Re: Henry Cowell

Dick Higgins (
Mon, 19 May 1997 17:07:35 -0500

Dear Maurice Saylor-

No, I meant something even more specific than you assume. For one thing
there is TWILIGHT IN TEXAS (1965) which Andr=E9 Kostelanetz commissioned fro=
Cowell when Cowell was very ill, not long before he cashed in his chips.
Kostelanetz even recorded it. But it has not been found either among HC's
manuscripts at the LC or among Kostelanetz's collection of mss, which is
also at the LC.

=46ANATI (1935) was easy-I found that it was an improvised piece, that there
never was a score. I found the libretto v ia` the widow of the librettist.

Harder will be IMMEDIATE TRAGEDY and DEEP SONG, the two Martha Graham
pieces in elastic form. HC was in the habit of making copies of his pieces
for the participants, such as the dancers. After sixty years their papers
will not be easy to trace, but it may be possible. I have a few leads when
there is time and money for phone calls and postage.

I assume you have access to Lichtenwanger's catalog of HC's works-it is
more than helpful, really quite indispensible. What is really needed is a
Cowell Society, and quite a few of us have been talking about this.

By the way, the selection of HC's shorter texts which I edited is due out
from Schirmer Books next April.

Yours with a hymn and perhaps a fuguinbg tune-

Dick Higgins

> Dick Higgins posted a request for "lost works" of Henry Cowell.
>Could you be a little more specific? I assume you mean the many
>unpublished works? The large bulk of Cowell's manuscripts are at library
>of Congress with a few others at the New York public. Are the works you
>are looking for not housed in either location? Keep in mind that many
>manuscripts are not cataloged and it's best to speak to the head
>librarian. Lists have been made of many of the manuscripts but there are
>still many composers, likely Cowell being umong them, that have had
>little done to the manuscripts.
>Maurice Saylor

Curious about what I do? You can view some paintings at the Left Hand Books
site, <> (these are for sale) and other
things at the Ubuweb one, Ubuweb- <>
(these aren't) among others. My next book that is coming out will be:
MODERNISM SINCE POSTMODERNISM (San Diego: San Diego State University Press,
June 1997). You can get it through Amazon Books, <>.