Douglas Stuart Moore

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Moore, Douglas (Stuart)

Moore, Douglas (Stuart), distinguished American composer and pedagogue; b. Cutchogue, N.Y., Aug. 10, 1893; d. Greenport, Long Island, July 25, 1969. After initial musical training in N.Y., he studied with D.S. Smith and Horatio Parker at Yale Univ. (B.A., 1915; B.M., 1917). He composed several univ. and popular songs, including the football song Good Night, Harvard, which became a favorite among the Yale student body. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he studied organ with Tournemire and composition with cTIndy and Boulanger in Paris. He was organist at the Cleveland Museum of Art (1921–23) and at Adelbert Coll., Western Reserve Univ. (1923–25). During this period, he pursued training with Ernest Bloch. In 1925 he received a Pulitzer traveling scholarship, which enabled him to study in Europe. From 1926 to 1962 he taught at Barnard Coll. and at Columbia Univ., serving as chairman of the latter’s music dept. from 1940 to 1962. In 1934 he held a Guggenheim fellowship. In 1951 he won the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his opera Giants in the Earth. His opera The Ballad of Baby Doe won the N.Y. Music Critics’ Circle Award in 1958. In 1941 he was elected to the National Inst. of Arts and Letters, and in 1951 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was the author of the books Listening to Music (1932; 2nd ed., aug., 1937) and From Madrigal to Modern Music: A Guide to Musical Style (1942). Moore was a fine musical craftsman who applied his technical mastery to American subjects in his operas and symphonic scores. He achieved popular success with his operas The Devil and Daniel Webster (N.Y., May 18, 1939) and The Ballad of Baby Doe (Central City, Colo., July 7, 1956).

Works

dramatic:Opera: Jesse James (1928; unfinished); White Wings, chamber opera (1935; Hartford, Conn., Feb. 9, 1949); The Headless Horseman, high school opera (1936; Bronxville, N.Y., March 4, 1937); The Devil and Daniel Webster, folk opera (1938; N.Y., May 18, 1939); The Emperor’s New Clothes, children’s opera (1948; N.Y., Feb. 19, 1949; rev. 1956); Giants in the Earth (1949; N.Y., March 28, 1951; rev. 1963); The Ballad of Baby Doe, folk opera (Central City, Colo., July 7, 1956); Gallantry, soap opera (1957; N.Y., March 19, 1958); The Wings of the Dove (N.Y., Oct. 12, 1961); The Greenfield Christmas Tree, Christmas entertainment (Baltimore, Dec. 8, 1962); Carrie Nation (Lawrence, Kans., April 28, 1966). musical comedy:Oh, Oh, Tennessee (1925). children’s operetta:Puss in Boots (1949; N.Y., Nov. 18, 1950). Ballet:Greek Games (1930). incidental music to: plays and for the films Power in the Land (1940), Youth Gets a Break, and Bip Goes to Town (1941). orch.:4 Museum Pieces (1923; based on the organ piece); The Pageant of P.T. Barnum, suite (1924; Cleveland, April 15, 1926); Moby Dick, symphonic poem (1927); 2 syms.: No. 1, A Symphony of Autumn (1930) and No. 2 (1945; Paris, May 5, 1946); Overture on an American Tune (N.Y., Dec. 11, 1932); Village Music, suite (N.Y., Dec. 18, 1941); In Memoriam, symphonic poem (1943; Rochester, N.Y., April 27, 1944); Farm Journal, suite for Chamber Orch. (1947; N.Y., Jan. 19, 1948); Cotillion, suite for Strings (1952). chamber: Violin Sonata (1929); String Quartet (1933); Wind Quintet (1942; rev. 1948); Down East Suite for Violin and Piano (1944; also for Violin and Orch.); Clarinet Quintet (1946); Piano Trio (1953). keyboard: piano: 3 Contemporaries: Careful Etta, Grievin’ Annie, and Fiddlin’ Joe (c. 1935–40); Museum Piece (1939); Suite (1948); 4 Pieces (1955); Dance for a Holiday (1957); Prélude (1957); Summer Holiday (1961). organ:Prélude and Fugue (1919–22); 4 Museum Pieces (1922; also for Orch.); March (1922); Scherzo (1923); Passacaglia (1939; arranged by K. Wilson as Dirge for Band). VOCAL: Perhaps to Dream for Women’s Voices (1937); Simon Legree for Men’s Voices and Piano (1937); Dedication for Chorus (1938); Prayer for England for Men’s Voices (1940); Prayer for the United Nations for Alto or Baritone, Chorus, and Piano or Orch. (1943); Western Winde, canon for Chorus (c. 1946); Vaye-chulu for Cantor, Chorus, and Organ (1947–48); Bird’s Courting Song for Tenor, Chorus, and Piano (c. 1953); The Mysterious Cat for Chorus (1960); Mary’s Prayer for Soprano and Women’s Voices (1962); many songs for Voice and Piano; arrangements of hymns and carols.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire

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Douglas Stuart Moore, 1893–1969, American composer and teacher, b. Cutchogue, N.Y. Moore studied with Horatio Parker, Vincent D'Indy, Nadia Boulanger, and Ernest Bloch. In 1926 he joined the music faculty of Columbia Univ. and was its chairman from 1940 to 1962. His major works include Pageant of P. T. Barnum (1924) and Moby Dick (1929) for orchestra; the operas for children The Headless Horseman (1937; libretto by Stephen Vincent Benét) and The Emperor's New Clothes (1949); the operas The Devil and Daniel Webster (1939), Giants in the Earth (1951; awarded a Pulitzer Prize), The Ballad of Baby Doe (1956); The Wings of the Dove (1961), and Carrie Nation (1966); two symphonies (1945, 1948); chamber music; and settings of poetry by Donne, MacLeish, Benét, and Vachel Lindsay. Moore's music is outstanding for its theatricality and use of the American vernacular. His prose works include Listening to Music (1932) and From Madrigal to Modern Music (1942).

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Moore, Douglas (Stuart) (b Cutchogue, NY, 1893; d Greenport, NY, 1969). Amer. composer, organist, and teacher. Ass. prof. of mus. Columbia Univ., NY, 1926, becoming head of mus. dept. 1940 and MacDowell Prof. of Mus. 1943–62. Works steeped in Amer. legends and history. Wrote 2 books. Prin. comps.:OPERAS: The Devil and Daniel Webster (1938); The Emperor's New Clothes (1948); The Ballad of Baby Doe (1956); Carrie Nation (1966).ORCH.: Symphony of Autumn (1930), Sym. No.2 (1945); Pageant of P. T. Barnum (1924); Moby Dick (1927); Village Music (1941); Symphony in A (1945); Farm Journal (1947).CHAMBER MUSIC: vn. sonata (1929); str. qt. (1933); cl. quintet (1946); pf. trio (1953).CHORAL: Simon Legree (1938); Prayer for the United Nations (1943).