Published: December 1975© 1975
206 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.50 in, 13 b&w illustrations
Harry Somers is one of Canada's leading composers, and one of the most original. In the 1950s he experimented with contrapuntal writing, serialism, and style juxtaposition; in more recent years he has been concerned with the development of new vocal resources and improvisation.
Harry Somers, a detailed study of the composer and his works, has been commissioned by the Canadian Music Centre as the first of a series, each volume of which will cover in depth the career and works of a major Canadian composer.
Within the framework provided by major biographical events, Brian Cherney traces Somers' development as a composer from 1939 to 1973 by analysing works from various stages in his career. He discusses in particular the influences on Somers of Bartók, Debussy, and Weinzweig, the interrelationships between his works, and his stylistic traits and compositional techniques. A chronological list of Somers' works is included, and, because of its importance, an entire chapter is devoted to the opera Louis Riel. In view of the scarcity of in-depth critical literature on Canadian composers, this thorough and objective book will be of interest to music students, professional musicians, composers, and the general music public, both in Canada and abroad.