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]

Mark Swed: “Coates is a master of microtones, of taking a listener to aural places you never knew could exist and finding the mystical spaces between tones.” [5]


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 list of Coates' musical compositions based on Theresa Kalin

A. Instrumental music[edit]

a) Works for orchestra[edit]

  • Symphony No. 1 „Music on Open Strings“ (1978)
  • Symphony No. 2 „ Music on Abstract Lines/ Illuminatio in Tenebris“ (1973/74)
  • Symphony No. 3 „ Symphony for Strings“/ „Symphony Nocturne“ (1974)
  • Symphony No. 3 – 2. version (Concerto for violin) (2006)
  • Symphony No. 4 „Chiaroscuro“ (1984/89)
  • Symphony No. 5 „Drei mystische Gesänge“ (Alexandra Coates) for choir and orchestra (1985)
  • Symphony No. 6 „Music in Microtones“ (1985/86)
  • Symphony No. 7 (1989/90)
  • Symphony No. 8 „Indian Sounds“ for voices and orchestra (1990/91)
  • Symphony No. 9 „Homage to Van Gogh“ (1992-1994)
  • Symphony No. 10 „Drones of Druids on Celtic Ruins“ for brass and percussion (1992/93)
  • Symphony No. 11 (1997)
  • Symphony No. 12 (2000)
  • Symphony No. 13 (2000)
  • Symphony No. 14 (2001-02)
  • Symphony No. 15 (2004/05)
  • Symphony No. 16 „Time Frozen“ (1993)
  • Vita –Anima della Terra for soli, mixed choir and orchestra (1972/76)
  • Planets (1973/74)
  • Fonte di Rimini (Leonardo da Vinci) for mixed choir and orchestra (1976/84)
  • Transitions (1984)
  • Cantata da Requiem (1972)

b) Chamber orchestra with voice[edit]

  • Voices of Women in Wartime. Cantata da da Requiem for soprano solo, viola, violoncello, piano and percussion (1972)
  • The Force for Peace in War. Cantata da Requiem for soprano, tape and orchestra (1988)
  • Wir tönen allein (Paul Celan) for soprano,timpani, percussion and string orchestra (1988)
  • Rainbow across the Night Sky for female voices and ensemble (1990)
  • Emily Dickinson Lieder for solo voice and Chamber orchestra (1989)

c) Chamber music[edit]

1. Solo-instrument[edit]
  • Colony Air for piano solo (1982)
  • Colony Air No. 2 for harpe (1982)
  • Reaching fort he Moon for flute (1988)
  • To Be Free Of It for one to three percussionists (1988/89)
  • Castles in the Air for Tenorsaxophone solo (1993)
  • Märchensuite for flute (1996)
  • Sonata for Violin Solo (1999)
  • Sonata for Piano No. 1 (1972)
  • Sonata for Piano No. 2 (2001)
  • The Books for piano (2003)
  • Five Abstractions for piano solo (1962)
  • Interludium for organ solo (1962)
  • Star Tracks Through Darkness for organ solo (1974/89)
  • Prayers without words for organ solo (2002)
2. Two instruments[edit]
  • Sylken for flute and piano (1961)
  • Fantasy about „Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" for viola and organ (1973)
  • Overture to Saint Joan for organ and percussion
  • Fiori for flute and tape (1988)
  • Fiori and the Princess for flute and tape
  • Blue Monday for guitar and percussion (1988/89)
  • Elegy No. 2 for Soprano saxophone and piano (2002/2011)
  • Nightscape for contrabass and percussion (2008)
  • Reaching into Light for two percussionists (2010)
3. Three and more instruments[edit]
  • Trio for Flöte, oboe and piano (1962)
  • From a Poetry Album for harp, violoncello and percussion (1976)
  • Night Music for Tenorsaxophone, piano and gongs (1992)
  • Klaviertrio Lyric Suite for violin, violoncello and piano (1993/1996)
  • Lyric Suite No. 2 for flute (also flute alto), violoncello and piano (2002) (version from Piano Trio Lyric Suite)
  • Five Abstractions of Poems by Emily Dickinson for woodwind quartet (flute, clarinet, oboe and bassoon)
  • Heinrich von Ofterdingen (Homage an Novalis) for flute, two violoncelli and harp (1996)
  • Glissando String Quartet (1962)
  • String Quartet No. 1 „Protestation Quartet" (19965/66)
  • String Quartet No. 2 „Mobile“ (1971)
  • String Quartet No.3 (1975)
  • String Quartet No. 4 (1976)
  • Six Movements for String Quartet (1978)
  • String Quartet No. 5 (1988)
  • String Quartet No. 6 (1999)
  • String Quartet No. 7 „Angels“ with organ (2001)
  • String Quartet No. 8 (2001/02)
  • String Quartet No. 9 (2007)
  • String Quartet No. 10 „Among the Asteroids“ (1971/76)
  • Halley´s Comet Nonet for flute (piccolo), oboe (english horn), bassoon (contrabassoon), horn and string quintet (1974)

B. Vocal works[edit]

a) Works for choir[edit]

  • Dies Sanctificatus aus Saint Joan for soprano, alto, tenor a cappella (1961)
  • Missa Brevis (1964)
  • Sing onto the Lord a new song for mixed choir a cappella (1964)
  • Te Deum aus Saint Joan for mixed choir a cappella (1964)
  • The Beautitudes for soli and organ (1978)
  • Der Schwan aus Licht (Alexandra Coates) for mixed choir a cappella (1988)

b) Works for Solo voice[edit]

1. Voice with piano[edit]
  • The Sighing Wind (Gloria Coates) (1950)
  • Twilight (Gloria Coates) (1961)
  • Ophelia Lieder aus Hamlet von Shakespeare for middle voice and Liederharfe (1964/65)
  • Komplementär (Friederike Mayröcker) (1999)
  • Fange den Wind (Alexandra Coates)
  • Sologesang for mezzosoprano or soprano and poems above Emily Dickinson
2. Solo voice with ensemble[edit]
  • Voices of Women in Wartime- Cantata da Requiem for sopran solo, viola, violoncello, piano and percussion (1972)
  • The Tune without Words (Emily Dickinson) for voice, Glockenspiel, percussion and timpani (1975)
  • Go the Great Way (Emily Dickinson) for voice, percussion, timpani and organ (1982)

C. Elektronische Musik[edit]

  • Eine Stimme ruft elektronische Klänge auf for Live electronics, modulator, voice and laser (1971)
  • Neptune Odyssey for tape. Musique concrete (1975)
  • Ecology No. 1. Realized in the electroacoustic Studio of the Musikakademie Krakau (1978)

D. Multimedia[edit]

  • Zum Hören der Musik in abstrakten Gemälden der Komponistin Presto (1972)
  • Cosmos Klang (1973)
  • Musik-Kunst (1990) Premiere of the Symphony No. 4, performance of Symphony No. 2, Stage work with paintings from Ursula and Dietmar Thiele-Zoll
  • Entering the Unknown for spinett, string quartet and video (Birgit Ramsauer) (2004)

E. Stage works[edit]

  • Bühnenmusik zu Jedermann for flute, oboe and percussion (1961)
  • Musik zum Schauspiel Hamlet von Shakespeare for choir, organ and chamber orchestra (1964/65)
  • The three Billy Coat´s GruffInteraktives Musiktheaterstück for children between 3-6 years (1965)
  • La Vox Humaine (von John Cocteau) for two percussionists and ballet dancer (2010)
  • Stolen Identity. Chamber Opera for soprano, countertenor, Bassbariton, string quartet, piano and percussion (2012)

F. Works in film productions[edit]

  • Politik nach Notenblatt (1981, Klaus Croissant, BR-Fernsehen-Dokumentation) with Voices of Women in Wartime
  • Turin- Die geräderte Stadt (1983, Gabriel Heim, BR-Fernsehen-Fernsehfilm) with Stein quartet No. 4
  • Death of Cain (2001, Ido Angel, Ido Angel Films Tel Aviv, Israel- Independent Film) with Symphony No. 2
  • Another Kind (2011, Jonathan Blitstein, Blitstein Films- Independent Film) with some orchestral pieces

Articles from Gloria Coates (selection)[edit]

