Deems Taylor (1885-1966) was a composer, music critic, author, commentator, translator, and artist. He was the first American composer commissioned to write an opera by New York’s Metropolitan Opera, and composed orchestral and solo works that remain part of the repertoire. He gained fame initially introducing the regular radio broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic in the mid-‘30s; his fame was so great, that animator Walt Disney invited him to be the on-screen host of Fantasia. Taylor wrote for many popular journals, including Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, as well as the daily press, and his work was collecting in many best-selling books.
Taylor’s biographer, James Pegolotti, has made a fresh selection of the best of Taylor’s writings on music for this new volume. Divided into parts reflecting a chronological look at Taylor’s entire career, the work exposes the reader to Taylor’s wit and keen intellect. Pegolotti has written brief introductions for each section, placing Taylor’s work in the context of its time.
Deems Taylor: Selected Writings brings into full view a forgotten important music reviewer and social commentator of the first half of the twentieth century.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments -- Preface -- Chapter 1 -- Poems, 1911-1919 -- Chapter 2 -- New York Sunday Tribune Magazine Articles and Some Others, 1914-1919 -- Chapter 3 -- New York World Music Criticisms, 1921-1925 -- Chapter 4 -- Vanity Fair Articles, 1927-1929 -- Intermission — An American in Paris -- Chapter 5 -- New York American “Words and Music” Columns, 1931-1932 Chapter 6 -- Chapters from Taylor’s Books: Of Men and Music (1937), The Well-Tempered Listener (1940), and Music to My Ears (1949); Several New York Philharmonic Intermission Talk Scripts; and His Final Article (1959) -- Bibliography -- Index
James Pegolotti is the author of Deems Taylor: A Biography (2003), an acclaimed account of the composer's life.