Also visit www.voxnovus.com, a wonderful site created by Robert Voisey, which is dedicated to American composers and their works. At Raoul Pleskow at VoxNovus, there is summary of his works. We hope that a few representative scores and sound files will be available there shortly.
The deplorable state of the Arts in the US makes access to the scores and sounds of American music difficult if not impossible for those who continue to thirst for them. In an entirely inventive way that only the Internet could permit and support, VoxNovus provides many scores in PDF format suitable for printing, as well as downloadable sound files through which anyone may familiarize himself with, and experience the wealth and variety of American composers' works.
As a young student of musical composition, I had the good fortune to be able to learn from both the Mozart of contemporary music, Raoul Pleskow and the Beethoven of contemporary music, Stefan Wolpe.
In this page, devoted to the music of Raoul Pleskow, I pay tribute not only to the man's artistry, but also to his gentle kindness as a teacher, to me personally, even when I brought him my fourth Great Gate of Kiev, his care and attention as a teacher, his sense of humor and his warmth.
Being a good teacher of composition requires a fine sense of the art and the ability to express that fine sense in a way that a student can learn those things that cannot be written down in some rule book and in doing so not pass value judgements but be shown how a compositional problem might be better solved, how and why selected material might be improved. From the outset, the compositional self should not be wrenched to some other self, but nurtured and encouraged to follow its own path. In this sense, Raoul Pleskow is the best of teachers.
The first impression, on listening to Pleskow's music, regardless of the phase of his artistic evolution is the quality of concise yet virtuosically expansive musical expression that leaves no note, no rest or pause uncared for. Structures, both large and small fit together with the clarity of a brilliant crystal requiring only the light of performance and listening ears to gleam in their just balance and proportion. Should the slightest structural displacement be made, the crystal will shatter. There is a virtuosity not simply of technique, but a virtuosity, elegance and integrity, of composition, of structuring that has not been heard or seen in the world of music since Mozart.
Acknowledgements My thanks to Raoul Pleskow for providing the materials and information necessary for the construction of this web page, and to Howard Rovics, Prof. of Music at C, W. Post College of Long Island University for the encouragement for its construction, Anne Whitefield, and John M. Johnsen for aid with the image files, Alan Bellamente for proof reading many of the files for content and organization, Austin Clarkson for helpful program and recital documents, Bob Goldfarb of ACA for his kind assistance in providing publishing details of compositions, and Jasna Radonjic of ACA for her help in the further devolpment of these pages.
Email me, Bill Hammel at