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Capnreverbs discourse on modern string quartets and composer

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Postby capnreverb on Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:51 pm

OK, i now have my own show on WMSE, and i dont know for how long. The show will be from 3-6 on sunday afternoons and will be all modern classical music. The cool thing for you all is that you can listen live or download it at http://www.wmse.org/main.php3 . Also, it is available as a podcast through WMSE. I will be on starting this sunday.
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nice

Postby seanurban on Fri Oct 07, 2005 10:36 pm

looking fwd to it...
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Postby sunlore on Sat Oct 08, 2005 5:00 am

Can I mention Ustvolskaya? Would that be considered "chamber music"?

Galina Ustvolskaya studied under Shostakovitz, and seems to have been Prokoviev's muse for a while. Very little is know of her, as she lives the life of a recluse in Petersburg, writing her music in that city's elaborate parks.

A quote from her biography:

Ustvolskayas music sounds like nothing else. She is a very original composer and it is hard to describe her music in musical terms. The Dutch musicologist Elmer Schönberger calls her The woman with the hammer while the Russian composer Victor Suslin uses the term black hole, a galactic constellation of such an enormous density, absorbing all energy and light in it.
Many of her composition are extremely violent with dynamics up to fffff. But on the other hand she always gives instructions to perform her music espressivo, even with dynamics like this and even if the sound comes from banging a hammer on a wooden box (Composition No.2). The music is rhythmic and many times even ritualistic. One could even find traces of minimal music in her compositions. Some of composition have religious subtitles, but she never was a very religious woman in the usual sense of the word. For her, religion is living together with nature, respecting living creatures and even talking to birds and ants. Her decision to live in seclusion is reflected in her music, which also goes its own way.


I'm sorry if you were "getting to this", capnreverb, but Ustvolskaya is so singular, so "otherworldy" (in the truest sense of the word), and so special to me... I couldn't resist to mention her.
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Postby capnreverb on Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:06 am

I have never heard of her. The description of her work sparks my interest. I wll have to track some down. Thanks for the tip.
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Postby sunlore on Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:07 am

capnreverb wrote:I have never heard of her. The description of her work sparks my interest. I wll have to track some down. Thanks for the tip.


Sure. Tell me what you think.
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Postby capnreverb on Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:12 pm

capnreverb wrote:OK, i now have my own show on WMSE, and i dont know for how long. The show will be from 3-6 on sunday afternoons and will be all modern classical music. The cool thing for you all is that you can listen live or download it at http://www.wmse.org/main.php3 . Also, it is available as a podcast through WMSE. I will be on starting this sunday.


It seems official now, for it's made the stations calander. You can listen live from 3-6 sunday afternoon on your computer live or download it later.



thanks!

I know i get a crap vote for quoting myself.
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Postby Ally In Exile on Sun May 07, 2006 12:46 pm

one consolation for having to clock in today is that i get to listen to the capn's radio show here at the shop.

neat.
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Postby Adam CR on Sun May 07, 2006 1:30 pm

capnreverb wrote:
capnreverb wrote:OK, i now have my own show on WMSE, and i dont know for how long. The show will be from 3-6 on sunday afternoons and will be all modern classical music. The cool thing for you all is that you can listen live or download it at http://www.wmse.org/main.php3 . Also, it is available as a podcast through WMSE. I will be on starting this sunday.


It seems official now, for it's made the stations calander. You can listen live from 3-6 sunday afternoon on your computer live or download it later.



thanks!

I know i get a crap vote for quoting myself.


I would like to hear your show.

How/where do I find a downloadable version?

Cheers,

Adam
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Postby Goldstar on Mon Dec 18, 2006 2:09 pm

Liking the shows, Jason; is there a playlist to go w/ the archived shows? I looked briefly but couldn't find one.

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Postby chopjob on Mon Dec 18, 2006 2:37 pm

capnreverb wrote:Feldmans later sq's are very interesting, but take a bit of patience, and can be quite long. I own the early ones and they are good, but not life changing. If you like his and cages take on minimilism, go for it. Its not for everyone.


Previously unaware of this interesting thread.

To clarify, Feldman composed only two string quartets, the first in 1979 and the second in 1983, IIRC. There is a series of "[instrument] and String Quartet" compositions from the early/mid eighties, though.
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Postby trilonaut on Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:34 am

ruth crawford seeger has an awesome string quartet and rules in general.
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Postby susan on Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:09 pm

Morton Feldman's lp New Directions in music was released in 1959. On it are:

Structures for String Quartet was composed in 1951.
Three pieces for String Quartet was composed in 54-56.
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Postby susan on Sun Dec 31, 2006 8:10 pm

trilonaut wrote:ruth crawford seeger has an awesome string quartet and rules in general.



Indeed!
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Postby rayj on Sun Dec 31, 2006 9:03 pm

capnreverb wrote:charles wuorinen - 1938 - now -usa. I guess he's a 12 tone guy, at least thats what his website says, but he's pretty far removed from berg and shoenberg. He often turns up on the same cd's as cage and the like. He's a bit more more "classical" than the ultra moderns, but his stuff is far out enough that if you like the more extreme avant garde, you might like him. Almost like a schnitke minus a bunch of notes and whole lot more space. I have a string quartet and a violin sonata that are both very good.



I've been a fan since that Nonesuch release made the rounds. It's difficult to get information on these guys from my drunk rocker buddies, so I'll join in the chorus of 'thanks' here.

You've mentioned Ives, right? I am into his stuff as well, of course.
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Postby matthew on Mon Jan 01, 2007 10:11 pm

This is actually a great thread. Thanks to all for the contributions.
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Postby chopjob on Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:44 pm

susan wrote:Morton Feldman's lp New Directions in music was released in 1959. On it are:

Structures for String Quartet was composed in 1951.
Three pieces for String Quartet was composed in 54-56.


