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Classical Contemporary Music Thread

Discussion in 'Music' started by lionel marechal, Aug 30, 2006.
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  1. perhapss
     
    I agree.
     
    I also feel similarly regarding another piece written for Benny Goodman; Stravinsky`s Ebony Concerto.
     
    With Bartok, my respect and awe is such that I sometimes feel like maybe I`m missing something and eventually I`ll understand more deeply and come around to it.
    His Divertimento initially (several decades ago) took me sometime to come to a deeper appreciation of.
    Now I definitely have a much deeper appreciation/feeling for that piece.
     
    With Stravinsky, in some ways actually the opposite is true.
    I was initially(again several decades ago) very much drawn to many of his so-called neoclassical works.
    Now I find them less interesting to my palette.
    Still I still treasure Stravinsky`s music as well; including many pieces of his which are far from fashionable (Agon for example) these days.
     
    All things aside, I`ve never been a "hero" kind of guy but Bartok (both as a musician and human being) has definitely been a most heroic figure in my life.
     
    EDIT: After re-reading this, I feel I may must clarify;I personally feel that a weaker piece of Bartok or Stravinsky is still most always "superior" to a stronger piece of most other composers.
     
  2. JohnFerrier
  3. Topazus
    I agree with you. That Ebony Concerto! I can't say I never have it a chance. Listened to it over and over only to realize it's a piece which simply should not have been written. Benny Goodman was definitely unlucky with his commissions. World class composers wrote their worst works for him. That's what happens if you pressure composers with no experience in jazz to come up with something groundbreaking and revolutionary.  
     
    I wouldn't go as far as calling the weaker works of Bartok and Stravinsky most always superior to stronger pieces by other composers. Both wrote pieces which just do not hold up, compared to the other fantastic works they themselves created. We already mentioned the Ebony Concerto and there are others (some of his later serial works, for example.)
     
    By the way, I'm still trying hard to "appreciate" Agon. Still confused sometimes. What do you like about it?
     
  4. perhapss
     
    Hey there
    I`m glad you`re still here.
     
    Ok:
     
    1. "I agree with you. That Ebony Concerto! I can't say I never have it a chance. Listened to it over and over only to realize it's a piece which simply should not have been written."
     
    I disagree. It`s good fun IMO.
    And, It`s an attempt in good faith to bridge the worlds which Goodman and Stravinsky lived.
    I think the light spirit of both Bartok`s and Stravinsky`s collaboration deliberitely were in this spirit and suceed on this level.
     
    2. "World class composers wrote their worst works for him."
     
    I trust your not implying Hindemith is a world class composer.
    [​IMG].
     
    3. "That's what happens if you pressure composers with no experience in jazz to come up with something groundbreaking and revolutionary".  
     
    Both Bartok and Stravinsky loved jazz. They were already revolutionary and groundbreaking; there was no pressure at all. It was in good fun.
    Probably paid well too(after all they were Professionals (with a capital P [​IMG])).
     
    4. "I wouldn't go as far as calling the weaker works of Bartok and Stravinsky most always superior to stronger pieces by other composers."
     
    I specifically stated "most" composers. I stand by this and predict history will agree.
     
    5. "Both wrote pieces which just do not hold up, compared to the other fantastic works they themselves created."
     
    Nobody`s perfect yes?
     
    6. "some of his later serial works, for example"
     
    I think Stravinsky`s serial works are exceptional in this respect: you can still tell who wrote them. That`s more than I can say for most serial composers of that era.Especially those who were historically between the cracks.
     
    7. "By the way, I'm still trying hard to "appreciate" Agon. Still confused sometimes. What do you like about it?"
     
    Well I admit I`m biased. It was the first piece I heard (E. Leinsdorf with BSO) where some things made sense to my ear and other things were completely beyond my comprehension. Soon after I discovered Carter`s Double Concerto which was COMPLETELY beyond my comprehension. It took me years to hear that one.Anyway, back to Agon. I pretty much agree with what Berio said about it [​IMG].
     
  5. perhapss
     
    Please explain your interpretation of the word "superior".
    To me it has a militaristic sort of tone to it .Very objective IMO.
     
    Also, this piece seems interesting and all but not terribly original to me.
    I hear Bartok and folk music everywhere.
    In addition, I don`t find it formally as concise as Bartok`s Trio.
     
    Despite this I`m often wrong [​IMG].
    Maybe history will prove it....
     
  6. Topazus
    I agree with most of your observations.
     
    Hindemith is indeed a great composer, just not one of my top favorites. I didn't have any feelings for his work with Goodman either. Maybe I just enjoy jazz for what it is and don't care much for the Stravinsky, Bartok, or Hindemith jazz. 
     
    I'll have to listen to Agon again. It's been years since last time.
     
  7. Topazus
     
    Since you kindly quoted the "to me at least" part, that gives me the option to not have to redefine the word "superior."
     
    Again, I'm not a big fan of the Bartok trio and I think considerably less of the Khachaturian trio. 
     
