From CD #1
Bid Adieu to Girlish Days
Musical arrangement by Edmund Pendleton;
words and air by James Joyce
Edmund Pendleton (1899-1987)
The American composer-conductor Edmund J. Pendleton was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on March 1, 1899. He first studied music in New York at Columbia University; and later, in Paris and Salzburg, he learned composition, conducting, and singing under several musical masters, namely, Paul Dukas, Charles Münch, Pierre Monteux, Charles Panzera, and Igor Markevitch.
Pendleton's greatest renown came as an organist and improviser. He won the Organist's Guild Prize in the United States, and from 1935 until 1975 he served as organist and choir master for the American Church of Paris. During that time he was instrumental in having a new organ built for the interdenominational church, which is located at 65 Quai d'Orsay.
As a conductor, he led the international Philharmonic Choir, as well as the principal French orchestras, such as l'Orchestre de Paris, Lamoureux, Pasdeloup, de Lyon, de Deauville, and La Napoule.
Some of Pendleton's best known compositions include Alpine Concerto for Flute (1943); Prelude, Fanfare and Fugue; Viola Concerto (1983); Yann's Dream, an opera for children (1970); and The Miracle of the Nativity, a lyric drama in one act written in 1975. His setting of James Joyce's air for Poem xi from Chamber Music ("Bid adieu, adieu, adieu") was published in 1949. He also set to music the words of the American poets Edwin A. Robinson and Edgar Allan Poe ("The Bells"), and he composed numerous songs and anthems over the course of his career.
Pendleton was a long-time resident of Paris, where he befriended such notable writers and artists as James Joyce, Pablo Picasso, and Ernest Hemingway. A man of considerable culture and learning, he worked for 20 years as music critic of the Herald Tribune. His works have been acclaimed and performed by Golschmann, Ormandy, Dutilleux, Boulez, Serkin, Stern, and other great musicians and conductors.
Edmund Pendleton died on January 1, 1987, and is buried in Guitrancourt Cemetery at Yvelines, near Paris, beside his wife Aline.