www.PaulBowles.org

 
 
 

 

CATALOGUE OF PAUL BOWLES' MUSICAL WORKS

by Irene Herrmann and Benjamin Folkman

 

 

* Denotes music scores distributed by Irene Herrmann, Paul Bowles' musical heir: Herrmann@ucsc.edu

 

To see these music scores listed separately, click here.

 

 

OPERA AND OPERETTA
Denmark Vesey (1937–38). Libretto by Charles Henri Ford. Last act never composed, Acts I and II lost after three excerpts were recorded with piano accompaniment in 1946:  “You Can’t Trust in Love,” “You’re Right, the Day Ain’t Mine” and “Think of All the Hair Dressing”.
 

The Wind Remains, Zarzuela (1941–42). Libretto by the composer, after a play by Federico García Lorca.

 

Yerma (1958) (Commissioned by Libby Holman Reynolds.)

 

BALLETS

Yankee Clipper (1937, score lost)

 

Johnny Appleseed (1940; piano score) (Listen to an excerpt of this music.)

 

Pastorela (1941)

 

Colloque Sentimental (1944, lost; one short excerpt survives in piano reduction)

 

Apotheosis: a dance for Welland Lathrop (1946; see PIANO) Listen to an excerpt of this music.

 

SELECTED THEATER MUSIC

Since most of Paul Bowles’ theater scores have been lost, only those for which music survives are listed in this category. The last three scores included here were created directly on synthesizer and, although never written out in full, they survive on tape.  A complete list of Paul Bowles’ Theatre and Film Music appears at the end of this catalogue.

 

*Doctor Faustus (wind ensemble; composed in 1936). Christopher Marlowe's The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, was presented on January 8, 1937 at the Maxine Elliott's Theatre, New York City, and was directed by Orson Welles.

 

Too Much Johnson (1938, not staged). Reworked as Music for a Farce—see CHAMBER ENSEMBLE)

 

My Heart’s in the Highlands (1939). The title song “My Heart’s in the Highlands”, based on an air by J. M. Courtney, appeared in the printed edition of the play, in Paul Bowles’ original scoring for voice, oboe, trumpet, bass drum and Hammond organ. The pitchman’s song “A Little Closer Please” survives in a voice-and-piano version—see SONGS.

 

Love’s Old Sweet Song (1940). Two songs survive in voice-and-piano versions: “The Years” and “Of All the Things I Love”—see SONGS.

 

Love Like Wildfire (1941, not staged). Five excerpts survive in voice-and-piano versions as Five Songs About Spring—see SONGS.

 

Watch on the Rhine (1941), a play based on the book by Lillian Hellman. One song, uncredited, appears in the film version with Paul Lukas and Bette Davis.

 

The Glass Menagerie (1944), a play by Tennessee Williams

 

On Whitman Avenue (1946). One song survives in a voice-and-piano version: “Baby Baby”—see SONGS.

 

The Tempest (1950). Two songs survive in voice-and-piano versions: “Full fathom five” and “Come unto these yellow sands”—see SONGS.

 

INCIDENTAL MUSIC COMPOSED BY PAUL BOWLES FOR NINE PLAYS AND

DRAMATIC SOCIETY PRODUCTIONS OF THE AMERICAN SCHOOL OF TANGIER, MOROCCO

(All plays were produced and directed by Joseph A. McPhillips III.)

 

Oedipus the King by Sophicles (May 2728, 1966, Palais du Marshan, Tangier; June 3, 1966 at Villa Mirador; June 4, 1966, Palais de la Mamounia). Music for the chorus. Bowles wrote the following about  his music: "The necessity here was for simplicity. To make make a virtue out of a necessity, it is convenient to stylize. There are six choruses and I chose a series of six modes of highly limited range (certain of which are perhaps somewhat nearer to those of present-day Moroccan music than to the well-known modes reputed, but not proven, to have been in use in Classical Greece). Each chorus is thus written in its own particular mode, without recourse to passing tones. The vocal line is determined almost exclusively by consideration of speech-inflections, and the percussive accompaniments are basic and unadorned, in straight binary or ternary meters."

