View Full Version : Contemporary Music

December 6th, 2011, 10:41 PM
I think we can use this thread to discuss contemporary music. Let's say pieces after 1980, to fix a date.

Let's start with the wonderful String Quartets written by Brian Ferneyhough. My favourite is the Fourth, composed in 1990, a work that is able to impact the listener, and that requires an extreme virtuosity from the performers, in this case the Arditti Quartet and soprano Brenda Mitchell:

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December 8th, 2011, 12:51 PM
Toshio Hosokawa is one of the most interesting composers today. His work Circulating Ocean, premiered at the Szalburg Festival the year 2005, is perhaps not the best in his portfolio, (though is a very good piece, nonetheless) but it has the clear advantage of being probably the easiest entry door to Hosokawa's world.

We can hear Circulating Ocean in a version with Jonathan Stockhammer conducting the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI. There are fascinating moments, and it's only twenty short minutes. Give it a try. :)

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December 11th, 2011, 11:24 AM
Salvatore Sciarrino is one of the best avant-garde composers out there, and a lover of Opera. He wrote one of the works in our "Basic Repertoire", Luci mie traditrici.

In this post we can hear Infinito Nero, premiered in 1999. Using as inspiration the works of Italian mystic Santa Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi, Sciarrino presents us his usual contrast between silence and sound, slowly evolving. An exploration of rythm, the insinuation of a flute, the bursting in of human voice.... A very interesting piece.

This is a version performed by Sonia Turchetta and the Ensemble Recherche.

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December 11th, 2011, 12:10 PM
Kaija Saariaho, Sept Papillons (2000)

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December 11th, 2011, 12:51 PM
It's uncanny how Saariaho uses the cello to simulate the movements of a butterfly's wings, and still respect the natural sound of the instrument.

December 14th, 2011, 02:06 AM
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Takemitsu - Toward the Sea. for alto flute and guitar.


Boulez - Sur Incises. 3 pianos 3 harps and 3 mallet percussion


Lewis Nielson - You Choose. flute and piano

December 20th, 2011, 09:55 PM
The late Fausto Romitelli was one of the most interesting composers of the last decades.

Arguably his best work would be Professor Bad Trip, written in 1998 for an ensemble of 10 instruments, and with a fascinating sonority:


December 23rd, 2011, 05:27 PM
Of course, Steve Reich is widely recognised as one of the top composers of our days, if not a plain genius. However, he seemed to be refractory to Opera.

Working with his wife, the visual artist Beryl Korot, he created in the '90s The Cave, what they called a 'multimedia opera'.

Exploring further the concept, they released another 'multimedia opera', Three Tales, in 2002. It's based on three episodes of the 20th century: the Hindenburg zeppelin accident, the atomic tests on the Bikini atoll, and the cloning of the sheep Dolly.


It has been released both as a CD, with the music by Reich, and as a DVD, including images by Korot.

Is this really opera?. Well, it's clearly right there, in the boundaries of the genre. In any case, it's an enjoyable piece of music... :)

In any case my favourite Reich's piece is still this wonderful Different Trains:

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December 26th, 2011, 05:17 PM
After the 9/11 killings, John Adams was commisioned to write a piece in memory of the victims.

On the Transmigration of Souls was premiered the year 2002, and together with voices invoking the name of some deceased, and prerecorded city sounds, is using both a choir and a children choir, to go along with the orchestra.

The piece received the Pulitzer Prize, and is not without its merits. However, comparing with another laments, like the Different Trains above, is perhaps a little bit superficial.

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January 9th, 2012, 03:54 PM
I love the work of the Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa.


He was born in Hiroshima, in 1955. His musical education took place mainly in Germany, though he also explored japanese traditional music. He has written some very interesting operas: Hanjo, Vision of Lear and Matsukaze.


A thoughtful exploration of Japanese sounds, the silence, incorporate Nature into his works, along a complete understanding of the Western classical and avant-garde music, shape Hosokawa's style.

I'm searching for a new way to understand the music and the spirit of Japan, one way that allows me to be faithful to myself and my origins. We japanese must think again Western world, ponder its influence on us, to incorporate into our self.

Transience is beatiful. A note breaks the silence, is alive, and then returns to the silence.

Toshio Hosokawa

In 1991, Hosokawa completed the Hiroshima Requiem, in three movements. The first, "Night", recounted in instrumental music the eve of Little Boy's explosion, the night before the world changed forever. The second, "Death and Resurrection" merged the music with the voices of Hiroshima's children, extracted from this book:


in which boys and girls between five and fifteen years old in 1945, told us, in a naive and moving way, how they remembered living in Hiroshima just before and after August, 6th.

The third and last movement, "Dawn", was about Hirohisma coming back to life, from radioactive ashes.


To Hosokawa, the bomb was not a personal experience, but his mother and father told him about the terrible hours, and the death toll. However, after completing the Requiem, he was not satisfied, because he considered the new Hiroshima, a city of around one million inhabitants, impossible to tell from other similar Japanese cities, has now turn its back to Nature. An assignment from Baviera radio was all he needed to revisit the piece, and create in 2001, Voiceless Voice in Hiroshima.

The new work consists of five movements. The first one, "Prelude-Night", is very similar to the first version, just changing the orchestration, reinforcing brass and strings, and adding one celesta.

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Hell is something that normally we only think about. But I've touched Hell, I've smelt Hell, and this I will take with me to Heaven.

I can't speak about it. It hurts me so... I can't speak with my mom about that day.

My mother and my little brother dissapeared. When I saw my father, he was not my father. It was just a jumble of bloody flesh in military rags. He died soon after.

I dream all nights about home, about my parents. I want to see them, I miss them so much.

I look at my face in a mirror, and only want to die.

I only ask the doctors each day, that they kill me.

From the book "Children of Hiroshima"


Little Boy was launched from Enola Gay, a B-29 bomber, at 8:15 AM, August, 6th, 1945.

It was three meters hight and weighted four tonnes

It was made with Uranium 235.

The bomb exploded 850 meters above the city of Hiroshima.

Air temperature reached one million degrees.

The energy liberated by the explosion was the equivalent of 15,000 tonnes of TNT.

Some 140,000 people die, the city was destroyed.

In the second movement, Death and Resurrection, we hear some experiences from Hiroshisma's children, in Japanese and English, a Requiem Mass, some radio speeches from Hitler and Tojo, sounds of bomb explosions,... To perform this movement we need three narrators, four soloist, mixed choir, children choir, orchestra and pre-recorded tape.

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Winter Voice, for choir and orchestra is the third movement in the suite. Inspired in a poem by Paul Celan (not my translation):


Schneefall, dichter und dichter,
taubenfarben, wie gestern,
Schneefall, als schliefst du auch jetzt noch.

Weithin gelagertes Weiss.
Drüberhim, endlos,
die Schlittenspur des Verlornen.

Darunter, geborgen,
stülp sich empor,
was den Augen so weh tut,
Hügel und Hügel,

Auf jedem,
heimgeholt in sein Heute,
ein ins Stumme entglittenes Ich:
hölzern, ein Pflock.

