept. ➔ Ode To Gravity: The Music of Ezra Pound, 1 of 3

Analog Audio

Event Type
Interview and Music
Program Series
Ode To Gravity
1 of 3
1983-05-16 | broadcast
| 402 | created
This program, first broadcast on KPFA on May 16, 1983, focuses on the music of Ezra Pound and features two of his operas as well as a selection of his music for violin. The program begins with an interview with Pound scholar Archie Henderson III, who provides some background information about the poet’s forays into musical composition. We then hear a 1972 performance by the Arch Ensemble of the concert version of Pound’s opera “Le Testament,” directed by Robert Hughes. The event was attended by Pound’s lifelong friend, Olga Rudge, who came from her home in Venice to supervise this recreation of the original 1926 Paris concert in which she had participated. At the conclusion of the opera, which takes as its text and theme, the poetry of François Villon, violinist Nathan Rubin performs three works for solo violin composed or arranged by Ezra Pound. Charles Amirkhanian then interviews Robert Hughes, who had recently directed another concert of Pound’s music, including a concert version of his other opera “Cavalcanti.” We also hear excerpts from a March 1983 interview with Olga Rudge in which she discusses her feelings about these recent performances of Pound’s music as well as sharing her reminiscences about her friendship with the poet and composer. When asked about rumors of Pound’s supposed anti-Semitism, Rudge makes a strong case that he was not. The program continues with a discussion between Amirkhanian and Hughes about Pound’s opera “Cavalcanti,” before concluding with a recording of the March 1983 performance of the work.
20th century classical
Musical Selections
Le Testament [concert version, text by François Villon] (1923, con. ver 1926) (29:55) / Ezra Pound -- Al Poco Giorno (ca. 1931) (6:06) / Ezra Pound [world premiere] -- Plainte Pour la Mort du Roi Richart Coeur de Lion (4:35) / Gaucelm Faidit [arr. by Ezra Pound] -- Fiddle Music Suite [6th movement](1923-24) (0:29) / Ezra Pound
Arch Ensemble:
Nathan Rubin, violin
Dan Livesay, trombone
Peter Toyoji Tomita, trombone & cornet
Rae Imamura, harpsichord
Thomas Buckner, tenor
Robert Tate, tenor
Jan Curtis, mezzo-soprano
John MacAllister, bass
Thomas Woodman, baritone
Robert Hughes, conductor
20th century classical
Violin music