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Rorem, Ned. SETTING THE TONE: ESSAYS AND A DIARY. New York City, NY: Coward-McCann, Inc, 1983. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 383 pages. Fine/Fine.

Retrospective collection of essays on music and a diary. One of Ned Rorem's finest achievements. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a tiny first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Ned Rorem's "Setting The Tone". As a single volume, it shows us Rorem in the twin roles that have made him legendary as a writer: An acute essayist and a riveting diarist. He is, of course, widely regarded as the greatest American composer of the Classical art song (of which he has composed literally hundreds). This has not stopped him from writing equally compelling music in every other conceivable medium: Choral pieces, symphonies, operas, chamber music, divertissements, and concertos. Only Paul Bowles comes readily to mind as being a genius of both literature and music. But the two close friends could not be more different from each other: Bowles wrote fiction as well as music that was heavily influenced by his exposure to and immersion in other musical traditions. Rorem wrote essays and music that are firmly grounded in the Western tradition, which he nevertheless writes about with iconoclastic wit and insight. "His meditative voice, his wit, his provocative (and often provoking) ideas constitute a unique sensibility" (Publisher's blurb). An absolute "must-have" title for Ned Rorem collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed, dated, and inscribed in blue pen-marker on the front free endpaper by the author: "With pleasure, Ned Rorem '84". It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. The recipient is named. This title is a late-modern classic. As far as we know, this is the only such signed copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and despite its imperfection (slight wear on DJ) it still in fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright. A rare signed copy thus. One of the greatest American writer/composers of the 20th century. A fine copy. . ISBN 0698112342. $70.00

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