Gloria Coates

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Gloria Coates (October 10, 1938 in Wausau, Wisconsin) is an American composer who has lived in Munich, Germany since 1969. She studied with Alexander Tcherepnin, Otto Luening, and Jack Beeson.

Music[edit]

Her music features canonic structures and prominent, sometimes exclusive, glissandos, being "characterized by extremely strict, even rigid technical procedures (canonic structures), which are often worked out with unusual musical materials (glissandi)".[1] Her music is postminimalist, marked by the tension "not only between material and technique (...an attempt to give structure to chaos), but even more so between what would have to be termed 'sober-technical' compositional principles and the genuine direct expressive power and emotionality of the music".[1]

As one interview describes:

For Gloria Coates, artistic expression is a spiritual necessity. She has great interest and significant participation in painting, architecture, theater, poetry, and singing—but it is through composing that she taps into a wellspring of abstracted emotionality that the others cannot reach. Whatever the veiled expressions of her work may be, there is an undoubted emotional richness present, which if not concretely knowable is at least viscerally felt by the audience. Canons constructed of quartertones and glissandos evoke gloomy instability, but also unearthly beauty.[2]

As is described by Kyle Gann' liner notes to one of her albums:

Behind the variety of such techniques, behind even the varying deployment of similar structures, one hears Coates's constant aesthetic: her sense of each movement as a unified gesture, her almost post-minimalist unidirectionality. Above all, while sadness, anger and mysticism appear in her work with stylized clarity, they are subsumed to an overarching tranquility that often has the last word, and always the most important one.[citation needed]

In Kyle Gann's article "A Symphonist Stakes Her Claim",[3] Gloria Coates was crowned, "the greatest woman symphonist", for her passionate pursuit and persistence in a domain that is dominated by men. However, this ambitious pursuit to be a woman symphonist has not been a conscious effort to set herself apart from the other female composers, instead in an interview she commented that it came through a natural manifestation trying to convey something deep within her. "When I did, I thought, 'That's really gutsy of me to call it a symphony,'" she said from her home in Munich, "I always had an idea of symphonies being in the 19th century, somehow. I never set out to write a symphony as such. It has to do with the intensity of what I'm trying to say and the fact that it took 48 different instrumental lines to say it, and that the structures I was using had evolved over many years. I couldn't call it a little name."[citation needed]

Painting[edit]

Besides composing, Gloria Coates also paints abstract expressionistic paintings that are often used as the covers for her albums. In her paintings, complementary colours such as red and green, yellow and blue, interact and mix with one another in the small strokes. The painterly manner, with layers of swirls of colours, is reminiscent of the style of Vincent van Gogh.

Works[edit]

The following is a chronological list of Coates' musical compositions:[4]

1950

  • The Sighing Wind

1961

  • Sylken
  • Te Deum
  • Dies Sanctificatus
  • Thieves' Carnival
  • The Rainy Day
  • Twilight

1962

  • Sonatina
  • Trio for Piano, Flute and Oboe
  • Glissando String Quartet
  • Everyman. Morality Play
  • Five Abstractions

1963

  • Rondo for Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Tambourine and Field Drum
  • O Sing Unto the Lord a New Song

1964

  • Interlude for Organ
  • Mathematical Equations
  • Missa brevis
  • Overture to Saint Joan
  • Saint Joan
  • String Quartet with Provincial Drum

1964/65

  • Hamlet
  • Ophelias Lieder

1962/66

  • Fall of the House of Usher

1966

  • String Quartet No. 1
  • Trio for Three Flutes

1971

  • We Have Ears and Hear Not Point Counterpoint

1972

  • Mobile for String Quartet
  • String Quartet No. 2
  • Eine Stimme ruft elektronische Klänge auf
  • Naturstimme und elektronische Klangbänder for Vocal Multiphonics and Modulator

1972/73

  • Natural Voice and Electronic Modulator
  • Cantata da Requiem WW II Poems for Peace
  • Tones in Overtones
  • Fragment from Leonardo's Notebooks "Anima della Terra" Vita

1973

  • Symphony No. 1 Music on open Strings

1974

  • Planets
  • Halley's Comet
  • May the Morning Star Rise

1975

  • Five Abstractions of the Poems by Emily Dickinson for Woodwind Quartet Five Pieces for four Woodwinds
  • Fragment from Leonardo's Notebooks "The Elements"
  • Neptune Odyssey
  • String Quartet No. 3
  • Variations on "Lo! How a Rose"
  • Memories of Childhood
  • My Country Tis of Thee
  • Textures and Shades of E.D.
  • The Tune without the Words

1976

  • From a Poetry Album

1976/77

  • String Quartet No. 4

1978

  • Symphony No. 3 Symphony Nocturne
  • Six Movements for String Quartet
  • Ecology 1
  • Ecology 2
  • Between
  • The Beatitudes

1980

  • Valse triste

1974/82

  • Sinfonietta della notte

1976/82

  • Fragment from Leonardo's Notebooks "Fonte di Rimini" Sinfonia Brevis
  • Spring Morning in Grobholz' Garden

1982

  • Go the Great Way
  • Colony Air

1984

  • Transitions

1985

  • Choral Symphony No. 5 Three Mystical Songs
  • Meteor March

1986

  • Music in Microtones

1987

  • Resistances
  • Auto-Madic Music
  • Missed

1974/88

  • Symphony No. 2 Illuminatio in Tenebris, also: 'Music in Abstract Lines'
  • The Force for Peace in War

1987/88

  • Lunar Loops

1988

  • Breaking Through
  • Fiori alto recorder and tape
  • Fiori and the Princess alto recorder and tape
  • Seven Songs with Poems by Emily Dickinson
  • String Quartet No. 5
  • Fiori flute and tape
  • Fiori and the Princess flute and tape
  • Breaking Through II
  • Lichtsplitter for Flute, Harp and Viola
  • Lichtsplitter for Flute, Harp, Viola and 1 Percussionist
  • To Be Free of It
  • Dramatic Scene The Swan
  • Reaching for the Moon

1974/89

  • Star Tracks Through Darkness

1978/89

  • Five Songs on Poems by Emily Dickinson

1984/90

  • Symphony No. 4 Chiaroscuro

1988/91

  • Transfer 482

1990/91

  • Symphony No. 7 (Dedicated to those who brought down the Wall in PEACE)

1991

  • Indian Sounds
  • Symphony No. 8 Indian Sounds
  • Rainbow Across the Night Sky
  • Blue Steel Bent
  • Blue Flowers
  • In the Glacier for 10 flutists and percussion
  • Wir Tönen Allein
  • Cette Blanche Agonie

1992

  • Royal Anthem Königshymne
  • Ungeziefer Insects
  • In the Mt. Tremper Zen Monastery

1992/93

  • Night Music

1993

  • Castles in the Air
  • Im Finstern sei des Geistes Licht und Sonne
  • Olympic Roller Blading

1988/94

  • Time Frozen
  • Symphony No. 6 Time Frozen
  • Blue Monday
  • Sperriges Morgen

1993/94

  • The Quinces' Quandery: Homage to Van Gogh
  • Symphony No. 9 The Quinces Quandary
  • Symphony No. 10 Drones of Druids on Celtic Ruins

1995

  • Turning to

1996

  • Lyric Suite
  • Heinrich von Ofterdingen. Hommage a Novalis

1997

  • Fairytale Suite Märchen Suite
  • Floating Down the Mississippi

1965-98

  • 15 Songs on Poems by Emily Dickinson

1998

  • Ode to the Moon

1998/99

  • Symphony No. 11

1999

  • Einsamkeit
  • Komplementär

2000

  • String Quartet No. 6
  • Im Ausland

2000/01

  • Symphony No. 12
  • Symphony No. 13
  • Sonata for Violin Solo

2001

  • String Quartet No. 7

2001/02

  • String Quartet No. 8
  • Sonata for Piano No. 2

2002

  • Prayers without Words

2003

  • Lyric Suite No. 2
  • Mirage
  • Symphony No. 14

2004/05

  • Symphony No. 15

2007

  • String Quartet No. 9

Albums (incomplete)[edit]

  • Kreutzer Quartet (2002) - String Quartets Nos. 1, 5, 6 (Naxos 8.559091)
  • Kreutzer Quartet (2003) - String Quartets Nos. 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8 (Naxos 8.559152)
  • Kreutzer Quartet (2010) - String Quartet No. 9, Solo Violon Sonata, Lric Suite for Piano Trio
  • (2006) - Gloria Coates: Symphonies Nos. 1, 7 & 14 (Naxos 8.559289)
  • Symphony No. 15 (2004–2005), Cantata da Requiem (1972), Transitions (1984) (Naxos 8.559371)

Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra/Boder, Teri Dunn (sop)/Talisker Players, Ars Nova Ensemble Nuremberg/Heider

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b American Composers Forum member bio: Gloria Coates at the Wayback Machine (archived July 16, 2011) [1]
  2. ^ Hunter, Trevor. "Gloria Coates: Beyond the Spheres", NewMusicBox.org. In conversation with Trevor Hunter July 11, 2008–3:00 p.m. at the home of Catherine Luening.
  3. ^ Gann, Kyle. Sunday, April 25, 1999. "A Symphonist Stakes Her Claim", The New York Times.
  4. ^ Compiled: February–April 2003. This list of compositions is based on the "Werkverzeichnis" compiled by Christa Jost.[full citation needed] A further source was Gloria Coates' America Music Center website.[full citation needed]

External links[edit]