Steve Reich and Musicians – Drumming (1971)

Recorded January 1974 in Hamburg Germany. Original Deutsche Grammophon Studio Recording. From the  3 × Vinyl, LP  Box Set : Steve Reich ‎– Drumming / Music For Mallet Instruments, Voices And Organ / Six Pianos

Drumming is a piece by minimalist composer Steve Reich, dating from 1970–1971.[1] Reich began composition of the work after a short visit to Africa and observing music and musical ensembles there, especially under the Anlo Ewe master drummer Gideon Alorwoyie in Ghana. His visit was cut short after contracting malaria. K. Robert Schwarz describes the work as “minimalism’s first masterpiece. [source]

Part One – Starts 0:00

Steve Reich – tuned bongo drums and voice
Russ Hartenburger – tuned bongo drums
Bob Becker – tuned bongo drums
James Preiss – tuned bongo drums

Part Two – starts 24:30

James Preiss – marimbas
Tim Ferchen – marimbas
Russ Hartenburger – marimbas
Steve Reich – marimbas
Steve Chambers – marimbas
Cornelius Cardew – marimbas
Bob Becker – marimbas
Ben Harms – marimbas
Glen Valdez – marimbas
Joan La Barbara – vocals
Jay Clayton – vocals

Part Three – starts 51:00

Glen Valdez – glockenspiel
Bob Becker – glockenspiel
Russ Hartenburger – glockenspiel
James Priess – glockenspiel
Steve Reich – voice (whistling)
Leslie Scott – piccolo

Part Four – starts 1:05:30

Tim Ferchen – tuned bongo drums
Steve Reich – tuned bongo drums
Steve Chambers – tuned bongo drums
Russ Hartenberger – marimbas
Bob Becker – marimbas
Glen Valdez – marimbas
James Preiss – glockenspiel
Ben Harms – glockenspiel
Cornelius Cardew – glockenspiel
Leslie Scott – piccolo
Joan La Barbara – vocals
Jay Clayton – vocals

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Egon Wellesz – Idyllen, op. 21 (1917)

Egon Wellesz was undoubtedly one of Vienna’s modernist masters, lost to the city and posterity after exile in 1938. He, along with Alban Berg and Anton Webern made up the original group of pupils to study with Arnold Schoenberg. [source]

Egon Wellesz (1885-1974): Idyllen, fünf Klavierstücken zu Gedichten von Stefan George, op.21 (1917).

I. In ruhig fließender Bewegung
II. Schwebend
III. Mäßig
IV. Verträumt
V. Langsam. Frei im Vortrag

Margarete Babinsky – pianoforte.

[Here you can read Egon Wellesz on Schönberg, 13. September 1934.]

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Egon Wellesz as painted by Oskar Kokoschka 1911

John Cage – Music of Changes (1951)

Music of Changes is a piece for solo piano by John Cage. Composed in 1951 for pianist and friend David Tudor, it is Cage’s earliest fully indeterminate instrumental work.

Music of Changes was the second fully indeterminate work Cage composed (the first is Imaginary Landscape No. 4, completed in April 1951, and the third movement of Concerto for prepared piano also used chance[1]), and the first instrumental work that uses chance throughout. He was still using magic square-like charts to introduce chance into composition, when, in early 1951, Christian Wolff presented Cage with a copy of the I Ching (Wolff’s father published a translation of the book at around the same time).[2] This Chinese classic text is a symbol system used to identify order in chance events. For Cage it became a perfect tool to create chance-controlled compositions: he would “ask” the book questions about various aspects of the composition at hand, and use the answers to compose. In effect, the vast majority of pieces Cage completed after 1951 were created using the I Ching. [source]

Book I (New York, May 16, 1951)
Book II (New York, August 2, 1951)
Book III (New York, October 18, 1951)
Book IV (New York, December 13, 1951)

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Krzysztof Penderecki – Complete Cello Concertos (1967-1983)

1 Concerto For Cello And Orchestra No. 1 (1967/1972) 17:48
2 Concerto For Cello And Orchestra No. 2 (1982) 35:06
3 Concerto For Viola And Chamber Orchestra (1983) 20:16

Cello – Arto Noras
Composed By – Krzysztof Penderecki
Conductor – Krzysztof Penderecki
Orchestra – Sinfonia Varsovia

Finlandia Records

Around the mid-1970s, while he was a professor at the Yale School of Music, Penderecki’s style began to change. The Violin Concerto No. 1 largely leaves behind the dense tone clusters with which he had been associated, and instead focuses on two melodic intervals: the semitone and the tritone. Some commentators[who?] compared this new direction to Anton Bruckner. This direction continued with the Symphony No. 2, Christmas (1980), which is harmonically and melodically quite straightforward. It makes frequent use of the tune of the Christmas carol Silent Night.  Penderecki explained this shift by stating that he had come to feel that the experimentation of the avant-garde had gone too far from the expressive, non-formal qualities of Western music: ‘The avant-garde gave one an illusion of universalism. The musical world of Stockhausen, Nono, Boulez and Cage was for us, the young – hemmed in by the aesthetics of socialist realism, then the official canon in our country – a liberation…I was quick to realise however, that this novelty, this experimentation and formal speculation, is more destructive than constructive; I realised the Utopian quality of its Promethean tone’. Penderecki concluded that he was ‘saved from the avant-garde snare of formalism by a return to tradition’. [source]

