Charles Griffes


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(b Elmira, NY, 1884; d NY, 1920).

Amer. composer. Taught at boys' school in Tarrytown, NY, from 1908 until his death. His mus. was beginning to be recognized as important just before he died. Much influenced by Fr. mus. impressionists, he also used Japanese and Amer.‐Indian themes and oriental scales. In his later works, polymetric and polytonal features occur. Prin. works:


The Kairn of Koridwen

, dance‐drama, 5 ww., cel., hp., pf. (1916);


, Japanese dance‐pantomime, 4 ww., strs., hp., perc. (1917).




The White Peacock

(orch. in 1919 of No.1 of 4 Roman Sketches for pf. of 1915–16);


, fl., orch. (1918);

The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan

(sym.‐poem after Coleridge arr. from pf. piece of 1912) (1917).

voice & piano:

Tone Images

, mez. (Wilde and Henley) (1912);

3 Songs


3 Poems of Fiona MacLeod

, sop. (also with orch.) (1918).

chamber music:

2 Sketches Based on Indian Themes

, str. qt. (c.1918).


3 Tone Pictures


The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan

(1912, orch. 1917);

Fantasy Pieces


4 Roman Sketches

(1915–16); Sonata (1917–18).

Subjects: Music.

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