Becker, John Joseph

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John Joseph Becker, 1886-1961, was an American composer.

From the description of List of musical works by John J. Becker, [195-?]. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122314261

Music to the play by Alfred Kreymborg. Composed 1939.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Rain down death (a tragic march) : first orchestral suite from Stage work no. 5a / by John J. Becker. [1939] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42860016

Text is a poem by Ezra Pound which begins "Dark eyed O woman of my dreams." Composed 1932 as a ballet with poem.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Dance figure / by John J. Becker ; poem by Ezra Pound. [1932] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42851892

Poem by Mark Turbyfill. Composed 1935. Dedicated to Charles E. Ives.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Stage work no. 3 : A marriage with space : a drama in color, light and sound for solo and mass dramatization, solo and dance group and large orchestra / music by John J. Becker ; poem by Mark Turbyfill. [1934] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42861017

Stage work no. 5-b is the second of three plays with music written in collaboration with Alfred Kreymborg. First performance, Albert Lea, Minnesota, 7 June 1940, Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, the composer conducting.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of When the willow nods : second orchestral suite in one movement from Stage work no. 5-b / by John Becker. [19--?] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42860995

From 3rd movement of Symphony no. 6. Composed for Efrem Kurtz, 1942. Dedicated to General Douglas MacArthur and his gallant troops. For complete symphony see callno.: 4760 --Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Victory march for large orchestra / by John J. Becker. [1942] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42864664

Composed 1937.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Concerto for viola and orchestra / John J. Becker. [19--?] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42851350

Composed 1912. First performance Minneapolis, 8 August 1940, Minnesota Symphony Orchestra of the WPA, Bernhard Andersen conductor. According to numerous correspondences from the composer's widow, Evelyn Becker, these two pieces were incorrectly labelled "Two pieces for orchestra," and are actually the first two movements of the three-movement suite, "Cossack sketches," inspired by the Leo Tolstoy novel "The Cossacks."--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Two pieces for orchestra. I, Among the reeds and rushes / John J. Becker. 1912. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42851495

This version completed 1920. Composer's note: The Agnus Dei section may be sung by a male choir. First performance of original version Frankfurt, Germany.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Symphony no. 2 : Fantasia tragica, a short symphony in one movement / John J. Becker. ca. 1920. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42861011

Composed 1933.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Abongo : stage work no. 2 : a primitive dance for percussion instruments, two solo dancers and dance-group / John J. Becker. [1933] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42851296

Completed 1931. First performance St. Paul, Minnesota, 14 May 1936, Minnesota Symphony Orchestra of the WPA, Paul Lemay conductor. --Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Symphonia brevis : symphony number 3 / by John J. Becker. [1931] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42861081

Completed 1912. First performance Northrop Memorial Auditorium, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 17 June 1936, Twin Cities Civic Orchestra of the WPA, Gabriel Fenyves conductor.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Symphony no. 1 : Etude primitive / John J. Becker. [19--?] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42860998

Suggested by the Leo Tolstoy novel, The Cossacks. Composed 1912 as the third of a three movement suite. The other two were incorrectly labelled "Two pieces for orchestra."--Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Tartar song / by John Becker. [19--?] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42851568

Composed 1912. First performance Minneapolis, 8 August 1940, Minnesota Symphony Orchestra of the WPA, Bernhard Andersen conductor. According to numerous correspondences from the composer's widow, Evelyn Becker, these two pieces were incorrectly labelled "Two pieces for orchestra," and are actually the first two movements of the three-movement suite, "Cossack sketches, " inspired by the Leo Tolstoy novel "The Cossacks."--Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Two pieces for orchestra. No. 2, The mountains / John Becker. [19--?] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42851527

Text for 2nd movement by Alfred Kreymborg. Text for 3rd movement by Abraham Lincoln. Victory march in 3rd movement written for Efrem Kurtz at his request. Composed 1941-42. Dedicated to the composer's three sons. Victory march also available separately, callno.: 4744.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Symphony no. 6 : Out of bondage, a symphony of democracy suggested by Lincoln's Gettysburg address for narrator, chorus and large orchestra / by John J. Becker. 1942. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42864658

Composed 1938.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Concertino pastorale : a forest rhapsody for two flutes and orchestra / by John J. Becker. 1933. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42851327

Composed 1942. Dedicated to Dr. Hans Rosenwald.--Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of Symphony no. 5 : Homage to Mozart in two movements / John J. Becker. [1942] (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42861091

John Joseph Becker (1886-1961) was an ultramodernist composer, conductor, and educator.

