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A lost octet by a forgotten master shines new light on American music


When the pandemic cleared Graeme Steele Johnson’s 2020 of performances, the clarinetist turned to penning program notes for concerts and festivals that had yet to pull the plug — a side gig that turned into an adventure in musical archaeology.

One of Johnson’s assignments found him researching the “Two Rhapsodies for Oboe, Viola and Piano” and digging into its composer, Charles Martin Loeffler — one whose name we don’t hear much today, but who, at the time of his death in 1935, was hailed as “the Dean of American composers.”



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