One of the most imaginative talents in 1940s America
John McLaughlin Williams writes ~ Your recent post on Bruno Walter and Samuel Barber is very interesting, particularly your mention of Daniel Gregory Mason. He is utterly forgotten today despite his having notable performers and performances. This is due in part to his second tier compositional abilities, and also to his espousing of uncomfortable views about ethnic influences in (then) contemporary music. While not as openly virulent a racist as John Powell, Mason did promote the notion of "purity" in American music, as in its being more properly derived from Anglo-Saxon sources rather than the folk music of former slaves and Jews.
Bruno Walter did what he could for Mason, but he was far more enthusiastic about John Alden Carpenter. As a composer Carpenter was a much more imposing figure than Mason, and Walter did his music many times. [BS - Walter performed Carpenter's First Symphony with the LA Phil in 1940, and premiered his Second Symphony with the NY Phil in 1942.] You may find a column by Terry Teachout as interesting as I did, as it quite succinctly and fairly assesses Carpenter, though at the time it was was written there were no recorded examples of Carpenter's mature work, and thus it cannot be called a truly complete view of the composer's work. At that point my recording was still years away - sample here. A review of that CD described John Alden Carpenter as "one of the most polished and imaginative talents at work in 1940s America".
Carpenter was also egalitarian in his dealings with others; he was among those who supported the African-American composer Florence Price in obtaining important early performances of her orchestral music. Price became the first female of her race to write a symphony and have it performed by a major ensemble - see video below.
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