Luis de Pablo (born 28 January 1930) is a Spanish composer born in Bilbao, but after losing his father in the Spanish Civil War, he went with his mother and siblings to live in Madrid from age six. Although he started to compose at the age of 12, his circumstances made it impossible to consider an artistic career, and so he studied law at the Universidad Complutense. For a short time after graduating in 1952, he was employed as legal advisor to Iberia Airlines, but soon resigned this post in order to pursue a career in music. Although he received composition lessons from Maurice Ohana and Max Deutsch, he was essentially an autodidact in composition. His participation at the Darmstadt courses in 1959 led to the performance of some of his works under Pierre Boulez and Bruno Maderna (Heine 2001). He was awarded Spain’s Premio Nacional de Música for composition in 1991. In Spain, he founded several organizations: Nueva Música, Tiempo y Música, and Alea and organized several contemporary music concert series, for example, the Forum Musical and Bienal de Música Contemporánea de Madrid. He was particularly concerned with promoting understanding in Spain of the Second Viennese School, publishing translations of Stuckenschmidt’s biography of Arnold Schoenberg in 1961, and the writings of Anton Webern in 1963 (Heine 2001). He is much in demand as a teacher, both in Spain and internationally.
Joseph Petrus Johannes Maria (Jos) Kunst (Roermond, 3 January 1936 – Utrecht, 18 January 1996) was a Dutch composer and musicologist. Art grew up in Maastricht and studied French literature at the University of Groningen. On his 27th birthday he began studying music at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, successively by Joep Straesser and Ton de Leeuw. Besides his activities as a composer and as a French teacher, he was working as a lecturer in contemporary music and composition at the conservatories of Zwolle and Amsterdam. At the International Gaudeamus Competition in 1967 he received the AVRO-incentive for the piece Insects for 13 strings. Two years later, at the Gaudeamus Competition for 1969, he won the first prize with the orchestral work Arboreal. His main musical inspiration in the period up to 1975 were Anton Webern, Edgar Varèse and Iannis Xenakis. In 1975 he decided to stop composing. In 1976 he succeeded Rudolf Escher as teacher for the music of the twentieth century at the Department of Musicology of the University of Utrecht. As a musicologist he kept mainly concerned with what is called ‘cognitive musicology’: music science that seeks to describe what music does to the listener. Main musicological publications: Making sense in music: an Enquiry into the formal pragmatics of art (Dissertation, 1978), Philosophy of musicology (Martinus Nijhoff, 1988). In addition to his scientific work, he was active as a poet: he published poems in a Dutch monthly magazine in the years 1979-1988 and in 1982 appeared in the Meulenhoff compilation Nobody Will Ever Own. In 1988, he made use of the possibility to retire early. From that time he wrote again, but kept to himself, unlike in the past, and as much as possible outside the organized musical life. In this period, Claude Debussy was an important source of inspiration. Jos Kunst died at age 60.
Composer and neurologist Minciacchi has ambitions. Three piano pieces (Nos. 1, 2 and 4) reflect the Roman’s ongoing “dialog” with his native city. Unfolding steadily, the Intermezzo’s tonal contours create unresolved tension. Three Times Form casually plies Darmstadt concerns, whereas Vae Victis ups the ante, interspersing passionate action between Scelsian single-pitch reverberations. Pianist Clapperton compares the complex La connessione disumana (No. 6) to Xenakis’ Evryali, but nothing prepares us for COCKAMAMEY’s (No. 3) five-piano density wherein minimalist shenanigans grind against postwar chatter, here recorded by Curtis Roads, whose mixing has the pianos traveling back and forth across the soundstage. Minciacchi’s works with tape prove more compelling, as an alternate Vae Victis with tape and live electronics shows. [Source]
Jonathan Harvey | Bhakti: for Chamber Ensemble + Quadrophonic Tape | Nouvel Ensemble Moderne | Conductor: Lorraine Vaillancourt | Montaigne | 1999.