 

The Garden by Paul Bowles (adapted by Bowles from his short story of the same title), who composed the sound track. (1967)

 

The Bacchae by Euripides (May 910, 1969, Palais du Marshan; May 23, 1969, Hotel Rabat Hilton). Music throughout. Paul Bowles wrote the following note about this music: "When I received the text of The Bacchae, together with a letter from Mr. McPhillips asking me to provide sound for the American School production of it, I was in Santa Monica, California. I took advantage of the fact that at that moment I was preparing a similar (that is, taped) score for a production at U.C.L.A. to get on tape the basic material I wanted for The Bacchae. Thus, nearly all of the sounds used in the score were made in California, but always with attention to their eventual metamorphoses and permutations. The final tapes were of course recorded here in Tangier, once I had the precise timing. Most of the sounds are a result of metal striking metal and water striking water, although only a small number of them are identifiable as such, and indeed, some sound vaguely like actual musical instruments. The real instruments here are played by eleven Moroccans seated backstage: they perform on the bendir, the qasba, the tbel, the tar, and other less usual instruments such as finger cymbals." 

 

Orestes by Euripides (June 1011, 1978, Palais du Marshan).

 

Caligula by Albert Camus (December 1–2, 1978). Music composed for live five-student band.

 

Camp Cataract and A Quarrelling Pair by Jane Bowles (June 1415, 1984; adaptations by Joseph A. McPhillips, III). Another Joseph A. McPhillip's adaptation of Camp Cataract was produced professionally in Vienna, Austria in 1991. Truman Capote wrote the following: "Camp Cataract, to my mind the most complete of Mrs. Bowles's stories and the one most representative of her work, is a rending sample of controlled compassion: a comic tale of doom that has at its heart, and as its heart, the subtlest comprehension of eccentricity and human apartment. This story alone would require that we accord Jane Bowles high esteem." 

 

Hippolytus by Euripides (Sung and performed in both English and Arabic at the Palais du Marshan, June 1518, 1992). Bowles' first composition using a synthesizer. (The costumes for the cast were designed by Yves Saint Laurent.)

 

Salomé by Oscar Wilde (June 1417, 1993, Palais du Marshan). Paul Bowles' second composition using a synthesizer.

 

The Royal Hunt of the Sun by Peter Shaffer (adapted by Joseph A. McPhillips, III). (June 1819, 1997, Palais du Marshan). Paul Bowles composed incidental music using a synthesizer. This was his final participation in school productions.

 

ORCHESTRAL WORKS

Suite for Small Orchestra (1932–33)

 

Mediodia (Noonday), Suite of [Three] Mexican Dances for Small Orchestra (1937)

 

Concerto for Two Pianos, Winds and Percussion (1946–47). Version for full orchestra as Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra (1947–49)

 

CHAMBER ENSEMBLE

Music For a Farce (1938). Reworked from music for the unstaged Too Much Johnson—see SELECTED THEATER MUSIC

 
Prelude and Dance (1947—lost)
 

CHAMBER MUSIC

Sonata for Oboe and Clarinet (1931)

 

Sonata for Flute and Piano (1932)

 

Par le Détroit (1933)

 

Sonata for Violin and Piano (1934)

 

Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano (1936—lost)

 

Romantic Suite, for trumpet, clarinet, piano and percussion (1938)

 

PIANO

Aria, Chorale and Rondo (1930)
 
*Tamanar (1931–33). Read: "Sixty Years in Limbo: The Rediscovery of Tamanar"
 
*Prelude pour Bernard Suares (1932–No. 1 of Four Miniatures)
 
Reverie (1932–No. 3 of Four Miniatures)
 
*Sonatina (1932–33)
 
La Femme de Dakar (1933)
 
*Guayanilla (1933)
 
*Café Sin Nombre (1933)
 
Sonata Fragmentaria (1933)
 
Prelude: Theseus and Maldoror (1933)
 
*[No.] 8 Impasse de Tombouctou (1934)
 
*Two Portraits for Piano: 1. B.A.M. (1934); 2. K.M.C. (1935No. 2 of Four Miniatures)
 

