Bülent Arel – Electronic Music No. 1 (1960)


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.]












Egon Wellesz as painted by Oskar Kokoschka 1911

Jukka Tiensuu – Puro (1989)

Jukka Tiensuus composition Puro is commissioned by the Finnish Broadcasting Company, 1989.

Puro has since its worldpremiere (26th April 1989  Helsinki, Finnish RSO Cond: Jukka-Pekka Saraste) becomed the most performed Finnish concerto after the Sibelius Violin Concerto, with most of the performances featuring Kriikku.

Jukka Tiensuu (born 1948) is a Finnish contemporary classical composer, harpichordist, pianist and conductor.

His repertoire as musician ranges from baroque music to John Cage and free improvisation and he has given master classes in baroque performance practice and free improvisation.

He has written as well eletroacoustic music as works for jazz ensemble, baroque music ensemble, large orchestra, ensemble or solo instruments, such as the Finnish instrument kantele.

Tiensuu’s works have been performed by Arditti Quartet, Kari Kriikku, Ensemble Intercontemporain and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, among others. He has also worked at IRCAM.

Jukka Tiensuu has studied in Freiburg, Helsinki and New York. [source]

[Puru exist on the album “Jukka Tiensuu: Nemo; Puro; Spiriti”. You can read the allmusic review here.]




Elliott Carter – Dialogues for solo piano and 18 instruments (2004)

Dialogues for piano and chamber orchestra was a BBC Radio 3 commission for the brilliant young British pianist Nicolas Hodges and is scored for piano solo and a chamber orchestra comprising 18 instruments. Carter writes that “Dialogues is a conversation between the soloist and the orchestra: responding to each other, sometimes interrupting one another or arguing.”

Elliott Carter: “Dialogues” (2004) for solo piano and 18 instruments. David Swan – piano, New Music Concerts Ensemble

***Performance by Daniel Barenboim in Berlin, October 15, 2012. More information here.***

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]