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Dominick Argento

Composer

Dominick Argento

Dominick Argento is considered to be America's preeminent composer of lyric opera. At the Peabody Conservatory, where he earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees, his teachers included Nicholas Nabokov, Henry Cowell and Hugo Weisgall. Argento received his Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Alan Hovhaness and Howard Hanson. Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships allowed him to study in Italy with Luigi Dallapiccola and to complete his first opera, Colonel Jonathan the Saint. Following his Fulbright, Argento became music director of Hilltop Opera in Baltimore, and taught theory and composition at the Eastman School. In 1958, he joined the faculty of the Department of Music at the University of Minnesota, where he taught until 1997. He now holds the rank of Professor Emeritus.

Although Argento's instrumental works have received consistent praise, the great majority of his music is vocal, whether in operatic, choral or solo context. This emphasis on the human voice is a facet of the powerful dramatic impulse that drives nearly all of his music, both instrumental and vocal. Music critic Heidi Waleson has described Argento's work as "richly melodic ... [his] pieces are built with wit and passion, and always with the dramatic shape and color that make them theater. They speak to the heart."

During his years at Eastman, Argento composed his opera, The Boor (1957), which has remained in the repertoire; John Rockwell of The New York Times, writing of a 1985 production, stated that "[it] taps deep currents of sentiment and passion." Following his arrival in Minnesota, the composer accepted a number of commissions from significant organizations in his adopted state. Among these were the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, who commissioned his suite Royal Invitation (1964); and the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis, who commissioned Variations for Orchestra [The Mask of Night] (1965). Argento's close association with Sir Tyrone Guthrie and Douglas Campbell, directors of the Minnesota Theatre Company, led to his composing incidental music for several Guthrie productions, as well as a ballad opera, The Shoemaker's Holiday (1967).

The 1970s and 1980s saw the composer working increasingly in the song cycle form, while still writing operas and orchestral music. Among his major song cycles are: Letters from Composers (1968); To Be Sung Upon the Water (1973); From the Diary of Virginia Woolf (1975); the choral I Hate and I Love (1982); The Andree Expedition (1983); and Casa Guidi (1983). His most recent song cycles, both premiered in 1996, are A Few Words About Chekhov (mezzo-soprano, baritone, and piano), given its premiere by Frederica von Stade, Hakan Hagegard and accompanist Martin Katz at the Ordway in Saint Paul; Walden Pond (mixed chorus, harp, and three cellos), commissioned and premiered by the Dale Warland Singers; and Miss Manners on Music, to texts by the noted advice columnist.

Since the early 1970s the composer's operas, which have always found success in the United States, have been heard with increasing frequency abroad. Nearly all of them, beginning with Postcard from Morocco (1971), have had at least one European production. Among these are The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe (1976), Miss Havisham's Wedding Night (1981) and Casanova's Homecoming (1984); Robert Jacobson of Opera News described the latter work as "a masterpiece." The Aspern Papers was given its premiere by Dallas Opera in November 1988 to great acclaim, was telecast on the pbs series Great Performances and was again presented, to critical praise, by the Washington Opera in 1990. It since has been heard in Germany and in Sweden; June 1998 brought a performance at the Barbican Centre in London.

Dominick Argento has examined fame and the immigrant experience in his newest opera, The Dream of Valentino, set in the early days of Hollywood. Washington Opera gave the work its premiere under the baton of Christopher Keene in January 1994, followed by its co-commissioning company, Dallas Opera, in 1995. The production featured special multi-media sets by John Conklin and costumes by the couturier Valentino. Writing of the premiere, Peter G. Davis of New York magazine stated, "What a pleasure to encounter a real opera composer, one who has studied and learned from his predecessors, loves the form, understands its conventions, has mastered them and then lets his imagination take wing." The Dream of Valentino received its European premiere in February 1999 in Kassel, Germany.

Among other honors and awards, Dominick Argento received the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1975 for his song cycle From the Diary of Virginia Woolf. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1979, and in 1997 was honored with the title of Composer Laureate to the Minnesota Orchestra, a lifetime appointment. In honor of his 85th birthday, the University of Maryland presented a special career retrospective that included Miss Havisham's Fire, Postcard from Morocco and Miss Manners on Music, as well as other recitals and lectures.

Discography (See list of Compositions.)

Displaying 1-4 of 4 items.


Dominick Argento : A Nation of Cowslips

Review: A set of seven choral pieces based on whimsical doggerel verses by John Keats. Published as separate movements in 1969, this work is now available as a complete set for the first time.

Songlist: The Devon Maid, In Praise Of Apollo, On Visiting Oxford, A Party Of Lovers At Tea, Sharing Eve's Apple, There Was A Naughty Boy, Two Or Three Posies

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7235b | 01 Songbook | $8.95 | SATB | A CappellaAmerican Choral Music Arrangements


Dominick Argento : Everyone Sang

Review: Pulitzer Prize winning composer Dominick Argento displays a natural dramatic impulse with this 4 1/2 minute piece for double mixed chorus a cappella.

Songlist: Everyone Sang

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9201b | 01 Songbook | $9.45 | SATB | A CappellaAmerican Choral Music Arrangements


Dominick Argento : Seasons

Review: Texts by Pat Solstad. In four movements:

Songlist: Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer

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4087b | 01 Songbook | $7.95 | SATB | A Cappella


Dominick Argento : Spirituals and Swedish Chorales

Review: Six beautiful and challenging original works by Dominick Argento. The works with Swedish text have English translations.

Songlist: So I'll Sing With My Voice, Vi Lofve Dig, O Store Gud, There's Singing Up In Heaven, EnDag Skall Uppga For Var Syn, What Can That Shadow Be, a Ar Fulkkomnadt, Jesu Kar

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9131b | 01 Songbook | $7.50 | Mixed 5-8 Parts | A CappellaSpirituals Arrangements

Compositions ( See Discography.)

Displaying 1-50 of 53 items.

