Composer Scrapbooks

Theodore Presser Co. has begun a series of online scrapbooks, bringing together a timeline and some photographs for a Presser or Carl Fischer composer. The first one is on Norman Dello Joio who received the Pulitzer in 1957 for his string orchestra work Meditation on Ecclesiastes. Dello Joio is one of those composers whose name is not as well known as it once was, the kind of Pulitzer winner who gets cited as an example of how the prize has gone to people should not have received it. This is called blaming the victim – if the work of some Pulitzer winners was played as often as it should be, then their prizes would seem less anomalous. (I say this well-realizing that there are plenty of artists who never won a Pulitzer who should have.)  I’ve always liked the Meditation – it is clear and direct, well-written for the strings, relatively simple but not at all simple-minded. You can check out the scrapbook, as well as the score for the Meditation plus two other Dello Joio scores here.

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