|Posted on Sunday, November 09, 2003 - 04:14 am: |
George Antheil was an amazing 'classical' composer, ballet mecanique, airplane sonata, etc.
From the web: "Besides composing, Antheil was an excellent writer, an inventor, and a student of many disciplines, including endocrinology, criminal justice, and military history. He was co-holder of a remarkable patent (with actress Hedy Lamarr) for a "secret communications system" which is today in wide use and known as "spread-spectrum technology" — although neither he nor Lamarr ever received a dime for it."
It is Hedy Lamarr's birthday today.
|Posted on Sunday, November 09, 2003 - 06:15 am: |
Yes, Antheil ranks up there with Leo Theremin. Theremin not only invented the instrument named after him - popularly heard on Beach Boys' records and the Day the Earth Stood Still soundtrack - but also passive cavitation electronic monitoring and quite a few other devices way ahead of their time. Many technological successors of his inventions are still in use. Passive cavitation was used in the U.S. Great Seal to covertly listen to Embassy Moscow communications for years.
Leo Theremin also rescored many classical pieces for the Theremin for virtuoso Clara Rockmore. A few of here records have been re-released on CD in the past few years.
Antheil and Lamar allowed the patent to lapse of ther own accord. Theremin was a loyal KGB man who was swept back home in one of their "Frankenfurter its all over, your mission is a failure, your lifestyle's too extreme" round-ups. Once back home, he was never allowed to patent his inventions.
A good book on the great Leo is "Ether Music and Espionage"
|Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 09:53 am: |
I'm often amazed at how difficult it is to find classical CDs here. After a fruitless search of every CD store I can get to without a car (which includes several used shops, Barnes & Noble and Borders), I still wasn't able to find Penderecki. I resorted to ordering online, which took two weeks. But I finally have Orchestral Works, Volume I which features Threnody. It was definitely worth tracking down.
I also did find Music From Central Europe which features Vaclav Halek (the guy who composes based on mushrooms singing). The track from him is solo bassoon. It doesn't sound what I would expect from "mushroom music." But it is a nice collection of music for bassoon, clarinet, piano and trumpet.
|Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 10:20 am: |
"But it is a nice collection of music for bassoon, clarinet, piano and trumpet."
If you like that sort of format, try the chamber music of Francis Poulenc.
Penderecki orchestral music is well served by the cheap CD label Naxos (or have I said that before?)
|Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 11:05 am: |
You've mentioned Naxos before (it's their collection I got).
I'll keep Poulenc in mind if I get interested in picking up more in that format. Thanks.
|Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 12:50 am: |
St Cecilia's Day. To mark this, here is a list of my favourite music (only one per composer allowed!)
Bach - St John Passion
Vivaldi - Four Seasons
Haydn - The Seven Words From The Cross (Str. Q)
Mozart - Requiem
Schubert - String Quintet
Beethoven - Hammerklavier Piano Sonata
Brahms - German Requiem
Mahler - Symphony No 9
Shostakovich - String Quartet No 15
Cesar Franck - Violin Sonata
Vaughan Williams - tallis variations
Malcolm Arnold - Symphony No 9
Nicholas Maw - Odyssey
Philip Glass - Akhnaten
|Posted on Thursday, December 04, 2003 - 07:49 am: |
Frank Zappa died 10 years ago today.
Here is a Brief History of Developments in 20th Century Classical Music, related to the compositional style of Frank Zappa:
And who likes Charles Ives better than me?
|Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2003 - 08:48 am: |
Hector Berlioz was born 11 December 200 years ago (1803) !! A very significant birthday.
My favourites of his: Symphonie Fantastique, and La Grande Messe des Morts. (And L'Enfance du Christ).
|Posted on Saturday, December 13, 2003 - 01:29 am: |
Cornelius Cardew was killed on the 13th December 1981 by a hit and run driver near his home in Leyton, East London.