Constance Askew in the Garden (1935)

 

Portrait of Five (1935): "Virgil Thomson (smiling)", "Aaron Copland (remembering the world)", "Roger Sessions (looking careful and honest)", "George Antheil (in a hurry to go)" and "Israel Citkowitz (practicing being pleasant)"

 
*Huapango #1 (1937)
 
*Huapango #2 (El Sol) (1937)
 
*Six Preludes for piano (1938; 1945; 1943; 1934; 1936; 1944)
 
Folk Preludes (1939)
 
*Carretera De Estepona (1939)
 
*El Indio (1941) from Pastorela—see BALLET.
 
*Dance (1941) from The Wind Remains—see OPERA AND OPERETTA
 
*La Cuelga (1943)
 
*El Bejuco (1943)
 
Sarabande (1943–No. 4 of Four Miniatures)
 
*Sayula (1946)
 
Apotheosis (1946) see BALLET. Listen to an excerpt from Apotheosis
 
*Tierra Mojada (Iquitos) 1947
 
*Orosí (1948). Listen to an excerpt from Orosí.
 

TWO PIANOS

Nocturne (1935)
 
Fantasia (1935), lost or identical with Nocturne?
 
*Small Suite (1939)
 
Sonata for Two Pianos (1947)
 
Night Waltz (1949)
 
*Cross Country (1976)
 

CHORUS (A CAPPELLA)

Lullaby (1939)
 
*Tornado Blues (1945)
 
VOCAL WITH ENSEMBLE
Scènes d'Anabase for tenor, piano, oboe (1932)
 
Cantata, for soprano, four male voices and harmonium (1933); (text by composer)
 
Three Pastoral Songs, for voice and string ensemble (1944); also version with piano
 
A Picnic Cantata, for four female voices, two pianos and percussion (1953). (The duo-pianists Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale performed the work for a Columbia Masterworks/Columbia Records' LP record which was released in 1955.)
 

SONGS

Songs (38) from Paul Bowles' Selected Songs (Santa Fe, New Mexico: Soundings Press, 1984) (out of print)
 
"A Little Closer, Please" (1939), from My Heart’s in the Highlands. see SELECTED THEATER MUSIC.
 
"On a Quiet Conscience" (1947)
 
*"David" (premiered 1944, but possibly published in Young Israel as early as 1935–36)
 
"Letter to Freddy",  for Voice and Piano (New York: G. Schirmer, Inc., 1947)  (Words by Gertrude Stein)
 
"In the Woods" (published 1945)
 
*"Three" (New York: Hargail Music Press, 1947)  (Poem by Tennessee Williams)
 
From Blue Mountain Ballads (1946)—see also OTHER SONG CYCLES AND MISCELLANEOUS SONGS: "Lonesome Man" (1946) (for medium voice and piano; words by Tennessee Williams). "Heavenly Grass"; "Cabin" (1979) (for voice and piano; words by Tennessee Williams). "Sugar in the Cane"
 
"Farther From the Heart" ("Song of an Old Woman") (1946)
 
"Sleeping Song" (slightly revised version of "Baby Baby", 1946)—see SELECTED THEATER MUSIC and OTHER SONG CYCLES AND MISCELLANEOUS SONGS

 
"Once a Lady was Here" (1946)
 

*"Cuatro Canciones" (1944). "Cancioncilla"; "Media Luna"; "Balada Amarilla"; "Murio al Amanecer"

 
*"Night Without Sleep" (1943)
 
"Song for My Sister" (1943?). Recorded with “Night Without Sleep”
 
"April Fool Baby" (1944?). Recorded with “David”
 
"This Place of Fire"
 
"Voici la Feuille"
 
"In the Platinum Forest", from Six Chansons (1930–32). See: OTHER SONG CYCLES AND MISCELLANEOUS SONGS
 

"Three Pastoral Songs" (1944). See also: VOCAL WITH ENSEMBLE. "Down in Yonder Meadow"; "The Feathers of the Willow"; and "The Piper"

 

