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Of the Modern Classical Composers, whose your favorite?

post #1 of 84
Thread Starter 
I only know of Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Adams and Michael Nyman.

I think I enjoy Glass the most:
1)"the Hours"
2)Violin Concerto
3)Naqoyqatsi

I just bought Koyaanisqatsi, but I dont like it at all. Too many annoying vocals...I tend to prefer the movie score/soundtracks because they contain a story book feel where the tracks flow from one to the next.

Care to list your fave Composer and maybe some album suggestions? (and a quick description of the type of music)
post #2 of 84
If by modern, you mean living, then the nod goes to Valentin Silvestrov.
post #3 of 84
Top three for me…

Peter Eotvos: Intervalles-Interieurs, Windsequenzen
Boulez: Pli selon Pli (prefer the older BBC Symphony Orchestra version)
Roger Reynolds: Archipelago on the CD The Paris Pieces
post #4 of 84
Thread Starter 
people, gotta explain the type of classical ur recommending-I dont know much of the genre-trying to learn the different types.
Thanx.
post #5 of 84
Basil Poledouris
post #6 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwitel
people, gotta explain the type of classical ur recommending....
ooops....

opposed to classical orchestral, the modern i recommended is an ensemble of soloists with unique voices, timings, and motivations (sometimes in harmony, often not) without traditional beginnings, middles, and ends. sometimes foreign instruments (sounds) are included with the traditional instruments. (listening to Japanese music recently resembles the abruptness of the music of Boulez...)

it's really best to listen for yourself... i'm not sure i liked at first, but just found it intriguing...

Intervalles-Interieurs Amazon Germany samples
Pli selon Pli (fold upon fold) Towerrecords samples
The Paris Pieces Amazon US samples
post #7 of 84
It is a very difficult question to answer: many modern composers experiment in such a wide variety of styles that I often find myself admiring some of their works while shunning others.

Among the recently departed, I like most I heard by Olivier Messiaen and almost all I heard by Alan Hovhaness -- but the recorded music by Hovhaness is but a tiny percentage of his total body of works, and I honestly cannot say I know Hovhaness.

Among the living, I like some Arvo Part (but find some of his works tedious), some Steve Reich (but nonetheless see him as a two-trick pony), some Penderecki and Ligeti(but can barely tolerate other parts of their opi), some Tan Dun (but...)... well, live and listen, live and learn.
post #8 of 84
I'd put in a vote for Robert Simpson. His symphonies are amazing, especially 3,5, and 9. I think he's still alive (?)
post #9 of 84
Personally:

Arvo Part - His religious/early music/minimalism is very emotional to listen to. I can't say that I've loved every piece, but he definitely ranks up there. Tabula Rasa is a masterful recording.

Henryk Gorecki - He composed the beautiful Symphony #3 (which I know many consider Pop-Classical). Regardless, it's a beautiful piece of music which is enchanting in it's simplicity.

Sofiya Gubaydulina - I guess I enjoy the mystical Eastern European sound! She's another one that falls into that category.

Steve Reich - Out of the minimalists, I've preferred his recordings beyond Glass and Reich (though both of those are excellent as well). Reich's
Works
is a great comprehensive recording.

Kronos Quartet - OK... not actually composers, but I've discovered so much wonderful music through their recordings... composers throughout the world that do not get as much recognition as they deserve, etc. They've always excelled...
post #10 of 84
George Crumb.
post #11 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwitel
I only know of Philip Glass, Steve Reich, John Adams and Michael Nyman.

I think I enjoy Glass the most:
1)"the Hours"
2)Violin Concerto
3)Naqoyqatsi

I just bought Koyaanisqatsi, but I dont like it at all. Too many annoying vocals...I tend to prefer the movie score/soundtracks because they contain a story book feel where the tracks flow from one to the next.

Care to list your fave Composer and maybe some album suggestions? (and a quick description of the type of music)
I listen to a ton of "modern classical". Part of the trouble is that the term modern" is used differently bye many people. Insome ways, it is easier to think of pre-War (early 20th Century) and Post-War.

There have been many trends in music since Schoenberg challenged assumptions about tonality at the beginning of the 20th Century. I am not a scholar, but I see the three major movements as:

1) those who have continued to work in an atonal (serialist or post-serialist) mode, such as Ligeti, Penderecki, Carter, Boulez to name a few (and all good). I also particulary like the more minimalist-leaning composers, like Terry Riley or Morton Feldman.

2) Those who stayed more in tonal boundaries, like Copeland, Stravinsky, and maybe Shostokovich.

3) Then there are those that played with the boundary between tonal and atonal, and would bring in elements of tradtional/folk music, such as Bela Bartok. Try his Concerto for orchestra and/or his string quartet cycle. Somebody mentioned Arvo Part, who blends minimalism, with ancient/orthodox church music.

A lot of listening to "modern classical" is about how avante-garde you like your music. I haven't mentioned John Cage or Harrison Birtwistle or Karlheinz Stockhausenn or Iannis Xenakis. That kind of music can be challening and will alienate your family and neighbors, but is ulitmately rewarding.
post #12 of 84
Now if playing Xenakis doesn't alienate you totally from friends, family and neighbours then nothing will! For this reason alone you should have a listen to at least one work of his massively dense violent orchestral noise. The Boulez comment that there was no music in Xenakis's music shows there was no love between these two polar opposites in music (I think Xenakis said something to the effect that Boulez was close to absolute evil, which shows a similar level of respect). Anyway if you want to listen to either of these you will get a very different view of modern music to that of Glass, Reich et al. Similarly you could listen to Carter, Birtwistle, Ligeti, Rihm and other highly serious practitioners of the post serial mainstream tradition in art music. You won't be humming any tunes, but the music is rewarding.

For slightly more accessible music you could do worse than try Thomas Ades, who I think is as entertaining as it gets, while still not being particularly easy listening. Messiaen also comes to mind here and with him you get onto the "accepted modern master who is safely dead" track (unlike Xenakis who is safely dead but controversial, and the others who are still alive).

If you need a more tonal fix try Part, Taverner, Silvestrov and Kancheli. I find these enjoyable enough without being totally convinced that I am listening to "great" music (whatever that may mean). Better than all of these and from the same part of the world is Gubaydulina but shes not quite as easy going.

(Edit - forgot to say who my favorite is - Elliott Carter would be up there on many days)
post #13 of 84
I'll adopt a fairly rigid definition of "Modern," largely to suit my own tastes.

1. Pierre Boulez. Say whatever you will about the man, he is still one of the most influential conductors in the game.

2. Igor Stravinsky. Of course, that refers to some of his later output. Really, anything including and after his Neo-Classical period, that is.

3. Philip Glass.

I am not all that big of a fan of modern music, but I find that I really like those three composers.
post #14 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Sarvis
I'd put in a vote for Robert Simpson. His symphonies are amazing, especially 3,5, and 9. I think he's still alive (?)
Nope, he died in November, 1997. I have only one symphony of his. I usually collect complete sets, but the 9th was enough for me. Couldn't he hear? It's a godawful bunch of noise. Typical serialist/atonal crap from the mid-to-late 20th century. To each is own.
post #15 of 84
Thread Starter 
Tonal.
A-tonal.
Neo-Classical.
Baoroque
I have no idea what any of these terms mean.
ANyone have the patience to give a quick classical lesson-or maybe recommend a website where I can learn about it myself?
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