Morton Gould was one of the greats of American music during the 20th century, right up there with Adams, Copland, Gershwin, and Ives. Yet, Peter Hoar says his music is difficult to pin down.
From rags, blues, country, waltzes, and jazz, to concerti for tap dancer and rap, Gould wrote symphonies, film music, pop music, theatre music, ballet music in a range of styles that trace the course of American music during the 20th century. Walt Whitman’s famous lines – ‘I am large, I contain multitudes’ – apply equally to Gould’s music.
Yet another reason for Gould’s elusiveness is that he wasn’t just a composer. As an arranger and conductor he had a huge influence on the sounds of a lot of American music. Gould worked in Hollywood, for radio, for television – his musical life was part of the growth of the mass media in America and the world during the 20th century.
GOULD: Cresta Blanca Radio Carnival – Morton Gould and his Orchestra
GOULD: Fugue in Jazz; American Symphonette No 2, Pavanne – Albany Symphony Orchestra/ David Alan Miller (Albany TROY1174)
WISEMAN: I’m No Communist – Grandpa Jones
GOULD: Fall River Legend Prologue – New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/ James Sedares (Koch 7380)
GOULD: Rag-Blues-Rag – Morton Gould
GOULD: Delightfully Dangerous Theme – Morton Gould and His Orchestra