The Paris Diary of Ned Rorem : With a portrait of the diarist by Robert Phelps
New York : George Braziller, 1966. First Edition. Hardcover. 240 pages ; b/w photographs ; 22 cm. $5.95 dust jacket with minimal wear. Brown water stain on the side pages edge. No markings within book. Pages are age toned. Binding is firm.
The Paris Diary of Ned Rorem With a Portrait of the Diarist by Robert Phelps
me Magazine has called Ned Rorem "undoubtedly the best composer of art songs now living." His music may be heard in the repertoire of many of our leading orchestras, lbs opera, Miss Julie, was recently performed in New York.
Besides being a composer of note, Mr.Rorem is also the author of a voluminous and fassinating diary, begun in 1945 and s I being continued today. This book presents in a roughly continuous narrative, a selection of the most acute, deeply felt, thought-provoking, and often amusing passages from that diary; in essence, it is the dramatic story of a talented young American composer in the Paris of the early Fifties.
Handsome, sharp-witted and sharper togued, sensitive and unpredictable, Ned Hem was a famous figure at all the most exclusive (and some very inclusive) parties, on after his arrival he was introduced to u of the great ladies of the literary and artistic society of Paris: the almost legendary Vicomtesse Marie Laure de Noailles. Mr. Rorem describes the end of their first real noting: "In front of everyone, I approached the Vicomtesse, and with no conscious provocation gave her a whack that sent her reeling to the floor... I was restrained by the maitre d'hotel and Guy Fer-rand. But the noble hostess motioned for them to release me, then rose with a bemused stare of utter satisfaction: she had triumphed before her friends: somebody new cared." Within a few weeks they were fast friends, and the Vicomtesse de Noailles, eccentric, brilliant, larger-than-life, became his mentor and companion through all the years Ned Rorem lived in France.
Beside the sketches of people—Jean Cocteau, Julien Green, Barbara Hutton, Wanda Landowska, Alice B. Toklas, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Nadia Boulanger, Virgil Thomson, and many, many others— the diary contains vivid descriptions of the composers life in Morocco, his work in Paris, a moving friendship in Italy. The random thoughts, sometimes funny, sometimes true, often both, provide an occasionally welcome relief from the tension of the daily entries. Since his return to America, Ned Rorem has received a Guggenheim and a Fulbright scholarship, and has been Composer-in-Residence at several universities, the most recent of which is the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He spends the nonacademic year in New York.
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