Alireza Mashayekhi – Violin Concerto (1977)

Alireza Mashayekhi (born 1940) is a notable Iranian musician, composer and conductor. He is one of the first Iranian composers who has pioneered Persian Symphonic Music [source]

Maziyar Zahireddini – violin
Tehran Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edo Micic
1998
Live Recording

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Boguslaw Schäffer – Symphony (1966)

Symphony is the first work of any considerable length realised by the Experimental Studio of the Polish Radio; its composition was spread out over more than a year. The basic idea was to transpose into purely electronic music the notion of the assembly of sounds of different origin that the word “symphony” suggests. The realisation of the work demanded close co-operation between the composer and the engineer, Bohdan Mazurek, who contributed a great deal in the suggestion and provision of suitable apparatus. –David Rissin

Béla Bartók – Violin Concerto No. 2, BB 117 (1937–38)

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Béla Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2, BB 117 was written in 1937–38.

Bartók composed the concerto in a difficult stage of his life, when he was filled with serious concerns about the growing strength of fascism. He was of firm anti-fascist opinions, and therefore became the target of various attacks in pre-war Hungary.

Bartók initially planned to write a single-movement concerto set of variations, but Zoltán Székely wanted a standard three-movement concerto. In the end, Székely received his three movements, while Bartók received his variations (the second movement being possibly the most formal set of variations Bartók wrote in his career, and the third movement being a variation on material from the first).

Though not employing twelve-tone technique the piece contains twelve-tone themes, such as in the first and third movements.

The work was premiered at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam on March 23, 1939 with Zoltán Székely on violin and Willem Mengelberg conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra.

It had its United States premiere in Cleveland, Ohio in 1943, with Tossy Spivakovsky on the violin accompanied by The Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Artur Rodziński. Spivakovsky later gave the New York and San Francisco premieres of the work.

Allegro nnon troppo
Andante tranquilo
Allegro molto

Violín: Yehudi Menuhin

Philharmonia Orchestra

Director: Wilhelm Furtwängler

Recorded in 1953.

Bülent Arel – Electronic Music No. 1 (1960)

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The initial sound material of this piece is derived entirely from sine- and square-wave oscillators. It is composed in clearly differentiated sections, each with a carefully limited number of horizontal and vertical patterns. The progression of well-contrasted phrases in cumulative rhythmic tension lead, in the end, to a strong impression of unity.

Mauricio Kagel – Fantasia for Organ (1967)

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Mauricio Kagel (1931-2008): Fantasia for organ with obbligati, per organo e nastro magnetico (1967).

Gerd Zacher, organo.

Obbligato signifies something necessary and Indispensable. The obbligati in Kagel’s organ work are, to that extent, its genuinely principal part, a kind of cantus firmus. They consist of tape recordings, preferably made by the organist himself, since they illustrate the acoustical background of his life. (In the present recording half of the obbligati were taped by Kagel and half by Gerd Zacher). These sounds on tape begin with falling rain, continuing with a running tap, a toilet being flushed, and the sound of a kettle boiling, after which water music we hear an egg-timer, toaster, and a morning news bulletin. This start of the day is followed by leaving the house and travelling by underground train; the sound of bells marks the arrival at church. Recordings from a Christening, a Wedding and a Memorial Service create the church atmosphere, also symbolizing further areas of the organist’s life.

Such musique concrete–in itself by no means obbligato–is put into its context by the strict musique abstraite of the Fantasia for Organ. This gives signifiance to the tape recordings by creating transitions between them, foreshadowing what is to come, and recollecting what is past. It gives musical continuity to the purely biographical tape recordings. The organ part takes the material of the obbligati back into terms of music in ever new ways. As the tape recordings resist such musical integration owing to their associative character, insisting on their own extra-musical connections, the dialectical linking of the two elements gives rise to a kind of musical “radio play”, in which the aural background to the organist’s intimate life penetrates Into the sphere of his official activities. [DG 137 003]

Cover image: painting by Gerhard Richter.

[Dedicated to Saori]

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