*Green Songs (1935). "Grass"; "Moon"; "Farewell" (not included in Soundings collection); and "Silence"

 
"They Cannot Stop Death" (1944). For voice and piano; text by Joe Massey; recorded in 1946
 
"Mes de Mayo" (1944). No. 2 of Three Songs from the Sierras, where its title is “Ya Lluegó
 
"The Heart Grows Old"
 
"Her Head on the Pillow"
 

Gothic Suite (1960). "Testa dell’ Efebo"; "San Sebastiano di Sodoma"; "The Goths"; "Faint as Leaf Shadow"; and "Death is High"

 

"My Sister’s Hand in Mine" (1945). Original title: "Bluebell Mountain"; words by Jane Bowles

 

"Secret Words" (1944). Original title: "I Heard the Sea"

 

Six Chansons (1930-32). "It Was a Long Trip Back"; "Here I Am"; "Will You Allow Me to Lie in the Grass"; "In the Platinum Forest" (published in the Soundings collection); "Things Shall Go On"; and "Today, More than Ever"

 

OTHER SONG CYCLES AND MISCELLANEOUS SONGS

*Danger de mort (1933), cycle of six songs
 

Memnon (1935), song cycle to texts of Jean Cocteau. "Les Statues "; "Memnon"; "Recette"; "La Grèce"; "Le Sourire"

 

Five Songs about Spring (1941) from Love Like Wildfire—see also THEATER MUSIC. "Violet"; "Evening"; "Spring"; "Moonbeam"; "Owl"

 

Three Songs from the Sierras (1944). "Que te Falta "; "Ya Lluegó" (published in Soundings collection as “Mes de Mayo”); "El Carbonera"

 
Blue Mountain Ballads (1946) Tennessee Williams
 
Two songs from Love’s Old Sweet Song (1940) see: OTHER THEATER MUSIC. "The Years" and "Of All the Things I Love"
 

Two songs from Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1950). "Full Fathom Five" and "Come Unto These Yellow Sands"

 
"Ainsi Parfois Nos Seuils" (1932), from Scènes d'Anabase—see: VOCAL WITH ENSEMBLE
 
*"Scenes from the Door" (New York: Éditions de la Vipère, 1934). Paul Bowles' first printed musical composition. The text was written by Gertrude Stein.
 
"There My Lost Hands" (1934)
 
*"Rain Rots the Wood" (published 1935)
 
*"An American Hero" (August 1939). Words by Andrew Law and Nathaniel Niles. (Providence, Rhode Island: Axelrod Publications, 1944)
 

"Two Skies" (1942)

 
"The Frozen Horse"  (1945)
 
"When Rain or Love Began" (1946)
 
"Sailor’s Song" (recorded 1946)
 
*Baby Baby" (1946)
 
"My Love was Light" (1984)
 
*Twelve American Folk Songs (1939)
 
*Four American Folk Songs (1939)
 
THEATER MUSIC
Horse Eats Hat (1936)
 
Who Fights This Battle? (1936)
 

*Doctor Faustus  (wind ensemble) (1936)

 

Too Much Johnson (1938, not staged). Reworked as Music for a Farce—see: CHAMBER ENSEMBLE.

 

My Heart’s in the Highlands (1939). The title song “My Heart’s in the Highlands”, based on an air by J. M. Courtney, appeared in the printed edition of the play, in Bowles’ original scoring for voice, oboe, trumpet, bass drum and Hammond organ; the pitchman’s song “A Little Closer Please” survives in a voice-and-piano version—see: SONGS

 
Love’s Old Sweet Song (1940). Two songs survive in voice-and-piano versions: “The Years” and “Of All the Things I Love”—see: SONGS
 
Twelfth Night (1940)
 
Liberty Jones (1941)
 

Watch on the Rhine (1941). One song, uncredited, appears in the film version with Paul Lukas and Bette Davis.

