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March 23 , 2011

The Roberto Gerhard Companion


More than forty years after the composer's death, the music of Roberto Gerhard (1896-1970) continues to be recorded and performed and to attract international scholarly interest. The Roberto Gerhard Companion is the first full length scholarly work on this composer noted for his sharp intellect and original, exploring mind.

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This book builds on the outcomes of two recent international conferences and includes contributions by scholars from Spain, the USA and UK. The essays collected here explore themes and trends within Gerhard’s work, using individual or groups of works as case studies. Among the themes presented are the way Gerhard’s work was shaped by his Catalan heritage, his education under Pedrell and Schoenberg, and his very individual reaction to the latter’s teaching and methods, notably Gerhard’s very distinctive approach to serialism. The influence of these and other cultural and literary figures is an important underlying theme that ties essays together. Exiled from Catalonia from 1939, Gerhard spent the remainder of his life in Cambridge, England, composing a string of often ground-breaking compositions, notably the symphonies and concertos composed in the 1950s and 1960s. A particular focus in this book is Gerhard's electronic music. He was a pioneer in this genre and the book will contain the first rigorous studies of this music as well as the first accurate catalogue of this electronic output. His ground-breaking output of incidental music for radio and the stage is also given detailed consideration.

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