Charles Tomlinson Griffes was born 1884 at Elmira, New York and lived a quiet life until an early death at age 36. Griffes early developed an interest in the Far East and one of his favorite authors was Lafacadio Hearn, a kindred spirit in literature. "After he saturated himself with Hearn the young Griffes began to absorb all of the literature he could find on Persia, Hindustan, Japan and China. Though influenced by Debussy the White Peacock was inspired by a poem of William Sharp".
Guide to Listening:
"The music paints a garden on which a tropical sun bets relentlessly. This garden is rich in blooming magnolia, honey flowers, multi colored poppies, and pomegranate; and in it "cream white and soft" struts a while peacock. A languorous melody paints the beauty of the vain creature as it moves through the garden. Glistening with a subdued glow, strange chords flow one into the other, picturing the lush growth and vivid colors of the garden..."
Excerpt from "The Story of One Hundred Symphonic Favorites," by Paul Grabbe.