Dort: ein Gefühl,
vom Eiswind herübergeweht,
das sein tauben, sein schnee-
farbenes Fahnentuch festmacht.


Snowfall, denser and denser,
dove-coloured as yesterday,
snowfall, as if even now you were sleeping.

White, stacked into distance.
Above it, endless,
the sleigh track of the lost.

Below, hidden,
presses up
what so hurts the eyes,
hill upon hill,

On each,
fetched home into its today,
an I slipped away into dumbness:
wooden, a post.

There: a feeling,
blown across by the ice wind
attaching its dove- its snow-
coloured cloth as a flag.


it seems like we are immersed in a cold winter landscape. Choir lines reinforce the feeling of loneliness, interrupted by interludes that break the ocean of silence, and then die submerged in the water. We can even perceive the swell, a soft sound, gently beating.

This indifference, like a programmed mechanism, is what Hosokawa believes to be the heart of the industrial reconstruction of Japan, that has all but killed the spirit of the Japanese civilization.

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The fourth movement, Signs of Spring, is a piece for alto, choir and orchestra. The text comes from a haiku by Matsuo Basho.


Carefully looking
Blooming shepherd's purse
Under the hedge

A small flower, that we can find if we pay attention to our surroundings. This is, for Hosokawa, as present in the 21st century, as it was for Basho in the 17th.

And this is the meaning of Signs of Spring, in the words of Hosokawa, music for a new hope, a new balance between Man and Nature.

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Let's complete this brief introduction to Voiceless Voice in Hiroshima, with the fifth and last movement.

It's Temple Bells Voice, for choir and orchestra, again based on a haiku by Basho. In the Buddhist temples of Japan, the biggest bell in each temple, is tolled at New Year's Eve, a total of 108 times, for the elimination of the 108 desires that cause suffering to a human being.


Where is the Moon?
The Temple's bell
is sinking in the depths of the ocean

January 11th, 2012, 07:36 AM
Anybody hear listened to any significant pieces by Finish composer Aulis Sallinen (born 1935)? There appears six operas to his name.

January 11th, 2012, 10:25 AM
I've heard a few of those six, and even watched on stage Kullervo, (in German) at Frankfurt Opera. It was ok, though I was not thrilled by the experience.

January 13th, 2012, 08:28 PM
Gavin Bryars is a veteran British composer, with a musical career extending to more than forty years.

I guess many members will know this Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet, one of his first works, written before Bryars was thirty years old. He explains the birth of the piece:

In 1971, when I lived in London, I was working with a friend, Alan Power, on a film about people living rough in the area around Elephant and Castle and Waterloo Station. In the course of being filmed, some people broke into drunken song - sometimes bits of opera, sometimes sentimental ballads - and one, who in fact did not drink, sang a religious song "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet". This was not ultimately used in the film and I was given all the unused sections of tape, including this one.

When I played it at home, I found that his singing was in tune with my piano, and I improvised a simple accompaniment. I noticed, too, that the first section of the song - 13 bars in length - formed an effective loop which repeated in a slightly unpredictable way. I took the tape loop to Leicester, where I was working in the Fine Art Department, and copied the loop onto a continuous reel of tape, thinking about perhaps adding an orchestrated accompaniment to this. The door of the recording room opened on to one of the large painting studios and I left the tape copying, with the door open, while I went to have a cup of coffee. When I came back I found the normally lively room unnaturally subdued. People were moving about much more slowly than usual and a few were sitting alone, quietly weeping.

I was puzzled until I realised that the tape was still playing and that they had been overcome by the old man's singing. This convinced me of the emotional power of the music and of the possibilities offered by adding a simple, though gradually evolving, orchestral accompaniment that respected the tramp's nobility and simple faith. Although he died before he could hear what I had done with his singing, the piece remains as an eloquent, but understated testimony to his spirit and optimism.


January 15th, 2012, 05:58 PM
Wolfgang Mitterer is an interesting Austrian composer, that has written some opera, but this is a different beast, his Konzert für Klavier, Orchester und Electronics, with an especially fine "electronics" part:


January 19th, 2012, 10:15 PM
From American composer Ingram Marshall, we can listen to one of his early pieces, Gradual Requiem, premiered in 1980, for voice, flute, mandolin, piano, synthesizer and pre-recorded tape. An interesting fusion of acoustic and electronic music:


January 27th, 2012, 09:51 AM
I love flute's solo pieces. I find this is a deceptively simple, but fascinating instrument.

And some contemporary composers are the ones that really have understood better the flute.

One of my favourites is this lovely Cassandra's dream song, by Brian Ferneyhough, where you can find all kind of extended techniques. But this is not pyrotechnics, it is used as a powerful, and beautiful, (albeit a little bit complicated) way to compose expressive music.

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January 27th, 2012, 09:53 AM
Among young composers (let's say under forty :D), I think Matthias Pintscher is one of the more interesting.

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This Osiris, (piece for large orchestra, around 20' lenght) premiered in Chicago a few years ago, and dedicated to Pierre Boulez, it strikes me as very expressive, rich in colour, with a good development line, and great lines for trumpet and contrabassoon.

January 27th, 2012, 09:57 AM
Emmanuel Nunes (Lisboa, 1941) is arguably the foremost Portuguese composer, though he had spent most of his career in Germany and France.

Nunes, as many composers today, has been searching for his own musical language, rejecting the serialism of his teacher Boulez, but open to many influences, from the past, the spectralism, electronics,...

Back in 2008, he premiered his first opera, Das Märchen, based on some tales by Goethe, in Lisbon. Though some moments were outstanding from a purely musical point of view, it was too long, and void of drama. Also, the vocal writing was not really the best thing about this opera.

However, in my opinion, Quodlibet written for orchestra and a percusion ensemble, with two different conductors, is one of the most interesting pieces in the second half of the 20th century.

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January 27th, 2012, 09:59 AM
Beat Furrer is one of the top conductors of contemporary music, in my view, having made some wonderful work with his ensemble, Klangforum Wien.

But he is also a great composer. I particularly like his opera Fama, and this Piano Concerto, where the attentive listener can find a host of small pins, that just appear, stay for the flickerest of moments, and hide again.

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January 27th, 2012, 10:00 AM

This composition by Vinko Globolar is inspired on the famous watercolor by Klee:


and the interpretion made by Walter Benjamin, about the "Angel of History" and how he is dragged by the storm we call progress.


It's quite dense, 90 minutes long, and uneven, but it won't leave many listeners indifferent. We can hear above the beginning of the first movement Zerfall

January 27th, 2012, 10:01 AM
Kaija Saariaho's L'amour de Loin is perhaps the best opera written in the last fifteen years.

But of course, Saariaho had already completed a big number of compositions before this opera.

With the flute, one of her favorite instruments is the cello, working often with his friend, the Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen. Saariaho was fascinated by the different techniques to play the cello, and how they influence the structure of the armonics emitted by the instrument.

In 1988 she wrote Petals:

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with a gradual transformation of the sound, flirting with microtonality, stretching up to the frontier of noise, and coming back to the beginning.