 

Love Like Wildfire (1941, not staged). Five excerpts survive in voice-and-piano versions as Five Songs about Spring—see: SONGS

 
South Pacific (1943), the play written by Dorothy Heyward and Howard Rigsby (not the musical South Pacific)
 
’Tis Pity She’s a Whore (1943)
 
The Glass Menagerie (1944). Music for the play by Tennessee Williams
 
Jacobowsky and the Colonel (1944)
 
Ondine (1945, not staged)
 
Cyrano de Bergerac (1946)
 
The Dancer (1946)
 
Land’s End (1946)
 
On Whitman Avenue (1946). One song survives in a voice-and-piano version: “Baby Baby”—see: SONGS
 
Twilight Bar (1946)
 
Summer and Smoke (1948) Music for the play by Tennessee Williams
 
The Tempest (1950). Two songs survive in voice-and-piano versions: “Full fathom five” and “Come unto these yellow sands”—see: SONGS
 
In the Summer House (1953), for the play written by his wife, Jane Bowles
 
Edwin Booth (1958)
 
Sweet Bird of Youth (1959), music for the play by Tennessee Williams
 
The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore (1962)
 
Elektra (1965)
 
Oedipus (1966)
 
The Garden (1967)
 
Wet and Dry/Alive (1968)
 
The Bacchae (1969)
 
Bachelor Furnished (1969)
 
Orestes (1978)
 
Caligula (1978)
 
Birdbath (1981)
 
Camp Cataract and A Quarreling Pair (1984)
 
Hippolytos (1992)
 

Salomé (1993)

 

The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1996)

 

FILM MUSIC

Bride of Somoa (1933)

 
Venus and Adonis (1935)
 
145 W. 21 (1936)
 
Seeing the World (1936)
 
America’s Disinherited (1937)
 
Chelsea through the Magnifying Glass (1937)
 
How to Become a Citizen of the U. S.  (1938)
 

The Sex Life of the Common Film (1938)

 
Film Made to Music (1939)
 
Roots in the Soil (1940)
 
Congo (1944)
 

Dreams that Money Can Buy (1947)

 

MUSIC OF MOROCCO RECORDED BY PAUL BOWLES FOR

THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, WASHINGTON, D.C.

Music of Morocco. (Recorded in Morocco between 1959 and 1962, and edited by Paul Bowles.) Two-record set of LPs.  Washington, D.C.: Archive of Folk Culture, The Library of Congress, Music Division, Recording Laboratory, 1972. Beginning in July 1959, Paul Bowles travelled by car throughout Morocco with Christopher Wanklyn to record indigenous music, and their guide and interpreter was Mohammed Larbi Djilali, who helped negotiate arrangements with various caïds and musicians.

 

Of special interest are Paul Bowles' recordings of Moroccan music, including Jewish music, as part of a Rockefeller Fellowship commission for The Library of Congress. "Sacred Music of the Moroccan Jews" was released in January 2000 and is available from Rounder Music in Burlington, Massachusetts. These CDs contain 67 tracks of this Moghrebi Jewish music.

 

The original recordings are located in The Library of Congress, Paul Bowles Collection, American Folklife Center, and includes music from the Jewish communities of Meknes and Essaouira, Morocco. These Paul Bowles' musical recordings include a live service for the conclusion of the Sabbath that gives listeners the opportunity to experience the content and atmosphere of a Maghrebi synagogue. This CD set presents that Sabbath service and also additional recordings of Andalusian Hebrew music. Edited by Edwin Seroussi, with the assistance of Rabbi Meir Atiya, one of the leading authorities and performers of Moroccan Jewish religious music in Israel today. (To order these two CDs directly from Rounder Records, or to listen to short 30-second audio samples of Sacred Music of the Moroccan Jews from the Paul Bowles Collection of the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress in either Microsoft Windows Media Player or RealPlayer audio format, please click here.)

 

Other Music in the Paul Bowles Collection of the American Folklife Center,

The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Highlands—The Berbers:

 

Ahmeilou.  Played by Maâlem Ahmed and ensemble, recorded in Tafraout, Morocco.

 
El Baz Ouichen (song for male voice).  Sung and played by Rais Ahmed ben Bakrim, in Tiznit.
 
Aqlal.  Sung and played by Moqaddem Mohammed ben Salem and ensemble, in Zagora.
 

