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Favorite Living Classical Composer

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 

I thought that this would make for an interesting thread. Though I'm not expecting a massive response, most living composers find it hard to gain any reputation within the music business. Lack of finance, distribution etc from record companies that prefer to market safer bets (older established classical) than take risks with new or current artists.

 

Anyways...

 

I would love to hear who your favorite LIVING composer is. 

Also, can we limit one composer per post with added music recommendations, and why they should be recommended would be nice.

 

 I'll get the wheels rolling with a living, but old warhorse...

 

 

 

 

 

SIR HARRISON BIRTWISTLE

 

Birtwistle should be recommended.. because he has produced some of the most powerfull, original music since the 1960's. From his Early satirical opera "Punch and Judy" to his massive masterpiece "The Mask of Orpheus" and more recently with "The Minotaur" he has consistently evolved with a unique style that has transcended from the obvious "Modernist" or "Avant garde".

"Ritualistic" is probably the only word that could be commonly used to describe his music.

 

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post #2 of 57

Steve Reich. I don't think he needs an introduction. If anyone disagrees, I'll give one but I don't have the time to do so now.


Edited by Ynoskire - 6/8/11 at 12:48pm
post #3 of 57

…sigh…bummer alert…just found out that the composer I was gonna hip everyone to, Eleanor Hovda, died just over a year ago. Geez, that sucks…don't know how it got by me.frown.gif She was a minimalist who liked to work with choreographers…used a lot of drones leavened by breathy writing for wooden flutes and woodwinds…

 

 

post #4 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tru blu View Post

…sigh…bummer alert…just found out that the composer I was gonna hip everyone to, Eleanor Hovda, died just over a year ago. Geez, that sucks…don't know how it got by me.frown.gif She was a minimalist who liked to work with choreographers…used a lot of drones leavened by breathy writing for wooden flutes and woodwinds…

 

 



Well, she was still living when you thought of her and I'm sure her music will live on.

 

R.I.P Eleanor Hovda.

 

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post #5 of 57

Peter Sculthorpe

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Because he's Australian, is best friends with the grandmother of my eldest son and he's a lovely bloke who made me a coffee once or twice at his home and played us his latest tune on his baby grand.

 

Oh and he has written some wonderful music.


Edited by rehabitat - 6/9/11 at 3:44am
post #6 of 57

Sculthorpe is a major talent: his string quartets are very good, but I do wish that he hadn't started incorporating the didgeridoo into his works.

 

If I'm being honest, Reich is probably my favourite living composer (I think that we're going to see Reich and Part a lot in this list if the thread gets going). If you're looking for recommendations in this thread, though, I'd mention Thomas Ades who continues to justify the hype that surrounded his emergence a few years ago as Britain's leading young composer.

post #7 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sordel View Post

Sculthorpe is a major talent: his string quartets are very good, but I do wish that he hadn't started incorporating the didgeridoo into his works.

 

If I'm being honest, Reich is probably my favourite living composer (I think that we're going to see Reich and Part a lot in this list if the thread gets going). If you're looking for recommendations in this thread, though, I'd mention Thomas Ades who continues to justify the hype that surrounded his emergence a few years ago as Britain's leading young composer.



Couldn't agree more! Thomas Ades music is so fresh and full of energy. He is full of surprises, but also seems to be developing his own sound. His recently released "The Tempest" has also shown a great maturity in his opera writing. Also a very good conductor of modern music. There's not many living composers who are worthy enough to have the mighty EMI behind them! 

 

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post #8 of 57

Ades is very good!  I think Higdon edges him out, though, for me:

 

 

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post #9 of 57
Reich and Part for sure, but I have a fondness for local boy Adams
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post #10 of 57
Thread Starter 

Mr Jonathan Harvey is a very important contemporary composer for me. He is one of the few who has managed to mix electronics with acoustic orchestration and still make it sound relevant. Not only relevant but still progressive, and more importantly with beautiful results. An exceptional composer for this age. The recent release of "Speakings" for orchestra and electronics could even at this early stage be claimed a masterpiece (and it already has). The other two discs shown below are both award winners and essential listening.

 

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post #11 of 57

At this moment it is Einojuhani Rautavaara, whose language is tonal and lyrical (except for a brief phrase in the 1960s).  He excels in generating a changing sweep of melodies effortlessly.  Ondine has put together his 8 symphonies in a box set, which I think should be on the wish list of enthusiasts of modern music.  His choral works are also excellent, although his operas are hit-or-miss.

 

John Woolrich is another composer that stands out to me.  His music, while still in the avant-garde idiom, is less astringent than Birtwistle's, and has a playfulness and rhythmic drive that betrays its inspiration in games and "crazy machines".  Yet we are seeing far too few of his works being recorded.

post #12 of 57
Easy, Reich and Part.

Though Bach deserved to be immortal.
post #13 of 57

Bach is immortal, goes without saying.

 

I wonder about the average age of these "modern" composers.  How many listed so far are under 40?  Any at all?

post #14 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

Easy, Reich and Part.

Though Bach deserved to be immortal.



I always describe Bach as the God of music

 

post #15 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rehabitat View Post

Bach is immortal, goes without saying.

 

I wonder about the average age of these "modern" composers.  How many listed so far are under 40?  Any at all?



 

Thomas Ades is 40, I know this because he was born the same year as me. Though this is very young for a composer to be established like him these days. Having said that, both Maxwell Davies and Birtwistle got their "Knighthood"' in their 40's for contribution to music. I'm going to post a few younger composers as the thread picks up.

 

I better get this guy in quick! though he seems to want to live forever....

 

Elliott Carter,  age 102!!  and still pro-active! He is my favorite American composer, though his style will not be for everyone. He is one of the few composers to successfully carry on a pure atonal style carried on from the likes of Webern and Schoenberg. Though his much later works have showed a more mellower approach... though I wouldn't go as far as to say they involve anything resembling melody (in the normal western sense).

His "Symphonia" is one of the greatest symphonic works of the last century and deserves mention.   

 

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awww bless! 

 

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