And we can compare her evolution with a piece from year 2000, Sept Papillons:

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where the cellist movements resemble the wings of a butterfly, and Saariaho play with the standard sound of the instrument.

January 27th, 2012, 12:10 PM
One of the most appealing features of contemporary music is perhaps the incredible richness of percussion.

Within the percussion family, one of my favourites instruments is the marimba. Minoru Miki wrote this piece, Marimba Spiritual, in 1984, arguably the best work for marimba in the repertoire:



January 27th, 2012, 12:11 PM
From the Spanish composer Elena Mendoza, now teaching and working in Berlin, winner of the Musikpreis Salzburg 2011 and the Premio Nacional de Música 2010, we can listen below to a chamber piece written some years ago, Diptico, arguably her best youth piece (she was 28 years old at the time).

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January 27th, 2012, 12:12 PM
English composer Cornelius Cardew died still young, at 44 years old. He was a great talent, that perhaps his restless life prevented him from developing completely.

This is a piece for ensemble and electronics, composed in 1961, dedicated to abstract expressionist painter Jasper Johns, an experiment on improvisation and musical continuity:

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and this is the piece recorded for 2010 PROMS. the interesting Bun No. 1:

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January 27th, 2012, 12:14 PM
In 1979, Dutch composer Simeon Ten Holt completed his work Canto Ostinato, an European asnwer to American minimalism.

The premiere of the piece was played with 3 pianos and one electric organ, but there are other combinations possible, even with a single piano.

Listened in its entirety, it could be a little bit monotonous, with a certain "ambient music" flavour, but on the other hand it could please many people of many different tastes.

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January 27th, 2012, 12:16 PM

After receiving a commission for composing a piece of music to celebrate the "Bicentennial", Messiaen decided to pay a tribute to Utah's canyons and birds, finally performed at New York, in 1974. Though it's clear that anyone gazing at those landscapes will get impressed, Messiaen's work describes much better the soul of the composer, than Bryce Canyon.

The piece is written for piano, horn, glockenspiel, xilorimba and a 43 instruments orchestra, with a complex and colorful percussion. Some incredible sounds are extracted from this ensemble. It's a very lyrical work, far from Messiaen's compositions in the 1950s and 1960s, closer to earlier pieces like Turangalîla. Especially the last movement, 'Zion Park et la cité céleste', is powerful and calm at the same time, a little window opening into Eternity.


January 27th, 2012, 12:16 PM
From this interesting CD published by Col Legno:


featuring music by Charles Uzor, a Nigerian composer trained in Switzerland, we can hear Ricercare, a piece from 1991, written for piano, two harps, string ensemble and drums:

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January 27th, 2012, 12:17 PM
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Wolfram Schurig is an Austrian composer, an avant-garde composer that curiously enough, sometimes seems to be a kind of 'retro' avant-garde composer.

"Ultima Thule" is an exploration of sound, and the limits of our perception of sound. It's written for five ensembles, and it's a piece recommended strictly for lovers of avant-garde music only.

January 27th, 2012, 12:18 PM
From Romanian composer Horatiu Radulescu's worklist, we can watch complete in youtube one of his most beautiful pieces, the Piano Concert The Quest, written in the mid 1990s.

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January 27th, 2012, 12:19 PM
Swiss composer Michael Jarrell has been for the last thirty years one of the most exciting musicians in Europe.

Sillages is a piece written in 2005, and a transcription of his earlier work Congruences, stripping the electronic music, and creating some new developments. The piece is scored for flute, clarinet, oboe and orchestra.

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January 27th, 2012, 12:19 PM
The first movement from Mathias Spahlinger's piece Furioso, written in 1991:

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January 27th, 2012, 12:20 PM
Leonid Desiatnikov - The Leaden Echo.

It's based on a poem by the Victorian writer Gerard Manley Hopkins, and written for countertenor voice and chamber orchestra.


How to keep—is there any any, is there none such, nowhere known some, bow or brooch or braid or brace, láce, latch or catch or key to keep
Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, beauty, … from vanishing away?
O is there no frowning of these wrinkles, rankéd wrinkles deep,
Down? no waving off of these most mournful messengers, still messengers, sad and stealing messengers of grey?
No there ’s none, there ’s none, O no there ’s none,
Nor can you long be, what you now are, called fair,
Do what you may do, what, do what you may,
And wisdom is early to despair:
Be beginning; since, no, nothing can be done
To keep at bay
Age and age’s evils, hoar hair,
Ruck and wrinkle, drooping, dying, death’s worst, winding sheets, tombs and worms and tumbling to decay;
So be beginning, be beginning to despair.
O there ’s none; no no no there ’s none:
Be beginning to despair, to despair,
Despair, despair, despair, despair.

January 27th, 2012, 12:20 PM
Conlon Nancarrow - String Quartet nº 3.

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January 27th, 2012, 12:21 PM
Avet Terteryan died in the mid 1990s, at 65 years old, but left behind numerous works. Perhaps the most remarkables are his nine symphonies. We can hear a fragment of the Fifth, premiered in 1978:



January 27th, 2012, 12:22 PM
Some years ago the Kronos Quartet and two musicians from Finland: Kimmo Pohjonen (electric accordion and voice), and Samuli Kosminen (strings and sampling) worked together to create Uniko.

The piece has been successful enough:


January 27th, 2012, 12:23 PM
German composer York Höller won the Grawemwyer Prize in 2010 with his work for orchestra Sphären. During the six years he spent writing this piece, Höller faced up an unstoppable blindness and the death of his wife. Sphären is dedicated to her memory.

We can listen here to a splendid composition from 1978, Arcus, for Percussion, Chamber Ensemble and tape.

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January 27th, 2012, 12:23 PM
Julio Estrada - Yuunohui'Tlapoa 'Se, for violin and harpsichord:


January 27th, 2012, 12:24 PM

This was not a great movie, not by any means, but the soundtrack using modern classical music was quite good. This was the track list:

Disc 1

"Fog Tropes" (Ingram Marshall) – (Orchestra of St. Lukes & John Adams)
"Symphony No. 3: Passacaglia – Allegro Moderato" (Krzysztof Penderecki) – (National Polish Radio Symphony & Antoni Wit)
"Music for Marcel Duchamp" (John Cage) – (Philipp Vandré)
"Hommage à John Cage" – (Nam June Paik)
"Lontano" (György Ligeti) – (Wiener Philharmoniker & Claudio Abbado)
"Rothko Chapel 2" (Morton Feldman) – (UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus)
"Cry" – (Johnnie Ray)
"On the Nature of Daylight" – (Max Richter)
"Uaxuctum: The Legend of the Mayan City Which They Themselves Destroyed for Religious Reasons – 3rd Movement" (Giacinto Scelsi) – (Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra)
"Quartet for Strings and Piano in A Minor" (Gustav Mahler) – (Prazak Quartet)

Disc 2

"Christian Zeal and Activity" (John Adams) – (The San Francisco Symphony & Edo de Waart)
"Suite for Symphonic Strings: Nocturne" (Lou Harrison) – (The New Professionals Orchestra & Rebecca Miller)
"Lizard Point" – (Brian Eno)
"Four Hymns: II for Cello and Double Bass" (Alfred Schnittke) – (Torleif Thedéen & Entcho Radoukanov)
"Root of an Unfocus" (John Cage) – (Boris Berman)
"Prelude – The Bay" – (Ingram Marshall)
"Wheel of Fortune" – (Kay Starr)
"Tomorrow Night" – (Lonnie Johnson)
"This Bitter Earth"/"On the Nature of Daylight" – (Dinah Washington & Max Richter; Arrangement by Robbie Robertson)


January 27th, 2012, 12:24 PM
Mieczyslaw Weinberg - Requiem


January 27th, 2012, 12:25 PM
Each sound must have its own entity and life. What I am doing in my compositions is to create a web of intertonal relationships, while trying to safeguard the possibility of aurally perceiving the individual entity and life of every single tone in that relationship.

