Cast in eight movements, the piece mirrors the trajectory of Goya’s etchings from a semblance of order and civilization to chthonic brutality. In successive iterations, the gestural language of the farandole and folk-like thematic material is overwhelmed by a noisier environment: populated with a diverse battery of percussion instruments and a correspondingly chaotic phraseology.
I found Helen Vendler's review of The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century Poetry to be a "screed," although Michael Leong doesn't think much of Rita Dove's recent response to the review, either. Big Other
Evan K. on David Lang's The Woodmans, walking, and the Random Word Generator. embody the struggle
From the Philadelphia citypaper, Peter Burwasser's list of top classical albums (suitably elided for the blog):
Marc-André Hamelin Etudes (Hyperion) ...It is not surprising, but it is fantastic; dense, lush, extraordinary textures, and played with his usual wizardry.
Peter Orth/Jonathan Hays/Jeremy Gill Helian/Book of Hours (Albany)Local composer Jeremy Gill writes music that evokes the ancient power of the art, in the manner of his teacher, George Crumb, as in the piano work Book of Hours...
Heidi Louise Williams Drive American (Albany)An all-American program of solo piano music that is lots of fun, beginning with John Adams' manic American Berserk and ending with a trio of superb Etudes by William Bolcom...
Tilson Thomas/San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Ives-Brant: A Concord Symphony (SFS Media)Henry Brant's orchestration of Charles Ives' mighty Concord Sonata, originally a solo piano work, was the culmination of a lifelong project.
Chris Brown/William Winant Iconicities (New World) ...Think Steve Reich on Quaaludes.
Leon Kirchner Music for Orchestra (Albany) The late Leon Kirchner was an American master, and his tough but beautifully well-crafted orchestra music is a special treat.
I was innocently listening to Stress Position, as played on piano by Marilyn Nonken. Then, I started reading The New York Times via mlaff (usual disclaimer: not safe for work, republicans, brahms' lovers etc.) about music criticism:
Our attitude toward the classical canon, after all — and this increasingly applies also to older forms of jazz and pop — is that great music transcends time. If the New York Philharmonic did not regularly give us Beethoven, Brahms and symphonies, we would complain that it had abandoned the conservationist aspect of its charter and lament the disappearance of works that had moved people for decades or centuries. That tension is not easily resolved.
Yes and no.
One solution: Stop listening to music pre-20th century. I know I did. Other than maybe Simone Dinnerstein's Bach and Alexandra Silocea's Prokofiev, I can't off-hand remember any legacy music in 2011 that has rocked my world. And for the record, I'm becoming increasingly anti-institution when it comes to my music consumption (apologies to SFS, SFO, etc.).
On the other hand, all that superb 20th century music from John Cage, Thelonious Monk, and John Fahey is keeping me from hearing even more from such interesting new composers as Drew Baker.
The first line Perry speaks is the crude giveaway of his true intention. "I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian, but you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there's something wrong in this country," he says as Aaron Copland-esque music surges and falls under him. The pun here is clear. "I'm a Christian...
100. Adams – Short Ride in a Fast machine 98. Reich – Different Trains 94. Hovhaness - Mysterious Mountain 92. Antheil – Ballet Mecanique 89. Barber – Second Essay 86. Glass – Kundun 82. Ives – Three Places in New England 77. Corigliano - Phantasmagoria 74. Barber - Violin Concerto Op.14 72. Schuller - Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee 71. Korngold - The Sea Hawk 70. Gershwin- Piano Concerto in F 69. Bernstein – Chichester Psalms 47. Harris – Symphony #3 42. Barber – Symphony #1 36. Copland - Sextet 35. Korngold – Symphony in F 29. Copland - Appalachian Spring 27. Gershwin - An American in Paris 22. Copland – Billy the Kid 19. Ives Symphony #2
Ok, I'm now home and ripping the (archaic) CD to the (possibly archaic) MP3 format. Although, when iTunes talks to Gracenote to identify the tracks, it reports that the composer for the third movement of Son of Chamber Symphony is Conlon Nancarrow. If only...
The pianist's improvisation on the Monk tune, taken from a solo performance at the Village Vanguard, dares to be different. It's got this two-hand independence thing going on, as if it were some sort of improvised baroque fugue. Hersch shoots off in all sorts of different directions through what feels like the piano's entire range, but he still implies this rock-solid swing undercurrent in perfect time. (You can hear it at the Palmetto Records website.) That aesthetic of swinging from another planet is sort of what Monk did, though this sounds nothing like Monk. I'd like a solo this creative to take home the prize.