Song NameArrangerComposerArtistRecording TitleFormat
A Foreign Singer in a Waiting Station (POSTCARD FROM MOROCCO)Dominick ArgentoPhilip BrunelleAmerican AriasSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS
A Thanksgiving To God, For His HouseDominick Argento / Robert HerrickVocalEssence with Garrison KeillorOver The River & Through the Woods 2 CDsMORE DETAILS
A Toccata of Galuppi's (1989)Dominick ArgentoDale Warland SingersWalden Pond 1 CDMORE DETAILS
AnglingDominick ArgentoDale Warland SingersWalden Pond 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Apollo in CambridgeDominick ArgentoHarvard Glee Club150th Anniversary Concert 1 CDMORE DETAILS
AutumnDominick ArgentoDominick ArgentoSeasonsSongbookMORE DETAILS
Bellino's Aria (CASANOVA'S HOMECOMING)Dominick ArgentoPhilip BrunelleAmerican AriasSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS
Easter DayDominick ArgentoGloriae Dei CantoresEternal Light 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Estella's Aria (MISS HAVISHAM'S FIRE)Dominick ArgentoPhilip BrunelleAmerican AriasSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS
Everyone SangDominick ArgentoDominick ArgentoEveryone SangSongbookMORE DETAILS
ExtollingDominick ArgentoDale Warland SingersWalden Pond 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Gloria - ArgentoDominick ArgentoThe Choral ProjectWinter 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Gloria from the Masque of AngelsDominick ArgentoLuther College Nordic ChoirChristmas 2004 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Gondolier's Song (CASANOVA'S HOMECOMING)Dominick ArgentoPhilip BrunelleAmerican AriasSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS
Greetings, miss, with nose not smallDominick ArgentoDale Warland SingersWalden Pond 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Have mercy on my life (THE VOYAGE OF EDGAR ALLAN POE)Dominick ArgentoPhilip BrunelleAmerican AriasSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS
I Hate And I LoveDominick ArgentoRobert Shaw Festival SingersAppear & Inspire 1 CDMORE DETAILS
I Hate and I loveDominick ArgentoDale Warland SingersWalden Pond 1 CDMORE DETAILS
I hate and I loveDominick ArgentoDale Warland SingersWalden Pond 1 CDMORE DETAILS
I Hate and I Love (Odi et Amo) (1981)Dominick ArgentoDale Warland SingersWalden Pond 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Let All the World in Every Corner SingDominick ArgentoGloriae Dei CantoresPrism 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Let us live, my Clodia, and let us loveDominick ArgentoDale Warland SingersWalden Pond 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Lute Song (THE SHOEMAKER'S HOLIDAY)Dominick ArgentoPhilip BrunelleAmerican AriasSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS
Man with a Paint Box Aria (POSTCARD FROM MOROCCO)Dominick ArgentoPhilip BrunelleAmerican AriasSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS
Midnight, bells striking midnight (THE VOYAGE OF EDGAR ALLAN POE)Dominick ArgentoPhilip BrunelleAmerican AriasSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS
My woman says she will be no one'sDominick ArgentoDale Warland SingersWalden Pond 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Nazimova's Aria (THE DREAM OF VALENTINO)Dominick ArgentoPhilip BrunelleAmerican AriasSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS
ObservingDominick ArgentoDale Warland SingersWalden Pond 1 CDMORE DETAILS
OrpheusDominick ArgentoFrancisco J. NunezTransient GlorySheet MusicMORE DETAILS
OrpheusDominick ArgentoYoung People's Chorus of New York CityTransient Glory II 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Patrem immensae majestasisDominick ArgentoLos Angeles Master ChoraleArgento - Durufle 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Rose's Air (THE SHOEMAKER'S HOLIDAY)Dominick ArgentoPhilip BrunelleAmerican AriasSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS
Salvum fac populum tuumDominick ArgentoLos Angeles Master ChoraleArgento - Durufle 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Sonnet LXIV (2002)Dominick ArgentoEsotericsSonettaria - The triumph of iambic pentameter 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Sonnet No. LXIV Dominick ArgentoPhoenix Bach ChoirShakespeare In SongSACDMORE DETAILS
SpringDominick ArgentoDominick ArgentoSeasonsSongbookMORE DETAILS
SummerDominick ArgentoDominick ArgentoSeasonsSongbookMORE DETAILS
Te DeumDominick ArgentoLos Angeles Master ChoraleArgento - Durufle 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Te Deum IaudamusDominick ArgentoLos Angeles Master ChoraleArgento - Durufle 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Te gloriosus ApostolorumDominick ArgentoLos Angeles Master ChoraleArgento - Durufle 1 CDMORE DETAILS
The PondDominick ArgentoDale Warland SingersWalden Pond 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Tina's Aria (THE ASPERN PAPERS)Dominick ArgentoPhilip BrunelleAmerican AriasSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS
To God "In Memoriam M. B."Dominick ArgentoDale Warland SingersLux Aurumque 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedesDominick ArgentoLos Angeles Master ChoraleArgento - Durufle 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Tu Rex gloriae, ChristieDominick ArgentoLos Angeles Master ChoraleArgento - Durufle 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Valentino's Aria (THE DREAM OF VALENTINO)Dominick ArgentoPhilip BrunelleAmerican AriasSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS
Walden Pond (1996):Dominick ArgentoDale Warland SingersWalden Pond 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Walden's RevisitedDominick ArgentoDale Warland SingersWalden Pond 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Was it a lioness from the mountains of LibyaDominick ArgentoDale Warland SingersWalden Pond 1 CDMORE DETAILS
Will ye but listen? (CHRISTOPHER SLY)Dominick ArgentoPhilip BrunelleAmerican AriasSongbook & CDMORE DETAILS
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