Jo Kondo

Sight Rhythmics - 1975


February 7th, 2012, 09:36 PM
I love the flute.

This is a composition for flute and thirteen instruments, Saanlijan, by the interesting Belgian composer Claude Ledoux:

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Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
February 8th, 2012, 01:42 AM

February 11th, 2012, 04:49 PM
From American composer Charles Wuorinen, we can hear one work from the 1990s, The River of Light:


Some opinions of Wuorinen on music:

"We can't go on regurgitating what we've been doing. Yet, we live in a world where people are only too happy to give themselves historical anesthesia and pretend that they can still write a great C major something. I haven't heard one yet; I've been waiting. I would not say it's intellectually dishonest to write music in C major, but I think it depends on who you are. I remember in the ‘70s, a—at the time—semi-well-known rock musician came to me because he couldn't read music, and he wanted to learn how to write down his songs. I said, "Well, do you know anything about harmony?" And he said no, he didn't. He just felt his way around, as I guess they all do. Anyway, I gave him something to read, and he went away. He then called me a little while later and said that he decided instead of studying to hire a secretary to notate his stuff, and I said, "You have made the right choice, because if you knew enough to write down what you're doing, you would find it unsatisfactory. If you had knowledge, you would be unable to continue with what you're doing." And this seems to me to be very much the case with popular music today and has been for a long time.

What's interesting about that is that it wasn't always so. In the earlier days of old-fashioned jazz, big bands, whatever it was—I'm not a historian in these things, I don't know the exact sequence—until sometime around the rise of rock ‘n' roll, I would guess in the ‘50s and early ‘60s, popular musicians recognized a hierarchy, and tended to look up, or else tended to be defensive about or to be angry with, classical musicians. Everything they did, of course, ultimately derived from classical practice. The harmonic language they used, and still use now, comes from the work of serious composers of an earlier time. Jazz is the same—it's grafting on via Baptist hymn tunes, diatonic harmony from Western music, and African elements and rhythms. In any case, just to finish this off, there wasn't necessarily a great profound knowledge on the part of pop musicians, although a lot more than now, you really had to be able to play, you really had to be able to do those arrangements, you had to know what you were doing, to have real instrumental skills, to be a good musician in those genres. They may not have known a hell of a lot, but they knew that there was something there which was worthy of respect. It wasn't their thing, and they did what they did.

Following that we had—don't forget—the pronouncements of the students of the late 1960s. In their colossal ignorance about everything, they pronounced themselves the best-educated generation in history; that attitude has continued since then. And you have now pop musicians who really don't know anything. They regard themselves as moral colossi who are going to tell the world how to live and what's wrong with everybody else via their immortal poetry, but their musical substance is very, very slim, and there is no recognition of any sort of higher forms of musical discourse or musical practice. That is a very a profound change, and it's something which, when you then see the pathetic spectacle of certain composers, you know who they are, aping pop behavior as a way of trying to grab an audience that expects not to be pandered to, but to be given entertainment that it can receive effortlessly, without paying very much attention to it. You see that we're in a very different place than we were at one time."

February 13th, 2012, 06:37 PM
The great flutist Roberto Fabbriciani wrote in 2005, Glaciers in Extinction.


In this piece the Hyperbass flute (here all the sounds are coming from the flute, using extended techniques, there is no electronics involved) is able to perfectly convey the feeling of those glaciers moving.


February 16th, 2012, 02:30 PM
Luis de Pablo is one of the leading contemporary composers of Spain. The already octogenarian de Pablo has been active in almost every field. This composition, Al son que tocan, was based on texts by the poet Antonio Machado:


February 17th, 2012, 12:07 PM
More avant-garde pieces.

In this case, from the young French composer Raphaël Cendo. Charge is written for flute, clarinet, horn, trumpet, cello, double bass, percussion and electronics, and it was premiered in 2009:


February 19th, 2012, 08:06 PM
After completing his great opera Saint François d'Assise, the then septuagenarian Olivier Messiaen was understandably very tired. Many thought that he will not indeed write any new major piece.

However, and by commision of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, he was still able to undergo the effort to compose Éclairs sur l'au-delà…, a work for large orchestra, of about one hour of duration.

There is, in musical terms, nothing very new here, nothing that we haven't already heard in Des canyons aux étoiles, but it's a very good piece of music, nonetheles, and the testament of one great composer.


February 20th, 2012, 07:45 PM

February 21st, 2012, 03:29 PM
From the Spanish composer David del Puerto, we can hear Invernal, written for a winds quintet, a string quintet, piano and percussion. A nice piece:


February 22nd, 2012, 01:21 AM
I'm just getting into newer music. My favorite thing I've heard has to be the Dutilleux Violin Concerto. I also like the Henze Symphony no. 7. I have Thomas Ades's Violin Concerto as well as the Corigliano Symphony, and Schnitke Symphony 4. It would take more research to determine whether certain pieces in my library were written in the last 30 years.

Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
February 22nd, 2012, 01:45 AM
I'm just getting into newer music. My favorite thing I've heard has to be the Dutilleux Violin Concerto. I also like the Henze Symphony no. 7. I have Thomas Ades's Violin Concerto as well as the Corigliano Symphony, and Schnitke Symphony 4. It would take more research to determine whether certain pieces in my library were written in the last 30 years.

By the way, since you asked about contemporary opera and you say you like Thomas Adès, both his operas are outstanding: Powder her Face, and The Tempest.

February 22nd, 2012, 06:59 PM
George Crumb has always been chasing the elusive nature of sound. Also, he is also an innovator of musical notation:



But above all this, he is a very talented composer. Perhaps this is his best known piece, Black Angels:

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February 22nd, 2012, 08:31 PM
Yeah, George Crumb! I adore his Music for a Summer Evening:


February 24th, 2012, 12:32 PM
Percussion was probably the biggest discovery of the 20th century.

One already classical piece for percussion ensemble: Iannis Xenakis' Persephassa

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February 25th, 2012, 02:12 PM
The local contemporary music ensemble did a moon-themed concert, and so they played a piece by Bilbao, Pierrot Lunaire, and George Crumb's 'Night of the Four Moons'. An amazing piece.

February 25th, 2012, 03:01 PM
I guess you mean Schönberg's Pierrot Lunaire. It's that piece:

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Glad you enjoyed the concert.

February 25th, 2012, 03:06 PM
Quite. I was being unclear. I meant that they first played some piece by Bilbao, whose name escapes me now, and then they played Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire. It made perfect sense in my head. But then again, many things do.

February 27th, 2012, 01:22 PM
The Quartett für Oboe und Streichtrio is one of the last pieces (2009) written by the Swiss composer Rudolf Kelterborn. The best from him since "Namenlos", in my opinion:


Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
February 28th, 2012, 05:32 AM
I guess you mean Schönberg's Pierrot Lunaire. It's that piece:

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Glad you enjoyed the concert.

This is very good. I had heard of Pierrot Lunaire several times but had never heard it. I like it, a lot!

Second set:

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Third set:

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March 1st, 2012, 01:37 PM
Frederic Rzewski's recent works include what he calls "Nanosonatas", for piano solo. This is an example of those delicate and poignant pieces, performed by Rzewski himself:


March 2nd, 2012, 11:06 AM
From the Spanish composer Alberto Posadas, we can hear one of his best pieces: "Versa est in Luctum". Very good music.


March 4th, 2012, 05:45 PM
One of the last works written by Polish composer Andrzej Panufnik was this Symphony No.8 (Votiva), that is arguably one of his best pieces ever:

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March 5th, 2012, 10:46 AM
A small excerpt of Michael Gordon's Timber, a real banquet for percussion's lovers:


March 6th, 2012, 11:54 AM
This is a practical demonstration of how to built one piece of music (of almost one hour of lenght), using the less possible material. Schnee, by Hans Abrahamsen, composed in 2006:

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March 7th, 2012, 11:22 AM
From the interesting, and still young, Estonian composer Helna Tulve, we can hear Lijnen, a beautiful piece for soprano and small orchestra.


March 9th, 2012, 12:43 PM
Mexican composer Joaquín Gutiérrez Heras died this month of March. Let's hear one of his pieces, "Ludus Autumni", for orchestra.


March 12th, 2012, 11:53 AM
Electronic music seldom goes as far as in Eliane Radigue's Trilogie de la Mort, a very long piece that perhaps needs some degree of complicity from the audience. This is the beginning:

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March 15th, 2012, 10:48 AM
"Ypsilon" is a composition by Stockhausen for “a melody instrument with micro-tones”, plus bells, and "human related sounds". In practice this means the performer (the Dutch flautist and specialist in Stockhausen, Kathinka Pasveer) is using a flute here... :)


March 16th, 2012, 01:43 PM
This is very avant-garde and experimental too, an exploration of acoustic space rather than a musical composition. So it can only really appeal to people willing to share this redefinition of sound and its relations with other elements. And can perfectly be considered as 'noise' or a collection of unrelated sounds to people looking for a more traditional offering.

Christina Kubisch's The Cat's Dream:

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March 17th, 2012, 01:58 PM
Something more conventional, and with some interesting music, Unsuk Chin's Violin Concerto:

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March 19th, 2012, 10:29 AM
Magnus Lindberg is one of the most notorious composers today, let's hear one of his pieces, this Clarinet Concerto:


March 22nd, 2012, 11:27 AM
This is one of the best contemporary music CDs I've heard in the last few years:


Let's hear "Agile", for orchestra and electronics, a powerful, compelling sound:

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March 22nd, 2012, 10:14 PM
I am interested in the Symphonies of Hermann Nitsch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Nitsch). particularly Symphony IX the Egyptian. (http://www.amazon.com/Nitsch-Symphony-No-9-Egyptian/dp/B0031IQ2EQ/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1332453886&sr=8-5) Linked there to amazon where it is available, thankfully. (but as a soon-to-be-art-student of the 21st century, i'd have to get over my piracy complex about buying cds). The samples there are really cool. the first movement in particular seems to fit in with what i've read about his philosophy pertaining to his "aktions" (immersive festivals of performance art etc. of his own engineering), that through facing the unbridled truth of being in it's unfathomable totality there is life affirmation- but without having technique as elaborately mastered as Ligeti or Messiaen, which is cool.

Ubuweb also has a page of his soundclips and music (http://www.ubu.com/sound/nitsch.html), the files to his Symphony VI seem to be broken but check out his "Klaviersonate Für Arnulf Rainer"

March 23rd, 2012, 02:53 PM
“Lilith was a serpent; she was Adam’s first wife and, according to Dante Gabriel Rossetti, gave him: ‘Shapes that coiled in the woods and waters, Glittering sons and radiant daughters.’

Throughout the Middle Ages the influence of the word ‘layil’ (Hebrew for night) gave a new turn to the myth. She becomes an apparition of the night and at times a demon who assaults those who sleep alone or those who travel lonely roads – a tall, silent woman with long black hair.”

Simon Holt

This is one truly fascinating piece, arguably Holt's best, written back in 1990:


March 26th, 2012, 09:40 AM
Ulrich Leyendecker is a German composer, not very well known outside Germany, but this gloomy "Konzert für Violoncello und Orchester" is a nice piece of music:


March 28th, 2012, 03:06 PM
A recent piece by Stefano Gervasoni, Sviete Tihi, for piano and percussion:

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March 30th, 2012, 07:41 PM
The Sinfonia 2, "Ricordanze", by Wilhem Killmayer is an austere work, in the sound plane as well as in its lenght. With just a flute, oboe, and bassoon to complement a group of strings and a harpsichord, the initial concentration on the individual sounds of the instruments, is challenged at the end by the intervention of the harpsichord, before going back to the initial state.

A haunting piece of music:


April 1st, 2012, 08:37 PM
Harry Partch was an odd figure, working apart from musical mainstream, writing music for his own made instruments, and mainly in different tuning systems than the standard twelve-tone equal temperament.

The Bewitched was a 'dance-satire' written in the 1950s with a tendency to explore the absurd, paired with his iconoclastic music. Let's hear an example: "Visions Fill the Eyes of a Defeated Basketball Team in the Shower Room":

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April 3rd, 2012, 10:10 AM
German composer Paul Dessau based some of his operas in Bertolt Brecht's texts. At the death of the writer and theatre director, he wrote in 1957 one piece in his memory, this "In memoriam Bertolt Brecht" for orchestra:


Later, at his own death, Hans Werner Henze wrote in 1979 this other piece, "Barcarola per grande orchestra (in memoriam Paul Dessau)"


April 6th, 2012, 07:20 PM
Blurred is a recent piece by Austrian composer Karlheinz Essl. It's written for alto flute, vibraphone, cello and live-electronics. This performance is in Dublin, with Essl himself managing the electronics part:


April 8th, 2012, 06:43 PM
On the recommendation of a friend, I've listened to this soundtrack:


And it's interesting, beyond some clichés and some too "easy" musical passages.


April 13th, 2012, 07:19 PM
Pierre Jodlowski - People/Time


April 15th, 2012, 04:00 PM
One of the last works of Toshio Hosokawa, is this Cloud and Light, for shô and orchestra (2008):


April 16th, 2012, 01:12 PM
A recent piece by American composer Joseph Schwantner, Recoil:


April 20th, 2012, 02:27 PM
One of the last pieces written by American composer Michael Gordon is this For Madeline, scored for cello, double bass, clarinet, electric guitar, vibraphone and piano, in memory of the composer's mother.

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April 23rd, 2012, 12:16 PM
Eva Reiter is a young Austrian composer, and this "Alle Verbindungen Gelten Nur Jetz" one of her best known compositions. We can watch this performance from the Ictus Ensemble at the Biennale di Venezia:


April 23rd, 2012, 09:16 PM

Suitable stuff for a horror movie, me think.

April 25th, 2012, 04:41 AM
Chaya Czernowin - MAIM

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Maim, “water” in Hebrew, is the metaphor which dominates the piece. Elementary forms of water appear throughout Maim, musically translated. Scattered droplets — articulated as points — close Maim zarim, maim gnuvim; the same droplets begin Mei Mecha’a, but this time, perhaps, condensed. Condensation, indeed, is meant in almost a literal sense here: where at the end of Maim zarim, maim gnuvim these are truly heard as liquid points, in their re-articulation at the beginning ofMei Mecha’a, they are in a state between that and one seemingly gaseous, or at least cloud-like, even if whether vapor is condensing into liquid, or vice versa, remains unclear. Those same points begin to crystallize into solid form in their rapid, meccanico repetition, which dominates the centre of The Memory of Water. But this is not a romantic tone poem. The motion between its states follows a logic which is anything but that of water itself.

Maim springs from the thought that only a small part of human communication lies in words. Most comes through gestures, timbre, tempo, and the world’s great problems result from the overvaluation of words. Influenced by the huge media coverage of the Middle East, Chaya Czernowin has composed a sensitive piece which sounds out the possibilities of music against the background of a newly understood communication.

April 27th, 2012, 11:49 AM
Partita I is one of the latest pieces by French composer Philippe Manoury. A complex, but quite interesting, interaction between the viola and the electronics:

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April 30th, 2012, 06:19 PM
From Spanish composer Carmelo Bernaola, a piece from the 1990s, ¡Tierra!:

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May 3rd, 2012, 06:38 PM
Time and Again is a piece for piano and violin by Georgian composer Giya Kancheli, written in 1997. There is also a version for String Trio.


May 7th, 2012, 09:30 PM
From the German-Spanish composer María de Alvear, we can listen to one of her first pieces, written in 1991: En Amor Duro.

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May 8th, 2012, 08:33 PM
Interesting contemporary vocal work about which I've learned today by accident:


May 16th, 2012, 12:50 PM
New Epigrams, a piece composed in the 1990s by Benet Casablancas:

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May 19th, 2012, 06:02 PM
A guide on some contemporary composers started in the English newspaper The Guardian:


From the French composer, of Chinese origin, Qigang Chen, one of the last disciples of Olivier Messiaen, we can hear Reflet d'un temps disparu, for cello and orchestra, written in 1998:

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May 20th, 2012, 07:26 PM
Chamber music of the late 20th century. From American composer Lee Hyla, we can hear We Speak Etruscan, for bass clarinet and a beautifully written part for baritone saxophone.


May 20th, 2012, 08:17 PM
Lois Andriessen: M is for Man, Music, Mozart (1991)
for jazz singer and ensemble composed for the video film by Peter Greenaway

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May 20th, 2012, 08:21 PM
Iannis Xenakis: Polytope de Cluny (1972)
Multimedia performance


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May 20th, 2012, 08:26 PM
The two examples above are some kind of music theatre. Maybe it will be better to place them in contemporary opera thread.

In 1970s Michel Guy commissioned Xenakis to write an opera. His answer was: Not interested, but I can create an automated, abstract spectacle with lights, lasers, and electronic flashes. And that was Polytope de Cluny!

May 20th, 2012, 09:00 PM
Ah, those were the times of the anti-opera, and the anti-anti-opera, indeed!. :)

May 22nd, 2012, 03:42 AM
Ah, those were the times of the anti-opera, and the anti-anti-opera, indeed!. :)

How much separation are we looking for between "contemporary opera" and "general contemporary music-theater of outlaws that totally can't be called opera"?

I think Czernowin's Pnima ins innerre, Lewis Nielson's USW, and the aforeposted Xenakis piece are all things that are theatric, and fantastic developments upon the meaning of "music-theater," but not "opera' enough perhaps.

May 22nd, 2012, 08:20 AM
Well, that's an interesting subject: operatic Taxonomy. :)

Personally, I'm very open. I will accept as Opera, anything the composer calls Opera, provided it's using music and human voice.

May 25th, 2012, 02:00 PM
Terry Riley is one of the fathers of Minimalism.

In 1984 he wrote four pieces for the Kronos Quartet, that were presented together in a studio album called Cadenza On The Night Plain. We can hear one of those, "Mythic Birds Waltz".


May 30th, 2012, 07:29 PM
Morton Subotnick is an electronic music pioneer.

This work written in 1985, The Key to Songs, is scored for two pianos, marimba, xylophon, vibraphone, viola, cello and, of course, electronics. In the heart of this piece there are two Schubert's lieder: "Erklönig" and "Wohin", deconstructed by the American composer.

It's really fascinating how the computer generated sounds are merged with the traditional instruments:


May 31st, 2012, 08:06 PM
Can you guys help me find a list of all living Messiaen disciples and Takemitsu disciples?

Not just people who studied with them necessarily, but anyone who is hugely influenced by them. like Wagner toward Beethoven, or Takemitsu toward Messiaen.

I appreciated Qigang Chen mentioned earlier in this thread.

I also think Gubaidulina, though she has some counter-Messiaen theories and no association with Takemitsu, is a picture of what I'm considering... just, I think she's over 80 years old and I've never heard of her taking students.

May 31st, 2012, 08:43 PM
Messiaen was a professor of Composition for nearly forty years, so you can imagine the list of composers that studied with him is fairly long.... The most famous were Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis, Gérard Grisey, Tristan Murail, Karel Goeyvaerts, Jean Barraqué, Alexander Goehr, Oliver Knussen,.. For sure, I will be missing several significant names.

Of course, that doesn't mean they were following Messiaen's musical orientations, not by any means. Messiaen himself was well aware that most of his students were not interested in Catholicism, birdsongs or even organ music.

About influencing others, some people claim that the "mysticism" of composers like Gorécki, James MacMillan, Pärt and others comes from Messiaen. I don't quite agree. In my view, starting from a totally different musical vision, there is more of Messiaen (of the best Messiaen, of the Messiaen celebrating the Bryce Canyon, and the beauty of Creation) on works like Steve Reich's The Desert:

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June 9th, 2012, 03:23 PM
Speaking of Messian's students, this is one great piece, Gondwana, by Tristan Murail:

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June 11th, 2012, 11:03 AM
Dmitri Kourliandski. "Shiver" for button accordion (2010)


June 14th, 2012, 11:55 AM
This is very experimental, and in the frontier of the concept of "music".

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June 17th, 2012, 03:16 PM
From the Spanish composer José Manuel López López, a work for percussion, "African winds", played by two marimbas:


June 19th, 2012, 07:05 AM
Anyone here a fan of Ligeti?


June 19th, 2012, 10:24 AM
Ligeti is a classic, of course.

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June 19th, 2012, 10:50 AM
Ligeti is a classic, of course.

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Atmosphères is nice, but it's overrated. For micropolyphony, go for his cello concerto!


Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)
June 20th, 2012, 03:15 AM
I only know his only opera Le Grand Macabre; I haven't listened to his non-operatic music. But I must say that Le Grand Macabre is quite spectacular, so I'm sure I'd enjoy his other pieces.

June 20th, 2012, 04:13 AM
I only know his only opera Le Grand Macabre; I haven't listened to his non-operatic music. But I must say that Le Grand Macabre is quite spectacular, so I'm sure I'd enjoy his other pieces.

He has quite a diversity in his style. Much like Stravinksy actually. Both wrote an opera at the end of their middle-period of composition too.

Recommended music to listen to
First Period: Musica Ricercata, Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet, Concert Romanesc, String Quartet no. 1, Artikulation
Middle Period: Lux Aeterna, Ramifications, Atmosphères, Cello Concerto, Continuum, Kammerkonzert
Last Period: Études for Piano, Piano Concerto, Violin Concerto, Hamburg Concerto, Trio for Horn Violin and Piano

June 22nd, 2012, 02:25 PM
American composer Michael Daugherty wrote in 1997 Niagara Falls, in his own words "ten minutes of a musical promenade along the Niagara river, with a small visit to the Wax Museum Criminal Room in the middle":


June 24th, 2012, 04:51 PM
Avantgarde piece from American composer Olivia Block, Stupid Afternoon:


July 11th, 2012, 03:54 PM
Milton Babbitt was one of the most famous composers post-WWII. In this famous article, published in 1958, he expounds on modern music and the role of the listener:

Who cares if you listen? (http://www.palestrant.com/babbitt.html)

Well, now there are more bridges than in the 1950s, though the abyss is not yet closed:

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July 14th, 2012, 09:42 AM
From the great Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina let's hear Am Rande des Abgrunds, written in 2002 for seven cellos and two watherphones. Gubaidulina was always attracted to exotic timbres, and we can hear how she integrates one of them in her piece, already seventy years old. She even learn to play the waterphone, an instrument we normally associates with Sci-Fi movies:



July 19th, 2012, 10:26 AM
From the Spanish avant-garde composer Ramón Barce, we can hear an interesting piece, Trama:

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July 21st, 2012, 04:20 PM
One of the last works by John Cage, and part of his "number pieces", we can hear Twenty-Six, written for twenty-six violins:

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July 25th, 2012, 10:47 AM
I was hearing the CD below this morning:


Let's hear one of the early pieces by Nicola LeFanu:


July 30th, 2012, 08:36 AM
A piece by composer and performer of her own music, Bérangère Maximin:


August 3rd, 2012, 02:13 PM
The Tea Rockers Quintet - Ceremony


August 7th, 2012, 08:35 AM
This is a fragment of Glenn Branca's 13th Symphony, scored for 100 electric guitars (in purity, 80 electric guitars, 20 electric basses and drums)


August 12th, 2012, 12:02 PM
Peter Eotvos - Chinese Opera


August 13th, 2012, 11:16 AM
Arguably the best work so far by Wolfgang Rihm, this is the beginning of his concert "Jagden und Formen", completed in 2001:

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August 15th, 2012, 08:21 PM
Written in 1986, Short Ride in a Fast Machine is perhaps the most performed piece by John Adams. It's a fanfare in which the percussion (woodblocks) are marking a tenacious, bordering on the fanatic, rhythm, accompanied later by the brass instruments in forte and the entrance of the clarinets. Then enter the rest of the orchestra really 'fast' and everything is over in just four 'short' minutes:


August 16th, 2012, 11:45 AM
Tadeusz Baird: Concerto Lugubre per viola e orchestra


August 19th, 2012, 09:14 PM
Roberto Gerhard, Symphony No. 4, 'New York'


August 23rd, 2012, 09:08 AM
The Israeli composer Noam Sheriff premiered back in 1992 Sephardic Passion, with Zubin Mehta conducting and Plácido Domingo singing... in Hebrew!.


August 24th, 2012, 12:42 PM
Canadian composer Claude Vivier was working since his childhood in what he called his "river-opera", Reves D'un Marco Polo, a piece about the Italian explorer, that he couldn't complete. Not even give it something resembling form. But there are several fragments available, like this interesting "Prologue pour un Marco Polo" for thirteen instruments, four voices and narrator, premiered in 1981, just two years before the composer's death:

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August 26th, 2012, 10:20 AM
Jesús Rueda ... Ítaca


August 26th, 2012, 09:55 PM
While watching Die Soldaten by TV, in 3sat, this is a good moment to remember what is perhaps the best work by Zimmermann, together with the opera.

We are talking about his last orchestral piece, Stille und Umkehr (Silence and Repentance). It was written just before Zimmermann's suicide, and it's a serene anticipation of his own death, with an almost minimalist aesthetics. A colourful instrumentation (flutes, clarinets, cellos, double bass, violin, viola, harp, English horn, saxofon, accordion, drums, timpani, Musical saw,...), dynamics always between pp and mp, the note D supporting the whole piece, as omnipresent as Death itself,... This was a wonderful farewell from Bernd Alois Zimmermann:


August 27th, 2012, 09:52 AM
A different type of Water Music, very different sounds compared with the more famous one written by my Avatar ...


August 28th, 2012, 10:45 AM
Ame ni utataru katedoraru (Cathedral in the Thrashing Rain) was a poem written around 1921 by Kōtarō Takamura, while travelling in Europe. American composer Stephen Hartke wrote in the year 2000 a composition based on this poem, scored for countertenor, 2 tenors, and baritone, singing a cappella:


August 29th, 2012, 10:13 AM
Another DVD I bought quite cheap, just like his Water Concerto, this one was his Paper Concerto by Tan Dun. Sheets of paper of different sizes were used as the "solo" instrument, including instances where the orchestral instumentalists were flipping their scores (sheets) to produce sounds of paper. The soloist here was termed "paper percussonist" (like the Water Concerto, the soloist there was term "water percussionist").



August 30th, 2012, 11:29 AM
Michael Pisaro - Fields Have Ears 1 - For piano and tape.


September 2nd, 2012, 07:04 AM
In 1916, Gustav Holst completed his orchestral suite The Planets. After the discovery of Pluto, in 1930, there was some pressure on Holst to include a piece for the new planet, but the composer was not interested.

In 2000, the English composer Colin Matthews wrote a new eighth movement for the suite, which he called "Pluto, the Renewer". Just six years later, the International Astronomical Union finally demoted Pluto's status as a planet.

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September 18th, 2012, 07:28 AM
The English newspaper "The Guardian" is publishing a series of articles on contemporary music:


The composers appearing so far:

No 20: Jonathan Harvey
No 19: Brian Ferneyhough
No 18: John Adams
No 17: Peter Maxwell Davies
No 16: John Cage
No 15: Olga Neuwirth
No 14: Per Nørgård
No 13: Michael Finnissy
No 12: Pierre Boulez
No 11: Kaija Saariaho
No 10: Richard Rodney Bennett
No 9: Bernd Alois Zimmermann
No 8: Arvo Pärt
No 7: Helmut Lachenmann
No 6: Oliver Knussen
No 5: Judith Weir
No 4: John Zorn
No 3: Harrison Birtwistle
No 2: Pauline Oliveros
No 1: Elliott Carter

Let's listen to Pauline Oliveros electronic music. Bye bye butterfly (1967)


September 24th, 2012, 04:32 PM
Félix Ibarrondo - Odolez (1979), for soprano, alto and chorus:


October 4th, 2012, 08:52 PM
"Ramón Humet's music is delicate and subtle, with high poetic imagination. Humet is a hope for the future; he has a fine ear, and a spirit full of light". Jonathan Harvey

A Night Piece by Ramón Humet:


October 5th, 2012, 02:01 PM
The Time Curve Preludes are 24 short pieces for piano written by American composer and music professor William Duckworth, recently deceased at sixty-nine years old:

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October 15th, 2012, 09:28 AM
From Danish composer Ib Nørholm, we can hear his Symphony No. 9 (1990):


October 22nd, 2012, 05:59 PM
Akira Nishimura - Three Visions (1994)


October 24th, 2012, 02:12 PM
A piece from the young Dutch composer Taylan Susam:


October 25th, 2012, 07:47 PM
"Korea for Kwartludium" (2005) for clarinet, violin, percussion and piano by American composer Lawrence Moss:


October 26th, 2012, 02:39 PM
"Luce" (2008) a piece for percussion by Enrico Renna, performed by Mika Takehara and Ludvig Nilsson:


October 28th, 2012, 11:48 AM
The more traditional symphony written by Hans Werner Henze, and arguably his best, is the Seventh, completed in 1984:


October 29th, 2012, 06:50 PM
Kurtág’s Ghosts is a solo piano cycle, created by Marino Formenti, that examines how major composers from the fourteenth to the twentieth century have influenced the Hungarian composer György Kurtág. Some of those composers are Guillaume de Machaut, Modest Mussorgsky, Bach, Leoš Janáček, Handel, Franz Schubert, Domenico Scarlatti, Franz Liszt, Karl Heinz Stockhausen, Robert Schumann, Olivier Messiaen,....


October 31st, 2012, 01:17 PM
Speaking of Marino Formenti... :)


November 1st, 2012, 03:23 PM
"Le chant du funambule" (1992), by Denis Bosse:


November 11th, 2012, 01:17 PM
The attractive combination of flute and guitar in this piece of Alessandro Solbiati, "Chanson d'Aube":


November 30th, 2012, 04:00 PM
Philippe Hurel - Pour Luigi, scored for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano (1994)


December 12th, 2012, 01:33 PM
Laurie Spiegel is an American composer known primarily for her electronic-music compositions and her algorithmic approach to writing music.

Sediment (1972) has been recently used in the soundtrack of "The Hunger Games":


December 14th, 2012, 07:37 PM
Philippe Durville - IMAC (1985), for 20 instruments and electronics:


December 22nd, 2012, 01:40 PM
Harrison Birwistle - The Cry of Annubis (1994), for tuba and orchestra:

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December 27th, 2012, 11:53 AM
From the French composer, working in Japan, Christophe Charles, let's hear one example from the series "undirected":


December 30th, 2012, 02:25 PM
Arvo Pärt - Symphony No. 4:


January 18th, 2013, 07:08 PM
I will soon attend the world premiere of Philip Glass's The Perfect American. Let's hear this intriguing Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra, written in 2002:


January 31st, 2013, 04:56 PM
Fré Focke: Tombeau de Vincent van Gogh


February 12th, 2013, 06:42 PM
Luca Francesconi - Cobalt and Scarlet (2000):


February 15th, 2013, 01:22 PM
World premiere of Jean-Luc Fafchamps's Beth/Veth (2012), for piano, percussion and electronics:


February 19th, 2013, 09:17 AM
An early, and wildly experimental, piece by Robert Ashley, The Wolfman (1964):

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February 19th, 2013, 09:37 AM
An early, and wildly experimental, piece by Robert Ashley, The Wolfman (1964):

That sounded absolutely horrible. Are you into so-called noise music?

February 19th, 2013, 09:55 AM
I rather think "noise" is just another component of music, to be used or not at the composers's will.

The Ashley's piece above was designed as an assault on the ears of the listener. And it was *wildly* experimental. I prefer however other works like "Atalanta" or this "Perfect Lives":

[Link to video deleted by Admin - video no longer available]

But this is in any case avant-garde music. Not for everyone's taste. There are also examples of other musical contemporary styles in this same thread. :)

March 25th, 2013, 07:29 PM
Luciano Cilio - Interludio (1976):


March 27th, 2013, 12:03 PM
François-Bernard Mâche, L'Estuaire du temps (1993), for sampler and orchestra:


April 1st, 2013, 01:32 PM
Voce d'orlo is a CD published in 2009 by Italian composer Osvaldo Coluccino. Let's hear one of the pieces of this CD, "Without Witness", written for clarinet, cello and piano:


April 2nd, 2013, 12:45 PM
George Benjamin - Antara (1987), for chamber orchestra and electronics:


April 3rd, 2013, 06:28 PM
Gilles Doneux - (Un)Plug Me, 2013:


April 8th, 2013, 12:57 PM
Hikari Kiyama - Kabuki (2009):


May 3rd, 2013, 09:26 AM
Luc Brewaeys - Along the shores of Lorn (2004), for orchestra:


May 14th, 2013, 07:33 PM
Cello in Three Parts (2010), by Jordanian composer Saed Haddad:


May 16th, 2013, 09:07 PM
La Métamorphose (2012), by Michaël Levinas:


May 21st, 2013, 12:55 PM
Even if he is still alive, Pierre Boulez's complete works are going to be released on 13 cds by Deutsche Grammophon.


Le Marteau Sans Maître (1955) is one of his most oustanding pieces:


May 29th, 2013, 02:39 PM
Albumblatt II, (2011) for saxophone quartet, by Hans Thomalla:


May 30th, 2013, 01:48 PM
« Il rumore non fa bene.
Il bene non fa rumore »
(Niccolò Castiglioni)

Sinfonia con rosignolo (1990):


June 3rd, 2013, 10:37 AM
Bernhard Gander - ö (2001), for Bass flute, Bass clarinet, Accordion, Cello and Viola:


June 13th, 2013, 09:47 AM
From the young Turkish composer Zeynep Gedizlioğlu, a student of Wolfgang Rihm and Ivan Fedele, let's hear Ungleiche Gleichungen (2007), for clarinet and cello:


June 15th, 2013, 05:59 PM
The Ictus Ensemble performing Alle Verbindungen Gelten Nur Jetz (2008), by the young Austrian composer Eva Reiter:


June 25th, 2013, 10:42 AM
A very recent work (2012) by Bruno Mantovani: Jeux d'eau, for violin and orchestra: