Manifest Destiny

Beth E. Levy

in Frontier Figures

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780520267763
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520952027 | DOI:
Manifest Destiny

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This chapter focuses on Roy Harris's works. Marking the apex of Harris's career was his Third Symphony. At the time of its first performances, it seemed to represent the fulfillment of all the quasi-messianic hopes that had been vested in the composer. Harris had at last achieved his manifest destiny, uniting his vaunted “personality” with technical innovation in the prestigious genre of symphonic writing. Critics have praised the symphony for its “American flavor” or its organic unfolding, but few have recognized that these two features were intimately linked in Harris's mind through the theory of melodic “autogenesis.”

Keywords: Roy Harris; composers; American music; Third Symphony; melodic autogenesis

Chapter.  7767 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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