I saw him perform live in 1967 in Lancaster, UK - where he thumped down on the piano keys with both his arms in a loud relentless, monotonous rhythm for 45 minutes. I was the only one who shouted out 'encore!' at the end!
He was actually a fascinating composer (who mellowed his style towards the end of his life) and you can read more about him here:
|Posted on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 - 07:51 am: |
Peter Warlock - one of my favourite composers - died on 17 December 1930.
He composed probably the saddest music ever (well, at least to me):
|Posted on Sunday, January 04, 2004 - 03:42 am: |
Pergolesi died at 26 but nevertheless left us one of the greatest and most beautiful standards of religious choral music: his Stabat Mater.
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi 1710-1736
He was born on 4 January.
With relevance to nemonymity, the enthusiasm for Pergolesi's works caused a considerable number of misattributions, which still cause confusion; Stravinsky's Pulcinella made use of material ascribed to Pergolesi, but in fact almost none of the works he selected are by Pergolesi.
|Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 12:29 pm: |
4' 33" -- there is a performance tonight of this piece of Cage music on BBC Radio 3 ... at the end of the 2nd half of the concert they are broadcasting at this very minute and the second half begins at 8.40 pm and ends at 9.30 pm gmt (according to the Radio Times).
It is a performance by a large orchestra.
des (time now approx. 8.30)
|Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 12:35 pm: |
And it's live!
|Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 02:05 am: |
4' 33" -- The orchestra I believe turned the pages of the 'music' and there was loud coughing by the audience between movements - (and too much deliberate coughing, to my mind, during the actual 'music'). It was also televised - but I can't get BBC4 TV. Interesting to hear from someone who did see it or was actually there last night. On Radio 3, apparently, the BBC had to disable some device that normally cuts in on broadcasts that unexpectedly go silent!
I have always been interested in this piece. And there has been much theoretical rationale about it on websites. I actually publish a magazine called Nemonymous (www.nemonymous.com) and in the second issue I published a blank story of four and half pages. I claim it is the shortest story ever published!
|Posted on Saturday, January 31, 2004 - 10:13 am: |
My two favourite composers were both born today, 31 January, i.e. Philip Glass in 1937 and Franz Schubert in 1797. des
|Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 12:37 pm: |
Anyone heard the Symphony in E Major (1878) by Hans Rott.
During a train journey in 1880, a fellow passenger tried to light a cigar, only to be forcibly restrained by Rott brandishing a revolver and saying that Brahms had filled the train with dynamite.
Rott died - certified insane - 1884 at the age of 26.
The above symphony was greatly praised by Mahler - and, in fact, Mahler clearly pinched bits from it for his 1st, 2nd and 7th Symphonies (as I can myself testify to)!
As a separate issue, has anyone heard 'Behind The Lines' by Cecil Coles (very haunting)? He also died young in the trenches (I'm told) of the First World War whilst writing it: and the score bears his blood.
|Posted on Sunday, February 15, 2004 - 02:42 am: |
John Adams was born today in 1947.
One of my all time favourites: Glass with Phrygian Gates!
Great twentieth century opera: Nixon In China.
And Harmonium, Shaker Loops, Grand Pianola Music ....
|Posted on Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 09:11 am: |
Music based on paintings or fine arts:
McCabe - Chagall Windows
Schurmann - Six Studies of Francis Bacon
Turnage - Three Screaming Popes
Martinu - Les Fresques de Piero Della Francesca
Respighi - Trittico Botticelliano
|Posted on Sunday, March 14, 2004 - 04:14 pm: |
Pictures at an Exhibition--Modeste Moussorgsky
|Posted on Monday, March 15, 2004 - 10:45 am: |
Yes, Alice, I always forget the most famous example of anything! Thanks.