  • Lutoslawski im Seminar. In: Neue Musikzeitung, october/ november 1975, No. 5, 24. year., p. 12
  • Desert Plants. A History of American Music. Rundfunkproduktion WDR 1978 (Ms.)
  • Zusammen mit Detlef GOJOWY: Rezension zu Walter Zimmermanns Dessert Plants. In: Musikforschung, 33, 1980, booklet 2, p. 206-207
  • Erstes Internationales Musikfestival in der UdSSR. In: Musica, 25. Jahrgang 1981, booklet 4, p. 365-366
  • Russian immigrant composers in the United States. Rundfunkproduktion WDR 1986 (Ms.)
  • A Cockatoo Will Do. In: The Twentieth-Century Recorder (USA), XXXI, Dez. 1990, No. 4, p. 17-19
  • Karl Amadeus Hartmann/ Reflektiert und in die Zukunft gedacht. In: Musica Viva; Eine Sprache der Gegenwart 1945-95, edited by Renate Ulm for the Bayerischer Rundfunk 1995, Mainz 1995, p. 277-283, also: p. 7, 236-245
  • 15 boradcastings in: Open House WDR
  • many reviews in: State Times, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Albums (incomplete)[edit]

  • Coates: Symphonies Nos. 1, 4 & 7 (cpo 1996) / Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Wolf-Dieter Hauschild; Georg Schmöhe/ Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Elgar Howarth
  • Gloria Coates: Symphony No. 2 / Homage To Van Gogh / Anima Della Terra (cpo 1998); Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Wolf-Dieter Hauschild/ Musica-viva-ensemble Dresden, Jürger Wirrmann/ Orchester des Internationalen Jugendfestspieltreffens Bayreuth 1984, Matthias Kuntzsch/ Soloists: Jirina Markova, Soprano, Gerda Maria Knauer, Alto, Miroslav Kopp, Tenor, Piotre Nowacki, Bass/ Ensemble Das Neue Werk, Hamburg, Dieter Cichewiecz
  • Kreutzer Quartet (2002) - String Quartets Nos. 1, 5, 6 (Naxos Records 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, Lyric Suite for Piano Trio (Naxos 8.559666)
  • Kreutzer Quartet - COATES, G.: String Quartets Nos. 1-9 (3-CD Box Set) (Naxos 8.503240)
  • Gloria Coates: Symphonies Nos. 1, 7 & 14 (2006) (Naxos 8.559289)
  • Symphony No. 15 (2004–2005), Cantata da Requiem (1972), Transitions (1984) (Naxos 8.559371); Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra/Boder, Teri Dunn (Sopran)/ Talisker Players, Ars Nova Ensemble Nuremberg/Heider (2007)
  • Gloria Coates: At Midnight (Tzadik New York, 2013)
  • EXPLORE AMERICA - String Quartet No. 1: Protestation Quartet (Naxos 8.559187)
  • BEZALY: Solo Flute From A to Z, Vol. 2 - Gloria Coates: Reaching for the Moon (Naxos BIS-CD-1259)
  • CLASS OF '38 - Symphony No. 15, "Homage to Mozart": III. What Are Stars (Naxos 8.557087)
  • ...for violin solo (2004) – Sonata for violin solo (2000), Andreas Lucke (Cavalli Records CCD 133)
  • Vitality begun (2003) – Komplementär, Verwelkte Bücher, 15 Songs on Poems by Emily Dickinson (Cavalli Records CCD 308)
  • Flötenmusik von Komponistinnen (2011) - Phantom for flute and piano (Thorofon CTH 2577)

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.
  • Swed, Mark. Saturday, November 15th, 2014. "Gloria Coates' great oddity on display at REDCAT", Los Angeles Times.
  • Claudia Schweitzer et. al.: Annäherung XIII - Annäherung an sieben Komponistinnen. Kassel: Furore, 2003.
  • Komponisten in Bayern. Dokumente musikalischen Schaffens im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert, Vol. 54: Gloria Coates; Verlag Hans Schneider, Tutzing 2012; ISBN 978 386296 0347
  • Gisela SCHUBERT: „Gloria Coates“, in „Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart“ (2. Auflage), section person Vol. 2, Kassel 2001, p. 1281-1283
  • Christa JOST: "Gloria Coates“, in: Komponisten der Gegenwart, edited by Hans-Werner Heister und Walter-Wolfgang Sparrer, Berlin, 21. Mai 2001, p. 1-2

External links[edit]