> contact us > mailing list
> employment > our history
> privacy policy > returns policy
Home > Composers > Composer Gallery > Composer Information
site search
CARL RUGGLES

CARL RUGGLES

Works

Recordings

Reviews


Carl (Charles Sprague) Ruggles was born in East Marion, Massachusetts, on March 11, 1876. Trained as a violinist, he also studied theory and composition in Boston with Josef Claus and John Knowles Paine. (Plans to study composition with Dvorák in Prague were put off when a financial sponsor died).

In 1907, Ruggles moved to Winona, Minnesota. In this small city on the banks of the Mississippi he founded, and for a decade conducted, the Winona Symphony. He also gave lessons, composed, and began painting during this time.

Ruggles moved to New York City in 1917 and, supported by teaching and private patronage, became associated with Ives, Varèse, Cowell, Slonimsky, and Seeger. Most of his major works were begun and first performed during the years in New York (1917-37).

After a period (1938-43) during which he taught composition at the University of Miami, Ruggles settled in a converted schoolhouse in Vermont, where he had been spending his summers since the ‘20s. His musical activities during this time consisted mostly of ruthless and painstaking revision of his earlier works. (He started few new works; the only one completed is the short hymn tune Exaltation, written in 1958 as a memorial to his wife). He turned mostly to his painting - which grew increasingly abstract - during the Vermont years of his life.

A crusty, cigar-smoking, classically independent Yankee, Ruggles was described by Henry Cowell as "irascible, lovable, honest, sturdy, original, slow-thinking, deeply emotional, self-assure, and intelligent," and by Charles Seeger as "the most delightful character in contemporary American life."

Ruggles’ unique music - atonal but not serial, and filled with shifting lines and rhythms - is difficult to describe. The New Grove’s Dictionary sees his music characteristically moving in "mounting declamations of heroic striving" varied with sparser, more settled textures, and finds "his aim was the clearest and boldest presentation of the features that were most important to him: line and polyphony." Ives called it simply "strong masculine music."

Carl Ruggles died in Bennington, Vermont, on October 24, 1971.

View scores here (roll over to view score title):



Works

Chamber Ensemble | Keyboard | Orchestra | Vocal and Choral




Chamber Ensemble


Angels for 6 Trumpets
Published: #474-40001


Angels for Muted Brass
4Tpt., 3Tbn.
Published: #474-00125S

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#474-00125P)



Keyboard


Angels for Organ
Published: #473-40001
Additional Information: Arranged by Lynnwood Farnam.


Angels for Piano (2’40")
Published: #110-40701
Additional Information: Arranged by John Kirkpatrick.


Evocations Four Chants for Piano
Published: #470-00020


Organum for 2 Pianos 4 Hands
Published: #410-41281
Additional Information: Arranged by John Kirkpatrick.


Organum for Piano
Published: #110-40678
Additional Information: Arranged by John Kirkpatrick.



Orchestra


Evocations -- 12'
4 4 4 4 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings


Lilacs for String Orchestra -- 3’
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Additional Information: Mvt.2 from "Men and Mountains"


Men and Angels -- 10’
5 4 5 4 - 6 6 3 1; Timp. Perc. 2Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings


Men and Mountains for Orchestra -- 12’
Large Orchestra : 3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str. Chamber Orchestra: 2 1 1 - 2 2 1 0; Cym. Pno. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#476-00148)


Organum for Orchestra -- 10’
3 3 5 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#476-00149)


Portals for String Orchestra -- 7’
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings

Available Separately:

Full Score - Study (#476-00134)


Sun-Treader -- 14’
5 5 5 4 - 6 5 5 2; Timp. Perc. 2Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#476-00187)



Vocal and Choral


Exaltation for Congregation and Organ
Published: #312-41411


Toys for Voice and Piano
Published: #111-40096
Recordings


Vox Clamans (In Deserto) Solo Voice and Orchestra -- 12’
Solo Voice; 1 0 2 0 - 1 2 0 0; Pno. 2Vln. Vla. 2Vcl. Cb.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#416-41111)


Recordings


Toys for Voice and Piano


Other Minds 1020/21-2: The Complete Music of Carl Ruggles
Reissued from the historic 1980 CBS Masterworks LP, Michael Tilson Thomas with the Buffalo Philharmonic



Evocations


Other Minds 1020/21-2: The Complete Music of Carl Ruggles
Reissued from the historic 1980 CBS Masterworks LP, Michael Tilson Thomas with the Buffalo Philharmonic



Men and Angels


Other Minds 1020/21-2: The Complete Music of Carl Ruggles
Reissued from the historic 1980 CBS Masterworks LP, Michael Tilson Thomas with the Buffalo Philharmonic



Organum for Orchestra


Other Minds 1020/21-2: The Complete Music of Carl Ruggles
Reissued from the historic 1980 CBS Masterworks LP, Michael Tilson Thomas with the Buffalo Philharmonic



Portals for String Orchestra


Other Minds 1020/21-2: The Complete Music of Carl Ruggles
Reissued from the historic 1980 CBS Masterworks LP, Michael Tilson Thomas with the Buffalo Philharmonic



Sun-Treader


Other Minds 1020/21-2: The Complete Music of Carl Ruggles
Reissued from the historic 1980 CBS Masterworks LP, Michael Tilson Thomas with the Buffalo Philharmonic



Vox Clamans (In Deserto) Solo Voice and Orchestra


Other Minds 1020/21-2: The Complete Music of Carl Ruggles
Reissued from the historic 1980 CBS Masterworks LP, Michael Tilson Thomas with the Buffalo Philharmonic



Reviews

"A great American musical moment finally available on disc."

-Jeff Simon, Buffalo News (about the Other Minds complete CD Box Set)