Arto Noras (born 12 May 1942 in Turku) is a Finnish cellist who is one of Finland’s most celebrated instrumentalists and amongst the most outstanding internationally acknowledged cellists of his generation. [source]

penderecki portada

 

Rued Langgaard – String Quartet no. 5 (1925)

String Quartet no. 5  is composed by the danish composer Rued Langgaard. Here played by Kontra Kvartetten:

Peter Fabricius – Bratsch
Anton Kontra – Violin
Boris Samsing – Violin
Morten Zeuthen – Cello

Rued Langgaard (born Rud Immanuel Langgaard; 28 July 1893 – 10 July 1952) was a late-Romantic Danish composer and organist. His then-unconventional music was at odds with that of his Danish contemporaries and was recognized only 16 years after his death. [source]

The danish filmproducer Peter Aalbaek who normally work together with Lars Von Trier is planning to make a feature movie about Rued Langgaard. Aalbaek has been fascinated by Langgaards history throughout his career, and his graduation film from the Film School also portrayed the composer.

picture from the homepage of Rued Langgaard Selskabet:

www.ruedlanggaardselskabet

 

Toshi Ichiyanagi – Parallel Music (1962)

For electronic tape. Recorded in 1962 at NHK Electric Music Studio, Tokyo Japan. Appears on Cosmos Of Toshi Ichiyanagi III ~ 1960’s & 1990’s.

Toshi Ichiyanagi (一柳 慧 Ichiyanagi Toshi?, born 4 February 1933, Kobe, Japan) is a Japanese composer of avant-garde music. He studied with Tomojiro Ikenouchi, Kishio Hirao and John Cage. One of his most notable works is the 1960 composition, Kaiki, which combined Japanese instruments, shō and koto, and western instruments, harmonica and saxophone. Another work Distance (1961) requires the performers to play from a distance of three meters from their instruments. Anima 7 (1964) states that chosen action should be performed “as slowly as possible.”  Ichiyanagi was married to Yoko Ono from 1956 to 1963. [source]

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Olga Neuwirth – The Long Rain (2000)

Neuwirth’s work you’ll find, say, a thrilling, teeming, claustrophobic score for a film of Ray Bradbury’s story The Long Rain; there’s a meditation on Italy’s fascist past for film and improvising musicians, Italia Anno Zero; a homage to high-camp and high-art cabaret artist Klaus Nomi; there’sTorsion, for manically tortured bassoon soloist and ensemble; and a piece called Hooloomooloo for three-part ensemble and CD player (Neuwirth has some of the best titles in the business). [source]

Olga Neuwirth (born 4 August 1968 in Graz) is an Austrian composer.  As a child at the age of seven, Neuwirth began lessons on trumpet. She later studied composition in Vienna at the Vienna Academy of Music and Performing Arts under Erich Urbanner, while studying at the Electroacoustic Institute. Her thesis was written on the music in Alain Resnais’s film L’Amour à mort. In 1985/86, she studied music and art at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Elinor Armer. In 1993/94 she studied with Tristan Murail and worked at IRCAM, producing such works as “…?risonanze!…” for viola d’amore. Earlier in her career, Neuwirth had the chance to meet with Italian composer Luigi Nono, who had similarly radical politics, and has claimed this had a strong influence on her life. [source]

http://www.olganeuwirth.com/fset1.html

Olga Neuwirth, Vienna 2004.

Arnold Schoenberg – A Survivor from Warsaw op. 46 (1947)

 

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), A Survivor from Warsaw op. 46. From the Album Simon Rattle Edition: The Second Viennese School.

Franz Mazura: speaker / Men’s voices of the City of Brimingham Symphony chorus / City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Conductor: Simon Rattle.

Text:

I cannot remember everything. I must have been unconscious most of the time.

I remember only the grandiose moment when they all started to sing, as if prearranged, the old prayer they had neglected for so many years – the forgotten creed!

But I have no recollection how I got underground to live in the sewers of Warsaw for so long a time. The day began as usual: Reveille when it still was dark. “Get out!” Whether you slept or whether worries kept you awake the whole night. You had been separated from your children, from your wife, from your parents. You don’t know what happened to them… How could you sleep?

The trumpets again – “Get out! The sergeant will be furious!” They came out; some very slowly, the old ones, the sick ones; some with nervous agility. They fear the sergeant. They hurry as much as they can. In vain! Much too much noise, much too much commotion! And not fast enough! The Feldwebel shouts: “Achtung! Stilljestanden! Na wird’s mal! Oder soll ich mit dem Jewehrkolben nachhelfen? Na jut; wenn ihrs durchaus haben wollt!” (“Attention! Stand still! How about it, or should I help you along with the butt of my rifle? Oh well, if you really want to have it!”)

