Carl Nielsen – Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 7 (1892)

Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 7, FS 16 is the first symphony of Danish composer Carl Nielsen. Written between 1891 and 1892, it was dedicated to his wife, Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen. The work’s première, on 14 March 1894 was performed by Johan Svendsen conducting the Chapel Royal Orchestra (Royal Danish Orchestra), with Nielsen himself among the second violins. It is one of two symphonies by Nielsen without a subtitle (the other being his Symphony No. 5).

The symphony is in the standard four movements, with the following tempo markings:

  • Allegro orgoglioso
  • Andante
  • Allegro comodo — Andante sostenuto — Tempo I
  • Finale. Allegro con fuoco

A typical performance takes approximately 35 minutes.

The symphony’s melodies have a distinctive Danish flavour and are imbued with Nielsen’s personal style. Nielsen scholar Robert Simpson describes the composer’s symphonic debut as “probably the most highly organized first symphony ever written by a young man of twenty-seven.”

The work opens in G minor, and closes with a rousing peroration in C major. This tendency to move away from the original key to C major is the basis of the whole symphony’s tonal structure, and displays for the first time Nielsen’s hallmark compositional device, “progressive tonality.” (Nielsen at one stage even thought of calling the work “Symphony in C”.)  Robert Simpson states in his book Carl Nielsen, Symphonist, 1865–1931: “it is possibly the first symphony to end in a key other than that in which it started”.




[Inspired by Per Wium]

Grażyna Bacewicz – Violin Concerto No.1 (1937)

Violin Concerto No.1 is written by Grażyna Bacewiczs in 1937. This recording is from the CD Grazyna Bacewicz: Violin Concertos Nos. 1, 3, 7, recorded in 2008 and 2009.

Chandos certainly hedged its bets right when it came to programming its second release with Polish violinist Joanna Kurkowicz; although they are well known and popular in former Eastern bloc countries, the violin concertos of Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz have never been circulated on recordings in the West.

The Violin Concerto No. 1 (1937) was written for Bacewicz herself to play. The earlier concerto is attuned to neo-classicism and French style, whereas folk motifs dominate the later one. Very beautiful and technically assured concerti. [source]

I. Allegro  (4:05)
II. Andante (Molto Espressivo) (4:40)
III. Vivace – Meno Mosso, Ma Non Troppo – Più Mosso – Tempo I (3:30)

Joanna Kurkowicz, Violin
Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor – Lukasz Borowicz

 

 

 

[inspired by Ronnie Rocket, thanks a lot. And thanks to CLASSICAL20.COM]

 

Eric Tanguy – Improvisation

Born in 1968, Eric Tanguy is a reputable and accomplished composer in France and abroad. He studied at the National Conservatory of Paris and later served as composer in residence for several orchestras. Possessing an impressive catalog of eighty works, which have been performed by renowned conductors, ensembles, soloists, and orchestras, Tanguy was recently voted Composer of the Year for the second time at the annual Victories de la Musique Classique Awards in 2008. [source]

Krzysztof Penderecki – Song of Cherubim (1986)

Krzysztof Penderecki, born 23 November 1933) is a Polish composer and conductor. His 1960 avant-garde Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima for string orchestra brought him to international attention, and this success was followed by acclaim for his choral St. Luke Passion. Both these works exhibit novel compositional techniques. Since the 1970s Penderecki’s style has changed to encompass a post-Romantic idiom.

He has been called Poland’s greatest living composer.

David Lynch has used Penderecki’s music in the soundtracks of the movies Wild at Heart (1990) and Inland Empire (2006). [source]

Song of Cherubim, recorded in 2008.
Krzystof Penderecki – Composer
The national Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra Choir – Choir,
Antoni Wit – Conductor

 

[via Ronnie Rocket, thanks a lot]

 

The Art Of Piano – Great Pianists Of The 20Th Century (2011)

Art of Piano – Great Pianists of the 20th Century movie was released July 26, 2011 by the Kultur Films Inc. studio. From Ignaz Jan Paderewski in 1936 to Claudio Arrau in 1970, The Art of Piano features some of the most fascinating material, historically and musically, from the world’s film and television archives. Art of Piano – Great Pianists of the 20th Century movie Commentaries by Piotr Anderszewski, Daniel Barenboim, Schuyler Chapin, Sir Colin Davis, Gary Graffman, Evgeny Kissin, Zoltan Kocsis, Stephen Kovacevich, Paul Myers, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, György Sandor and Tamás Vásáry.
Using footage that was painstakingly collected over a two year period, THE ART OF PIANO features rare clips of eighteen amazingly talented pianists who reached career heights at the middle of the 20th century Art of Piano – Great Pianists of the 20th Century video. Featuring legends like Rachmaninoff, Hofman, Horowitz, and Glenn Gould performing live and on film, the theme of the video is tied together through interviews and commentary by conductors including Sir Colin Davis and Daniel Barenboim Art of Piano – Great Pianists of the 20th Century film. [source]

A documentary about the art of Piano Playing with works by Beethoven, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Tschaikowsky, Mozart, Chopin u. a. 

Artists: Arrau, Backhaus, Cortot, Cziffra, A. Fischer, Gilels, Hess, Hofmann, Horowitz, Michelangeli, Gould, Paderewski, Rachmaninoff, Richter, Rubinstein .

