The Tone Colors of Henry Cowell

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In this 1952 Music for the Connoisseur, host David Randolph intersperses archival audio of Henry Cowell's speeches on musical techniques, plays pieces based on the composer's theories, and ties the program together with his own insights into the composer's pioneering ideas.

David Randolph begins his program by soothing the fears of circa-1950's audiences that the music of Henry Cowell shouldn't scare them away. But Cowell's deliberate explanations of extended techniques allay any concern that his artistic aims were subversive or simply puckish.

We follow this with interviews of David Del Tredici by host John Schaefer on WNYC Live from 1998 and Soundcheck from 2005. David Del Tredici discusses the long process of writing a piece of vocal music and the niche genre of concert bands. 

From March 8-30, From the Archives streams weekdays at 7 AM and 8 PM on Q2 Music. For more information on American Mavericks, visit