Blitzstein, Marc. (1905–1964) [Diamond, David. (1915–2005)] [Cummings, E. E. (1894–1962)]
"From Marion's Book" - Signed Presentation Copy to David Diamond
Facsimile pre-publication score to Marc Blitzstein's From Marion's Book: Seven Songs to Poems by E. E. Cummings (1960), inscribed and signed on the cover to fellow composer David Diamond: "For David, as though I were 'coming home' / Love / Marc / Nov. 7, 1960." 37 pp. (with each song paginated separately.) Staple binding, rather rusted; some light edge soiling and wear; overall fine. 9.5 x 12.5 inches (24.3 x 32 cm). Rare; the songs were published in 1962 by Chappell.
"For the summer of 1960, Blitzstein rented a cottage at South Beach on Martha's Vineyard. There he alternated his work between the opera Sacco and Vanzetti and a song cycle, commissioned for three hundred dollars by Alice Esty. A wealthy amateur, she possessed a pleasant soprano voice and every year gave a recital featuring her latest collection of commissions. Returning to the poetry of E. E. Cummings, which he had set in the cycle IS 5 in 1929, FROM MARION'S BOOK (Marion was Cummings' wife) is in many ways a return to Blitzstein's compositional processes of that time. Clearly he was relieved not to have any commercial considerations to interfere with his work on the cycle of seven songs. Indeed, one piece included in the set of seven is "when life is quite through with," which he originally wrote as part of IS 5, and revised only slightly for the later cycle. He completed the cycle in August of that year." (www.marcblitzstein.com)
From the collection of David Diamond, considered one of the preeminent American composers of his generation. He enjoyed wide success in the 1940's and 1950's, before the serial and modernist trends largely pushed him into the shadows. The New York Times described him as "part of what some considered a forgotten generation of great American symphonists, including Howard Hanson, Roy Harris, William Schuman, Walter Piston and Peter Mennin."