Donald Sturrock – Director / Pierre-Olivier Bardet – Executive Producer / Stephen Wright – Executive Producer / Clive Sugars – Executive Producer /Christian Labrande – Screenwriter / Donald Sturrock – Screenwriter / Release date Jul 26, 2011 / Runningtime 107 Minutes /

Galina Ustvolskaya – I – Reinbert de Leeuw, Vera Beths, Harmen de Boer (full CD); Trio (1949), Sonata No. 5 (1986), Duet (1964)

Galina Ivanovna USTVOLSKAYA (1919 — 2006) was a Russian composer of classical music. Ustvolskaya developed her own very particular style, of which she said, “There is no link whatsoever between my music and that of any other composer, living or dead.” Among its characteristics are: the use of repeated, homophonic blocks of sound, which prompted the Dutch critic Elmer Schönberger to call her “the lady with the hammer”…  [source]

Trio – for violin, clarinet and piano (1949) (16:48)
Sonata No. 5 – in ten movements, for piano (1986) (17:39)
Duet – for violin and piano (1964) (23:47)

Total time: 58:37.

Harmen de Boer – Clarinet (track 1) / Reinbert de Leeuw – Piano / Vera Beths – Violin (track 1,3)

Digital recording: October 5 & 6 1991, De Vereeniging, Nijmegen. The Trio is in three movements, marked espressivo (8:30), dolce (3:33) and energico (4:45), but is indexed as a single track. The CD was released in 1992 on hat ART records. Copyright (c) Hat Hut Records Ltd.

 

 

 

 

 

[inspired by Adrian Aurelius, thanks a lot]

Alexei Stanchinsky – Nocturne in E major (1907)

 

Alexei Vladimirovich Stanchinsky ( 9 March/21 March (OS) 1888, – 25 September/6 October (OS) 1914, ), was a Russian composer. He was a student at the Moscow Conservatory, where his teachers included Nikolai Zhilyayev and Serdei Taneyev. He was recognized as an outstanding talent but suffered from mental problems and was several times confined in a psychiatric clinic. He drowned under mysterious circumstances, perhaps suicide, on 25 September/6 October (OS) 1914.He tore up much of his work in fits of hallucination and rage. Thankfully, however, friends and colleagues managed to reconstruct many of his pieces. Almost all Stanchinsky’s surviving works are for piano; they include three sonats, Sketches, and several preludes. He attempted to combine modality, complex polyphony, and post-Romantic chromatic harmony in the manner of Scribin. Despite his short life he made a considerable impression on his contemporaries, and though for a long time almost none of his music was published, his pieces circulated in manuscript. Among significant Russian piano composers Prokofiev (who wrote an article about Stanchinsky in 1913), Arthur Lourié, Anatoni Alexandrow, and Samuil Feinberg all acknowledged his influence.  [source]

Pianist: Robert Henry.

From  “Twelve Nocturnes and a Waltz” with Robert Henry.

 

Richard Maxfield – Pastoral Symphony (1960)

From the album Electronic Music by Richard Maxfield.

A cassette reissue of the original out of print Advance Recordngs disc (1969), this collection contains some of the most beautiful and imaginative electronic and “live electronic” music ever made using only pre-synthesizer Army-surplus store electronics: “Pastoral Symphony” (1960) for three channels, one behind the audience, a lovely work like the “Night Music” on Odyssey records and his “A Swarm of Butterflies Encountered on the Ocean.” “Bacchanale” (1963) is made from a noise-improv-collage ensemble: poetry by Edward Fields, folk music recordings (many from Henry Cowell), jazz hangouts, scraping violin noises, underwater clarinet, drum and typewriter, as well as parts of Maxfiels´s “African Symphony” and the poetic “Wind” made of events separated from each other by beautifully timed silence; the sounds are composed of wind and the sounds of things that wind moves, like squeaking rusty gates; Maxfield makes it all into an intriguing piece, “Piano Concert for David Tudor (1961) for piano and tapes made from the performer’s improvisations. “Amazing Grace” (1960) a mass of tape loops, cut to a score (like Maxfield´s “Cough Music” (1959-61) and “Italian Folk Music”), which are humorous samples from a religious revival; part of the sketches for Maxfield´s opera “Stacked Deck.” A very interesting essay “Composers, Performance and Publication” can be read in La Monte Young´s An Anthology. [source]

Performed by Richard Maxfield :

La Monte Young – X for Henry Flynt (1960)

La Monte Thornton Young (born October 14, 1935) is an American avant-garde composer, musician, and artist. Young is generally recognized as the first minimalist composer. His works have been included among the most important and radical post-World War II avant-garde, experimental, and contemporary music. Young is especially known for his development of drone music. Both his proto-Fluxus and “minimal” compositions question the nature and definition of music and often stress elements of performance art. [source]

John Cale about “X for Henry Flynt” by La Monte Young: “In 1962, I was at Goldsmiths [College]. I was really wrapped up in writing pieces that were instructions. That’s when I found La Monte Young, and Cage, and “4’33″”, which threw another spanner in the works, because it was really about how environment impacts performance. This is a peculiar American thing that was very fractured, because in Europe, the concert was sacrosanct: silence, and you listen. But you don’t listen to Cage as much as you read him. If you read him in Silence, or A Year From Monday, you get a world outlook that’s very interesting. The walls of the concert hall were not the only thing that he was breaking down.

We learned about discipline and working every day from La Monte, about not particularly forcing anything to happen, but allowing things to happen. I think Cage liked how La Monte was writing instructions for performers. That’s the original performance art. And those instructions didn’t just deal with performance or music. “X for Henry Flynt” was a piece where you pick an event and then you repeat it X number of times with the same gap in time between it. “Draw a straight line and follow it,” which was really about Einstein and space. If you draw a straight line and you come back to where you started, then space is finite. So you really didn’t know what’s performance and what’s not.
Later, when La Monte and I were working together down here on Church Street, holding the drum for an hour and a half every day for a year and a half, it’s like, “What is a performance? Where does it start and where does it end?” And his idea was that it didn’t. He said it was a very Chinese idea at the time. Everybody else in Europe think about centuries. But China thinks in terms of eons.”

Performed by Aljaž Zupančič: