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Ruggles, Carl

Ruggles, Carl [ Charles Sprague] (b East Marion, Mass., 1876; d Bennington, Vermont, 1971). Amer. composer. Earned living as youth as violinist in Boston th. orchs. Cond. Winona, Minn., SO 1908–12. Moved to NY 1917 and thereafter concentrated on comp. His works were perf. at Varèse's int. composers’ guild concerts. Became friend of Ives. Taught comp. at Univ. of Miami 1938–43. His mus. is uncompromisingly dissonant and employed atonal principles long before their general acceptance. Wrote few works, being slow and conscientious worker, discarding many attempts. Prin. comps.:ORCH.: Men and Angels (1920: Men destroyed; Angels for 6 tpt., rev. 4 tpt., 3 tb., 1938); Suntreader (1926–31), rev. as Men of Men and Mountains; Men and Mountains, small orch. (1924), rev. large orch. 1936, rev. 1941 (comprises Men; Lilacs for str.; Marching Mountains); Portals for 13 str. (1925), rev. str. orch. 1929, further rev. 1941 and 1952–3; Organum (1944–7).VOICE & ORCH.: Vox clamans in deserto, sop., small orch. (1923, comprises Parting at Morning (Browning), Son of Mine (Meltzer), A Clear Midnight (Whitman)).SONG: Toys, v., pf. (1919).CHAMBER MUSIC: Mood, vn., pf. (c.1918).PIANO: Evocations, 4 chants (1935–43, rev. 1954), No.2 orch. 1942, others later.

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Ruggles, Carl

Carl Ruggles, 1876–1971, American composer, b. Marion, Mass. Ruggles studied music at Harvard and was a friend of Charles Ives. His works are highly original, characterized by complex textures and jagged outlines. He wrote relatively little and later disavowed the music he had written before 1918. His best-known pieces include Men and Mountains (1924) and Sun-Treader (1932), for orchestra; Angels, for muted brass (1921); and Evocations (1934–43), for piano.

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