Becker was a member of a group of avant-garde composers known as a the "American Five." This group, which included Charles Ives, Henry Cowell, Carl Ruggles, and Wallingford Riegger, was known for its dissonant, distinctly American style of music that broke away from European styles of compostion. Becker wrote symphonies, concertos, orchestral suites, songs, and choral works (especially religious works). Among his notable works, A Marriage with Space (1935), is often cited as most representative of his new forms for the stage by incorporating sound, light, dance, and poetry. He was honored late in his career when his Symphonia Brevis (written in 1930-1931) was performed at Carnegie Hall in 1958. Based in the Midwest, Becker taught at Catholic schools in several states, including the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota (1929-1933). He also spent six years working as the Director of the Federal Music Project for the state of Minnesota (1935-1941). Throughout his career, Becker also wrote extensively about music and culture; he also served as an editor of New Music, along with Cowell, who had founded the publication.

From the description of John J. Becker papers, 1897-1991. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 79468066

Composer's note in score: with the exception of the Interludes, the piano is played as a percussion instrument. Commissioned by Diana Huebert and Carleton College, 1938. Composed 1938. First performance Northfield, Minnesota, 12 December 1938, by a group at Carleton College, the composer conducting, Diana Huebert, dancer. According to Don Gillespie via a phonecall 4/16/84, the correct title of this piece is Vigilante-1938, a dance. Our copy of the score only has the title "A dance," and this is the title as it appears on the questionnaire signed by the composer, and in the Catalog of

his works compiled by Evelyn Becker.-Cf. Fleisher Collection.

From the description of A dance / by John J. Becker. 1938. (Franklin & Marshall College). WorldCat record id: 42676057

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Becker, John J. Two songs for voice and piano / words by H.D. from The pamphlet poets ; music by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Symphony no. 5 : Homage to Mozart in two movements / John J. Becker. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. Abundance / John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Adamic, Louis, 1899-1951,. Letters to Alfred Kreymborg [manuscript], 1921-1956. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. [Deirdre; stage work no.6. Opera in one act, three scenes. Music by John J. Becker. Libretto adapted by the composer from the play by John M. Synge. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. When the willow nods : second orchestral suite in one movement from Stage work no. 5-b / by John Becker. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. Vigilanti : For liberty : a dance / music by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Two songs for voice and piano / music by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Satirico : second concerto for piano and orchestra / by John J. Becker ; piano. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Ruggles, Carl, 1876-1971. Carl Ruggles Papers, 1894-1981 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. Four songs from the Japanese / by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Four dances for piano / John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Ives, Charles, 1874-1954. [Harvest home chorales. Harvest dawn is near (Sketches) / Charles Ives] New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. No. 1, Adoration ; No. 4, Abundance / John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. You and I : for voice and piano / words by Edna Wahlert McCourt ; music by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. O love me truly : for voice and string quartette / words by John Keats ; music by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. [John J. Becker papers. 1897-1991] [microform]. Selections. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Four songs for voice and piano / music by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965. Reel, no. II / Henry Cowell. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. [Selections (Sketches) / John J. Becker.] New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Ives, Charles, 1874-1954. The Charles Ives papers, 1874-1983 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Engelha, Hans. Sonata / by Hans Engelha. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Nicolas Slonimsky Collection, 1873-1997, (bulk 1920-1990) Music Division Library of Congress
creatorOf Becker, John J. Two Chinese miniatures / by John J. Becker ; orchestral score by R.F. Kraner. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Three songs for voice and piano / poems by Mary Cecilia Becker ; music by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Ruggles, Carl, 1876-1971. Carl Ruggles Papers, 1894-1981 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. Tartar song / by John Becker. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. Concerto for horn in F and orchestra / by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Symphony no. 1 : Etude primitive / John J. Becker. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. O Jesu dulcis memoria : offertory for male chorus, in the old style : TTBB / music by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Favours of the moon : for voice and piano / by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Mass in unison or two parts : in the gregorian manner / John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. John J. Becker papers, 1897-1991. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Rain down death (a tragic march) : first orchestral suite from Stage work no. 5a / by John J. Becker. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. Mater admirabilis : offertory / John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Stage work no. 3 : A marriage with space : a drama in color, light and sound for solo and mass dramatization, solo and dance group and large orchestra / music by John J. Becker ; poem by Mark Turbyfill. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. A song for voice and piano / words by James Joyce ; music by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Soundpiece No. 6 : a short sonata in one movement for flute and clarinet / by John J. Becker. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Becker, John J. Symphony no. 6 : Out of bondage, a symphony of democracy suggested by Lincoln's Gettysburg address for narrator, chorus and large orchestra / by John J. Becker. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. Moments from The liturgical year : a choral work for three equal voices, solo speaker, speech chorus, solo singer and singing chorus ; poems selected from the Hymns to the church of Gertrude von le Fort translated into English by Margaret Chanler ; music by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965. Henry Cowell papers, 1851-1994. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Heine song cycle : nine songs / music by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Dance figure / by John J. Becker ; poem by Ezra Pound. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. Symphony no. 2 : Fantasie tragica : a short symphony in one movement / John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Two pieces for orchestra. No. 2, The mountains / John Becker. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Levinson, David. Sonata for cello and piano / David Levinson. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Rouge bouquet : ballad for tenor solo, male chorus, B♭ trumpet and piano / [music] by John J. Becker ; words by Joyce Kilmer. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Rain down death / John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Morning song : motet / music by John J. Becker ; words adapted by composer from poem by Herbert P. Hornè. University of Cincinnati - Main Campus, Langsam Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. Soundpiece no. I : for strings and piano / John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Concerto pastorale : a forest rhapsodie : for two flutes and orchestra / by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. List of musical works by John J. Becker, [195-?]. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Symphonia brevis : symphony number 3 / by John J. Becker. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. Concerto for viola and orchestra / John J. Becker. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. I fear thy kisses : for voice and string quartette / words by Percy B. Shelley ; music by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Kirkpatrick, John, 1905-1991. The John Kirkpatrick papers, 1836-1993 (inclusive). Yale University, Music Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. Music for Antigone by Sophocles / by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Four poems from the Japanese / poems by Basho, 1644-1694 ; translated by Curtis Hidden Page ; music by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Victory march for large orchestra / by John J. Becker. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. Two pieces for orchestra. I, Among the reeds and rushes / John J. Becker. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. Abongo : stage work no. 2 : a primitive dance for percussion instruments, two solo dancers and dance-group / John J. Becker. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. Jesu dulcis memoria : offertory for four equal voices, in the old style / music by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Satirico : second concerto for piano and orchestra / by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Concertino pastorale : a forest rhapsody for two flutes and orchestra / by John J. Becker. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. The Antigone by Sophocles / music by John J. Becker ; piano score for dance rehearsal. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Becker, John J. Two songs for voice and piano / poems by George O'Neil ; music by John J. Becker. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Varèse, Edgard, 1883-1965. Typescript and correspondence, 1953-1954. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Becker, John J. A dance / by John J. Becker. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
creatorOf Becker, John J. Symphony no. 2 : Fantasia tragica, a short symphony in one movement / John J. Becker. Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Becker, Evelyn. person
associatedWith Becker, Mary Cecilia person
associatedWith Chanler, Margaret. person
associatedWith Cowell, Henry, 1897-1965. person
associatedWith Edwards, J. Michele. person
associatedWith Engelha, Hans. person
associatedWith Federal Music Project (Minn.) corporateBody
associatedWith Gauthier, Eva, 1885-1958. person
associatedWith Gillespie, Don C. person
associatedWith Gonzales, Martin. person
associatedWith H. D. (Hilda Doolittle), 1886-1961 person
associatedWith Heine, Heinrich, 1797-1856 person
associatedWith Horne, Herbert P. (Herbert Percy), 1864-1916. person
associatedWith Ives, Charles, 1874-1954. person
associatedWith Joyce, James, 1882-1941 person
associatedWith Keats, John, 1795-1821 person
associatedWith Kilmer, Joyce, 1886-1918. person
associatedWith Kirkpatrick, John, 1905-1991. person
associatedWith Kraner, R. F. person
associatedWith Kreymborg, Alfred, 1883-1966. person
associatedWith Le Fort, Gertrud, Freiin von, 1876-1971. person
associatedWith Levinson, David. person
associatedWith Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865. person
associatedWith Matsuo, Bashō, 1644-1694 person
associatedWith McCourt, Edna Wahlert person
associatedWith O'Neil, George, 1898-1940 person
associatedWith Page, Curtis Hidden, 1870-1946. person
associatedWith Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972. person
associatedWith Riegger, Wallingford, 1885-1961. person
associatedWith Ruggles, Carl, 1876-1971. person
associatedWith Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 1792-1822 person
correspondedWith Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995 person
associatedWith Sophocles. person
associatedWith Sophocles. person
associatedWith Synge, J. M. (John Millington), 1871-1909. person
associatedWith Thomson, James, 1834-1882. person
associatedWith Turbyfill, Mark, 1896-1990. person
associatedWith Varèse, Edgard, 1883-1965. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
United States
Subject
Dance music--Scores and parts
Composers--20th century
Masses (Unison), Unaccompanied--Scores
Concertos (Viola)--Scores and parts
Music--Manuscripts--Facsimiles
Incidental music--Piano scores
Manuscripts (Books)
Symphonies--Scores and parts
Songs (Medium voice) with instrumental ensemble--Scores
Choruses, Sacred (Men's voices, 4 parts), Unaccompanied
Incidental music--Scores
Concertos (Flute)--Scores and parts
Symphonies (Chamber orchestra)--Scores and parts
Sonatas (Clarinet and flute)--Scores
Motets
Orchestral music--Scores
Concertos (Piano)--2 piano scores
Musical sketches
Suites (Chamber orchestra)--Scores and parts
Music--Bibliography
Piano with percussion ensemble--Scores and parts
Concertos (Flutes (2))--Scores
Concertos (Piano)--Scores
Ballets--Scores
Choruses, Sacred (Equal voices, 3 parts), Unaccompanied
Percussion ensembles--Scores and parts
Percussion music--Scores and parts
Ballet--Scores and parts
Concertos (Horn)--Parts
Sextets (Piano, violins (2), viola, violoncello, double bass)--Scores
Piano music
Song cycles
Percussion and piano music--Scores
Music--Manuscripts
Marches (Orchestra)--Scores and parts
Trios (Piano, percussion)--Scores
Orchestral music--Scores and parts
Orchestral music, Arranged--Scores and parts
Monologues with music (Chorus with piano)--Scores
Music teachers--20th century
Composers--Archival resources
Ballets--Piano scores
Suites (Orchestra)--Scores and parts
Ballet
Choruses, Sacred (Equal voices, 3 parts) with organ
Songs (medium voice) with piano
Offertories (Music)
Dramatic music
Sacred vocal quartets with organ
Choruses, Sacred (Mixed voices), Unaccompanied
Christmas music
Choruses, Sacred (Equal voices, 3 parts) with piano
Songs (High voice) with piano
Symphonies--Scores
Piano music--Piano scores
Occupation
Composers
Music teachers
Function

Person

Active 1897

Active 1991

English

Information

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