Sándor Veress – Hommage à Paul Klee (1951)

Composed By – Sándor Veress / Conductor – Heinz Holliger / Orchestra – Budapest Festival Orchestra / Piano – András Schiff and Dénes Várjon

Sándor Veress was a Swiss composer of Hungarian origin. He has (among others) been teached by Zoltán Kodály and Béla Bartók, and he has teached György Ligeti, György Kurtág, Heinz Holliger, Heinz Marti, Jürg Wyttenbach and Roland Moser.

I : Zeichen in Gelb, Allegro (Mark in Yellow)

II : Feuerwind, Allegro molto (Fire wind)

III : Alter Klang, Andante con moto (Old Sound)

IV : Unten und oben, Allegretto piacevole (Below and Above)

V : Steinsammlung, Allegretto (Stone Collection)

VI : Grün in Grün, Andante (Green in Green)

VII : Kleiner Blauteufel, Vivo (Little Blue Devil)

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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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Tōru Takemitsu – Distance de fée (1951)

“Distance de fée” created in 1951, one of the best pieces of Takemitsu’s early period. The spirit of Debussy and Messiaen are fully felt in this work of approximately 7 and 1/2 minutes duration. Messiaen’s octatonic scale is used in the tonal language. The opening lyrical theme is repeated several times, and finds a new pathway upon each return – this is a version of variation as well as rondo form, two of Takemitsu’s favorite compositional procedures. This piece, like many others by Takemitsu, was inspired by poetry, in this case, a poem of the same title by Shuzo Takiguchi (1903-1979). This work describes, with lightly mythological imagery, an elusive, transparent creature living in “air’s labyrinth … it lives in the spring breeze That barely resembled the balance of a small bird” source

Arisa Fujita – Violin / Megumi Fujita – Piano

From the album Between Tides and Other Chamber Music with compositions by Toru Takemitsu, with Fujita Piano Trio, released in 2001.

Another excellent recording with unknown performers:

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Iannis Xenakis: Complete Works for Cello

Iannis Xenakis composed just two pieces for solo cello, both fiercely remarkable in their own right. Nomos Alpha, from 1966, is an example of what he called symbolic music, in which the order of musical events is determined according to mathematical rules, while Kottos, composed 11 years later, is a portrait of one of the giants from Greek mythology who fought with Zeus against the Titans. The most substantial of the other pieces here is Epicycles for cello and 12 instruments, an example of later Xenakis, which is far less visceral in its impact and almost archaic in its chant-like melodic writing. The remainder are smaller-scale and pair Arne Deforce’s cello with single instruments – violin, clarinet, double bass, piano. Perhaps the most interesting is Dhipli Zyia, for violin and cello; written in 1951, it’s a rare example of early Xenakis – Bartókian in style and using Greek folk tunes as its source material. [Source]


Giacinto Scelsi – Trio for Strings (1951)

From the late 1970s, he met several leading interpreters who have promoted his music all over the world and gradually opened the gates to wider audiences, such as the Arditti String Quartet, the cellist Frances-Marie Uitti, the pianists Yvar Mikhashoff and Marianne Schroeder. Scelsi was a friend and a mentor to Alvin Curran and other expatriate American composers such as Frederic Rzewski who lived in Rome during the 1960s (Curran, 2003, in NewMusicBox). Scelsi also collaborated with other American composers including John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Earle Brown who visited him in Rome. Alvin Curran recalled that: “Scelsi … came to all my concerts in Rome even right up to the very last one I gave just a few days before he died. This was in the summer time, and he was such a nut about being outdoors. He was there in a fur coat and a fur hat. It was an outdoor concert. He waved from a distance, beautiful sparking eyes and smile that he always had, and that’s the last time I saw him” (Ross, 2005).




[via Lars Top-Galia]