To clarify, I sit corrected. I was unaware of these works, and their being available primarily on LPs is no excuse.

Now, of course, I have to hunt them down which, given a cursory investigation, doesn't look like it will be easy.
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Postby capnreverb on Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:40 pm

Its been about 9 months since i posted on EA, but since this thread is still alive I will add a bit to the info. (thanks mr. nicchitta)

Alan Hovhannes is becoming more and more important in my life. He really is one of the best 20th century composers, following no ones tune but his own.

George Antheil - american composer. His Ballet Mechanique is a must have. Home stereo speakers cold explode at this piece for four pianos and a shitload of percussion. Its one of those pieces that make you go "holy shit!". the rest of his work is good to great, with a big nod to the neo-clasisists.

Benjamin Britten - ok, i used to hate this guy to due some of his cheezy orchestral stuff, but he really has some very nice chamber stuff. Its not earth shatering original or ultra modern, but it is sincere and the emotions expressed can have quite a whallup.

Robert Casadesus - (French) His chamber stuff is ultra beautiful. Not modern by any great means, but is sure pretty and just sounds flat out great. Dude is super french, so you know its gonna have flowers popping out all over the place. If you are looking for someone like a bit more modern Debussy, he is your man. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Casadesus

Henry Gorecki - (polish) dark as dark gets. Goth folks would buy stock in razer blades and bath water after hearing him. Fantastic stuff, but super depressing. He is almost like a more accessible but 10X more dreary version of schnittke. Emotional stuff that is super real. The Kronos versions of his string quartets are quite good and very easy to come by.

Lou Harrison - (american) buddies with Cage and Cowell, and all of the who's who of the 40's-60's avant garde. A lot of his work is very percussion orientated, and most of it quite accessible. Great speaker fodder. You really cant go wrong with most of his stuff, and due to the use of ethnic percussion instruments, a lot of folks that might be turned off by modern classical might even dig him.

Roy Harris - (american) in the Ives, Cowell, Piston, Copeland family, his stuff is quite nice but not super modern sounding. He has his atonal minutes, but is not way out. While he did not see himself as neoclassical, he pretty much ends up being an american take on the idea.

David Diamond - (american) His string quartets might possibly be the best that any US composer has come up with. They are almost a more lyrical and american version of the Bartok String Quartets. For anybody that is a fan of string quartets, these are a must have. They are as good as it gets. Super intense and over the top emotional, they transcend any genre or style. 5 stars out of the 4 possible.

Ahmed Adnan Saygun - (Turkish) Great stuff. Wikepedia says it better than i can
---Ahmet Adnan Saygun is acknowledged as one of the most important 20th century composers in Turkish music history. He is a master of the neo-classical form His works are rooted in the western musical practice yet they incorporate traditional Turkish folk songs and culture. He usually adds this folk element by picking one note out of the scale and woves a melody around it using a new Turkish mode. His extensive repertoire include five symphonies, five operas, two piano concertos, various concertos, and a wide range of chamber and choral works. The London Times called him “the grand old man of Turkish music, who was to his country what Sibelius is to Finland, what de Falla is to Spain, and what Bartók is to Hungary.” As Saygun was growing up in Turkey he witnessed radical changes in his country’s politics and culture as Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had replaced The Ottoman Empire, -which had ruled for nearly 600 years-, with a new secular republic based on Western models and traditions. As Atatürk had created a new cultural identity for his people and newly found nation, Saygun had found his role to develop what Atatürk had only begun.


Elizabeth Maconchy (English) Her string quartets are what her reputation is based on, and rightfully so. They are some of the best English SQ's, with just the right amount of modern to make them quite a worthwhile listen. They are neoclassical in sound with a bit of Bartok to them.

Reynaldo Hahn (French) One of those great composers who fell through the historical cracks. Ultra lovely stuff from the apron strings of Debussy and Ravel. Early 20th century stuff that is more modern than it sounds. Speaker butter, and fans of Debussy and Satie will feel like they have uncovered the missing nugget of early 20th century French music. Really pretty, like that cute girl at the coffee shop who dresses just right, and who is almost nice enough to think you have a chance, even though you don't, but it doesn't matter because she smells so sweet.

Well, thats enough for right now. Next time around i will touch on Xenakis, Stockhausen, and some others.
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Postby John C3 on Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:43 pm

I wish you were here more often. Come back and join us, Captain.
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Postby Jodi S. on Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:50 pm

capnreverb wrote:George Antheil - american composer. His Ballet Mechanique is a must have. Home stereo speakers cold explode at this piece for four pianos and a shitload of percussion. Its one of those pieces that make you go "holy shit!". the rest of his work is good to great, with a big nod to the neo-clasisists.


A friend of mine wrote a play about his relationship with Hedy Lamarr, called Frequency Hopping. The two of them co-invented the first form of spread spectrum, which is the technology that enables wireless communications to exist (amongst other things)
Henry Gorecki - (polish) dark as dark gets. Goth folks would buy stock in razer blades and bath water after hearing him. Fantastic stuff, but super depressing. He is almost like a more accessible but 10X more dreary version of schnittke. Emotional stuff that is super real. The Kronos versions of his string quartets are quite good and very easy to come by.

Gorecki is amazing.
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Postby Adam CR on Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:30 pm

MrFood wrote:Hello.

I've been exploring modern composition a wee bit just recently (Arvo Part, Max Richter, Steve Reich).

I remember someone on here saying something about a modern composer who basically sounds like post rock. I know this is a trite sentiment in a serious musical discussion - but I'm a mere peasant.

Anyhow, I couldn't find the original post - but if anyone could chime in with a recommendation which fits this description - I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thanks.


Webern or Schoenberg maybe?
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