    Tastes and preferences. No big deal.
     


     
  8. analogsurviver
    I have been kindly invited - and reminded ( some not exactly trivial personal matters, on many levels ) to contribute to this thread by @perhapss .I  would like to thank him for that.
     
    I am a music and audio enthusiast - which, quite understandably, does lead to the contemporary music. It is the most likely to explore the outer reaches of - anything . It has to be different from what was going on before - by default.  Unless music in the style of Mozart etc, written in this day and age, is also considered contemporary.
     
    I would like to start my contribution by the Slowind 
     
    http://www.slowind.org/index.php?lang=en
     
    This extraordinary group of soloists from the Slovenska Filharmonija http://www.filharmonija.si/eng is responsible, in measure far exceeding what should be possible to acomplish by five people, for keeping the contemporary torch alive and kicking around here in Slovenia. They have been producing Slowind Festival for 16 years in a row by now; each year, it features/concentrates on works from a certain composer - and works that logically complement the work of the main composer by others. Slowind has also commisioned many works written for them, to be premiered during the Slowind Festivals. Off the bat I can remember festivals dedicated to George Crumb, Elliott Carter http://www.slowind.org/index.php?catid=54&id=109&option=com_content&view=article
    Vinko Globokar http://www.slowind.org/index.php?Itemid=103&catid=50:arhiv-festivalov&id=115:15-festival-slowind&lang=sl&option=com_content&view=article 
    who were all personally present and gave lectures at the University of Ljubljana, offered help during rehearsals, etc, etc - everything in order to bring the best possible experience to the interested audience. The most recent festival from the last year was dedicated to the music of Japan - something we do not hear very often : http://www.slowind.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=116:16-festival-slowind-2014&catid=54:aktualno
     
    Here is the Archive for all of the 16 Slowind Festivals so far : 
    http://www.slowind.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=50%3Aarhiv-festivalov&Itemid=103&lang=sl
     
    Naturally, there are lots of compositions by contemporary Slovenian composers - both commissioned and not - featured in these concerts. I would like to start with 
    Primož Ramovš https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primo%C5%BE_Ramov%C5%A1
     
     

     
    Very interesting and illuminating are the conversations with composers and/or performers immediately before the concert - here one from the festival dedicated to the music of Elliott Carter : (first half is in Slovenian, conversation with composer Janez Matičič   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janez_Mati%C4%8Di%C4%8D
     
     
     
    perhapss likes this.
  9. perhapss
     
    I`m not exactly a ballet fan(in terms of watching dance) but I`d recommend if you get a chance to see the ballet.
    Often people don`t consider the fact that Agon (among several other of Stravinsky`s)is program music for dancing.
    Incidentally, the NYC ballet still keeps it in it`s repertoire which speaks to it`s functional durability if nothing else.
     
    I`ve seen it 15 times [​IMG].
    But I admit to:
    1. being a bit of a Stravinsky fanatic.
    2. have family in the Saratoga NY area and sometimes spend summers around there.
    3. having a friend who works at Saratoga Performing Arts Center(where the NYC does summer residency) who gets me in for free.....
     
  10. perhapss

    Go there 
     
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCmVGi7CRX_Ei_Uz3CHyVGA
     
    Very good indeed....
     
  11. RRod
     

     
  12. limpidglitch
    How far are we willing to stretch the term "contemporary classical music"? Is it anything from Pierre Schaeffer to John Luther Adams, and everything in between? Is avant-garde in or out?
     
    When I'm in the mood I have a hard time not flitting about between drone, musique concréte, ambient etc., it all ends up a bit jumbled.
     
    Anyways, here's one of György Ligeti's few electronic works, accompanied by a visual score, or Hörpartitur, made by Rainer Wehinger. Some information in this dissertation [PDF].
     
     
     
  13. perhapss
     
    It`s all good to me [​IMG].
     
    On a personal level, I would find it interesting to see how this thread could reflect all these areas.
    Generally speaking I think all these genre`s are all underrepresented on Headfi these days.
    I`ve observed many open minded contemporary thinking folks see connections in these domaines anyway.
    I  think mutually exclusive stylistic thinking generally is rather rare these days.
     
     
    Considering this thread also years ago had like 4 posts and died I would like it to be inclusive and prosper.
    Connections could be explored.
     
    The Ligeti piece you`ve mentioned I`ve always found interesting because of the lack of electronic music in his catalog.
    To me, it seems much of his musical thinking could have been easier to produce electronically.
    Also, I`ve had the opportunity to hear a good deal of his music performed live in the past and (live especially) it`s sometimes hard to comprehend how much of the sounds could be produced by an ensemble of humans.
     
    Creatively scored film stuff would also be good IMO:
    I think with youtube we should all keep in mind that anything we post could simply vanish one day though so get it while you can.....
     
     
     
  14. Raketen
    I could listen to Lamonte Young feed hay to a piano for endless hours.
     
  15. perhapss

     
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