[In memory of Jonathan Harvey who sadly passed away today – via Thorbjørn Tønder Hansen]
On today’s date in 1940, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra helped to celebrate its 50th anniversary with the premiere performance of a specially commissioned symphony from the famous Russian composer Igor Stravinsky.
Stravinsky himself was on hand to conduct his “Symphony in C” — a work that attracted a great deal of attention at the time. For starters, writing a symphony in the key of C Major seemed a definitely anti-modern gesture at a time when Arnold Schoenberg’s “twelve tone” method of composition was gaining ground with prominent American musicians and critics. “How traditional can you get?” some of these must have thought when they saw the title of Stravinsky’s work.
Stravinsky’s new symphony was quickly labeled “neo-classical,” meaning it consciously harked back in form of Haydn’s or Mozart’s symphonies, albeit clothed, musically speaking, in a much more modern fashion.
Now, traditionally the key of C Major was deemed a “happy” or “bright” key, but Stravinsky composed his Symphony during one of the unhappiest periods of his life, when his wife, his mother and one of his daughters had all died in rapid succession.
“It is no exaggeration to say that in the following weeks I was able to continue my own life only by my work on the Symphony in C,” wrote Stravinsky. “But I did not seek to overcome my grief by portraying or giving expression to it in music, and you will listen in vain, I think, for traces of this sort of personal emotion.”
Composed in 1938 – 1940
CBC Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Igor Stravinsky
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.***
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
- 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 (February 5, 1909 in Łódź – January 17, 1969 in Warsaw, Poland) was a Polish composer and violinist. She is only the second Polish female composer to have achieved national and international recognition, the first being Maria Szymanowska in the early 19th century.
Concerto for String Orchestra (1948)
Amadeus Chamber Orchestra conducted by Agnieska Duczmal
Her father and brother Vytautas identified as Lithuanian and used the last name Bacevičius, the other brother Kiejstut identified as Polish. Her father, Wincenty Bacewicz (lith. Vincas Bacevičius), gave Grażyna her first piano and violin lessons. In 1928 she began studying at the Warsaw Conservatory, where she initially took violin and piano classes, and graduated in 1932 as a violinist and composer. She continued her education in Paris, having been granted a stipend by Ignacy Jan Paderewski to attend the École Normale de Musique, and studied there in 1932-33 under the guidance of Nadia Boulanger. At the same time she took private violin lessons with Henri Touret. Later she also left France in order to learn from the Hungarian violinist Carl Flesch.
After completing her studies, Bacewicz took part in numerous events as a soloist, composer, and jury member. During the 1930s, she was the principal violinist of the Polish Radio orchestra, which was directed then by Grzegorz Fitelberg. This position gave her the chance of hearing a lot of her own music. During World War II, Grażyna Bacewicz lived in Warsaw, continued to compose, and gave underground secret concerts (premiering her Suite for Two Violins).
Bacewicz also dedicated time to family life. She was married in 1936, and gave birth to a daughter, Alina Biernacka, a recognized painter. After the war, she took up the position of professor at the State Conservatory of Music in Łódź. At this time she was shifting her musical activity towards composition, tempted by her many awards and commissions, and it finally became her only occupation in 1954 after serious injuries in a car accident.
Most of her compositions are for the violin. Among them are seven violin concertos, five sonatas for violin with piano including two for violin solo, seven string quartets, two piano quintets and four symphonies.
The Crothers’ Collection of Preludes for Quarter-tone Piano(s) currently number 12 Pieces. They may be purchased through PayPal from the download page of this web site. There are Samples from each Prelude that may be previewed before purchase. The Pieces were all composed by Scott Crothers using MOTU’s Digital Performer Notation Editor and their performance rendered by MOTU’s Symphonic Instrument plugin. _Quarter-tone Piano music has previously been composed by such notable musical figures as Charles Ives, Alois Hába and Ivan Wyschnegradsky. Although Quarter-tone Pianos have been constructed over the last hundred years, they are rather scarce and expensive. Live performance of Quarter-tone Piano Music is normally accomplished by two Pianists. One plays a Piano tuned normally while the other Pianist plays a Piano tuned a Quarter-tone sharp.
[via Peter Bengtson on Google+]