The sergeant and his subordinates hit (everyone): young or old, (strong or sick), quiet, guilty or innocent …

It was painful to hear them groaning and moaning.

I heard it though I had been hit very hard, so hard that I could not help falling down. We all on the (ground) who could not stand up were (then) beaten over the head…

I must have been unconscious. The next thing I heard was a soldier saying: “They are all dead!”

Whereupon the sergeant ordered to do away with us.

There I lay aside half conscious. It had become very still – fear and pain. Then I heard the sergeant shouting: „Abzählen!“ (“Count off!”)

They start slowly and irregularly: one, two, three, four – “Achtung!” The sergeant shouted again, “Rascher! Nochmals von vorn anfange! In einer Minute will ich wissen, wieviele ich zur Gaskammer abliefere! Abzählen!“ (“Faster! Once more, start from the beginning! In one minute I want to know how many I am going to send off to the gas chamber! Count off!”)

They began again, first slowly: one, two, three, four, became faster and faster, so fast that it finally sounded like a stampede of wild horses, and (all) of a sudden, in the middle of it, they began singing the Shema Yisroel. [source]

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Photo: Arnold Schoenberg, Rockingham Avenue, LA, 1947/48

Bernhard Lang – Differenz/Wiederholung 1.2 (2002)

Differenz/Wiederholung 1.2 is composed by Bernhard Lang for Flute, Tenor Saxophone and Piano.

Philippe Racine (flute)
Marcus Weiss (tenor saxophone)
Paulo Alvares (piano)

Bernhard Lang (February 24, 1957 in Linz) is an Austrian composer, improvisationalist and programmer of musical patches and applications. His work can be described as modern contemporary music, with roots, however, in various genres such as 20th-century avant-garde, European classical music, jazz, free jazz, rock, punk, techno, EDM, electronica, electronic music and computer-generated music. Bernhard Lang came to prominence with his work cycle “Differenz / Wiederholung” (“difference / repetition”) in which he illuminated and examined the themes of reproductive and DJ cultures based on the philosophic work of Gilles Deleuze.  [source]

dw1 war das erste stück der differenz/wiederholungsserie, in dem ich vom prinzip der vorangehenden schrift-stücke dahingehend abwich, dass ich bestimmte details meiner handschrift virtuell sampelte und loopte; das wiederholungszeichen und die anzahl der wiederholungen wurden mit einem mal beherrschende parameter des stücks. ich versuchte mich hier in einer art phänomenologie der wiederholung. es tauchen hier u.a.
a) mechanische, “tote” wiederholungen
b) differente, gescratchte wiederholungen
c) geschichtete und zeitdifferente wiederholungen als mobiles und kanons
d) und kombinationen von a-c
auf.

dw 1.2 entstand auf anregung von erik drescher als umarbeitung des trios für flöte, cello und klavier zu flöte, saxophon und klavier. aufgrund der teilweise völlig veränderten klanglichkeit wurden alle partien neu konzipiert, das klangmaterial weitgehend umstrukturiert.

bernhard lang, wien, 04.04.2002 Homepage, Bernard Lang

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Alexander Scriabin – Sonata No.5 Op.53 (1907)

The Piano Sonata No.5, Op. 53, is  written by Alexander Scriabin in 1907. This was his first sonata to be written in one movement,  a format he retained from then on. A typical performance lasts from 11 to 12 minutes.

“The Fifth Sonata, one of the most frequently played of the composer’s works, owes a great deal to the orchestral Poem of Ecstasy, and for this reason the Sonata is occasionally given that same title. Both draw on a poem by written by Scriabin, of which four lines are affixed to the beginning of the Sonata (a passage which “calls to life” the artist’s “hidden longings,” an example of the composer’s ever-increasing obsession with his own creative powers)…”  [source]

Original Russian text: Я к жизни призываю вас, скрытые стремленья!Вы, утонувшие в темных глубинахДуха творящего, вы, боязливыеЖизни зародыши, вам дерзновенье приношу!

Original French translation: Je vous appelle à la vie, ô forces mysterieuses! Noyées dans les obscures profondeurs De l’esprit créateur, craintivesEbauches de vie, à vous j’apporte l’audace!

English translation: I call you to life, oh mysterious forces! Drowned in the obscure depths Of the creative spirit, timid Shadows of life, to you I bring audacity! [ source]

Sonata No.5 Op.53 played by Glenn Gould :

Sonata No.5 Op.53 played by Vladimir Sofronitsky (live):

Sonata No.5 Op.53 played by Bernd Glemser :

800px-Alexander_Scriabin,_Tatiana_Schloezer_and_Leonid_Sabaneev_on_the_banks_of_the_Oka_RiverAlexander Scriabin, Tatiana Schloezer and Leonid Sabaneev on the banks of the Oka River, 1912.