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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » C » Cadman, Charles Wakefield

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Charles Wakefield Cadman (12/24/1881 - 12/30/1946)

Best remembered as the composer of the art songs At Dawning and From the Land of Sky-blue Water, Charles Wakefield Cadman has been in virtual eclipse during the past half century. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, however, the American musical community seems much more tolerant of our musical ancestors and their quest to forge an American music idiom.

Although Cadman held his classical works in great esteem, his life-long association with the Indianist Movement in American music (circa 1880-1920) made it difficult for the works to be judged on their individual merits. His output includes five operas, orchestral suites, chamber works, cantatas, piano works, violin works and over 250 songs.

Cadman’s musical background was completely American. One of the earliest American composers not schooled in the European tradition, his music reflects an independence of thought influenced strictly by Native American sources. If Arthur Farwell was the theoretician of the so-called Indianist Movement, then Cadman can be considered its most brilliant populariser.



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