Ouakha dial Kheir (women's chorus).  Sung and played by Cheikh Ayyad ou Haddou and ensemble, in Tahala.

 
Aili Ya Mali (mixed chorus).  Sung and played by Cheikh Ayyad ou Haddou and ensemble, in Tahala.
 
Ahouache (men's chorus).  Sung and played by Maâlem Ahmed and ensemble, in Tafraout.
 
Aouada Trio.  Played by Rais Mahamad ben Mohammed and ensemble, in Tamanar.
 
Chorus and Dance.  Sung and played by Rais Mahamad ben Mohammed and ensemble, in Tamanar.
 

Reh dial Beni Bouhiya (qsbah solo).  Played by Cheikh Hamed bel Hadj Hamadi ben Allal and ensemble, in Segangan.

 
Albazaoua (women's chorus).  Sung and played by Maâlem Ahmed Gacha and ensemble, in Aït Ourir.
 
Mouwal.  Sung by Chikha Fatoma bent Kaddour, in Ain Diab.
 

Idihan dial Bou Guemmaz (men's chorus).  Sung and played by Mohammed bel Hassan and ensemble, in Aït Mohammed.

 

Lowlands—Influent Strains:

 

Ounalou Biha Rajao (male solo with women's chorus).  Sung and played by El Ferqa dial Guedra (Bechara) in Goulimine.

 
Rhaitas and Tbola.  Played by Sadiq ben Mohammed Laghzaoui Morsan and ensemble, in Einzoren.
 
Mellaliya (song for male voice).  Sung and played by Embarek ben Mohammed, in Marrakech.
 

Taqtoqa Jabaliya.  Sung and played by Maâlem Mohammed Rhiata and ensemble, from the region of Taounate; recorded in Fez.

 
Gnaoua Chorus.  Sung and played by an unidentified ensemble, in Essaouira.
 
Gnaoui Solo Song.  Sung and played by Si Mohammed Bel Hassan Soudani, in Marrakech. 
 

Soula el Couida (mixed chorus).  Sung and played by Maâlem Taieb ben Mbarek and chikhats, in Marrakech.

 

Ya Souki Hakim (secular sephardic song).  Sung by Hazan Isaac Ouanounou and members of the Hevrat Gezekel, in Meknes.

 
Qsida Midh.  Sung and played by Maâlem el Hocein and ensemble, in Meknes.
 
El Hgaz el Mcharqi (Andaluz chorus).  Played by Abdelkrim Rais and ensemble, in Fez, Morocco.
 

MUSIC DEDICATED TO PAUL BOWLES OR JANE BOWLES

Phillip Ramey. "Paul Bowles at Eighty" (1991)
 
Virgil Thomson. "Jane Bowles Early and As Remembered" (1942-85)
 
Virgil Thomson. "Souvenir, A Portrait of Paul Bowles", Portraits for Piano Solo, Album 3 (1935)
 

IRENE HERRMANN is the featured pianist on a Koch Records album of Paul Bowles' piano and chamber music. Herrmann is the co-editor of Paul Bowles on Music, a collection of Bowles' criticisms published by the University of California Press. To order this book, click here. Irene Herrmann is the musical heir of the Estate of Paul Bowles and the authorized distributor of his music scores. She may be reached at: Herrmann@ucsc.edu.

BENJAMIN FOLKMAN is well known as an annotator and lecturer on music.  He is the president of The Tcherepnin Society and the author-editor of the book Alexander Tcherepnin: A Compendium. Folkman was a Gold Record winner for his work on the landmark electronic album Switched-On Bach. His Micropartita for piano was recorded by Paul Posnack for Crystal Records, and he has made an orchestration of Paul Bowles' Tamanar.\

 

Paul Bowles, Composer by Irene Herrmann
 
 "I Never Liked to Raise My Voice." (an interview with Paul Bowles on his and others' music) by Phillip Ramey
 
 Two Sound Clips: Prelude No. 5 from Six Piano Preludes and Orosí
(MIDI realization and notes by Benjamin Folkman)
 
(MIDI realization and notes by Benjamin Folkman)
 

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