I've received this further list from elsewhere:
Rautavaara - Vincent (opera about Van Gogh)
Hindemith - Mathis der Maler Symphony
Schuller- Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee
Diamond - World of Paul Klee
Sandor Veress - Hommage a Paul Klee
Giselher Klebe - The Twittering Machine
Constant - Turner
Feldman - Rothko Chapel
Gloria Coates- wrote some works inspired by or about Van Gogh
|Posted on Tuesday, October 05, 2004 - 01:13 pm: |
Anyone read Ron Butlin's wonderful book Vivaldi and the Number 3 ?
It's a series of vignettes about all the great composers in unusual situations, like Haydn appearing on the Jerry Springer Show and Mozart becoming a Private Eye. Beautiful. Hilarious. Inspiring. Where composers *should* be - in fiction! Leaving their music delightfully unblemished by any attempt to contextualise it.
|Posted on Sunday, June 05, 2005 - 05:34 am: |
BBC Radio 3 started today at 9.0 am (British Summer Time) an incredible journey: broadcasting (24 hours a day) every note Beethoven composed ... up to Midnight at the end of Friday 10 June.
Could this happen other than in UK?!
|Posted on Monday, July 04, 2005 - 11:38 am: |
Two wonderfully active discussion groups for 19th and 20th century 'classical' music respectively:
I'm an avid listener, but I know nothing *technically* about music, so don't be afraid!
|Posted on Friday, July 29, 2005 - 10:05 am: |
Des, have you head Wojciech Kilar's SEPTEMBER SYMPHONY?
|Posted on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 05:10 am: |
I've not heard (or even heard of) that music, Mastadge. Is it good?
I'm still recovering from the performance of James McMillan's ORGAN CONCERTO the other night at the London Proms. Ibert on speed, puffing on a pipeful of Poulenc, going crazy with a deanthropomorphised Saint-Saens...
|Posted on Friday, August 05, 2005 - 09:08 am: |
My personal idiosyncratic non-technical take on the nine Symphonies of Malcolm Arnold at the end of this page:
|Posted on Monday, December 19, 2005 - 12:50 am: |
Is anyone listening to this wonderful 24 hours per day experience: starting continuously from last Friday and finishing during Christmas Day, BBC Radio 3 are currently playing all the surviving works of J.S. Bach. Don't start if you don't intend to continue as it is addictive! If anything explains God in this Universe, then it is this.
My Christmas present to my friends: my first novel and my second novel (in progress) all for free from here: www.weirdmonger.com
|Posted on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 01:51 am: |
Ligeti dies. Sad news. This morning's post by me to C20thMusic & Weirdmonger groups:
>From: "Peter Herbert"
>I see from a posting on C19m2 that Ligeti has died. I was never a great
>enthusiast for his music, though I always enjoyed his own enjoyment in
>making it. I suppose the best known music of his appears in the film
Sad news. Ligeti is one of my favourite modern composers. I love particularly my Cds of his String Quartets and of his Piano, Cello, & Violin Concertos.
>My question is, who are the great composers that are now still with us?
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Christopher Teague" <christeague73@...> wrote:
> Not heard a great deal of his original works, but the soundscapes for 2001
> were perfectly matched, along with the opening sequence to The Shining, that
> incessant bass-heavy pounding - very atmospheric.
> - Chris
|Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 03:08 am: |
Having problems responsding to your comments about Zadok the Priest and Phil Glass on TTA because they're having more spam problems. But what I was going to say was:
I think all of this is a measure of the degree to which the minimalists
and Glass in particular return to a tonal and often ceremonial form.
He's at best working with aggregates - both social, natural and
harmonic: the held chord and the repeated arpeggio.
Where Glass departs from the legacy of the classical and baroque is in
his removal of ornamentation. It's all superstructure and motor, the
crenellations, trills and filigree detail work have been stripped away
to leave a simple systematic authority.
With Handel this is the processional of divine kingship, with Glass it
is the corporate anthem.
|Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 05:45 am: |
That thread is now open again and added to here: