Monday, July 16, 2018

Classical music of the past 100 years [8] 1988-1997

Too many listeners of classical music think that over the past 100 years or so, nothing worthwhile has been composed. In this recurring series, I will be posting one composition per year from 1918 until 2017, with every selected composer featuring only once (and not necessarily with their imo best work). I'm aiming for composers who represent the more modern age, skipping many famous names from before 1918 who also composed in this time slot (such as Sibelius and Richard Strauss). Overall I wanted to get a reasonable mix of symphonies, concertos, other orchestral works, chamber music, solo instrumental compositions, and vocal creations, but excluding opera altogether. I have grouped the works per period of ten years, with one post per month for each subsequent decade. Youtube links are not included as they tend to disappear with time - they are easily googled anyway. If you like classical music, but are reluctant to explore the 20th and 21st century works, this series of posts might give you a bit of a nudge to start listening.
  • 1988 Sculthorpe - Kakadu 
  • 1989 Vasks - Cor anglais concerto 
  • 1990 Brouwer - Sonata for solo guitar
  • 1991 Rihm - Violin concerto 'Gesungene Zeit'
  • 1992 MacMillan - Percussion concerto 'Veni, Veni, Emmanuel'
  • 1993 Daugherty - Metropolis symphony 
  • 1994 Rautavaara - Symphony 7 'Angel of light' 
  • 1995 Kancheli - Nightprayers
  • 1996 Sallinen - Symphony 7 'The Dreams of Gandalf'
  • 1997 Schnittke - Viola concerto
The eighth helping takes us almost to the end of the century, once more with a wide diversity. In Peter Sculthorpe, we have probably the best Australian composer, and Kakadu is a signature work. Moving to the new world, we have the typical pop-art classical music of Michael Daugherty, and an excellent guitar piece by Cuban Leo Brouwer. Scotlands best composer, James McMillan features with his breakthough percussion concerto, and German Wolfgang Rihm with the violin concerto championed by Anne-Sophie Mutter. Finland is a hot house for excellent contemporary composers, and with Rautavaara and Sallinen we have two of the best, both with one of their impressive symphonies. Finally, we move to the ruins of the Soviet Union, where we find Estonian Peteris Vasks with one of my personal favourite contemporary concertos, Georgian Giya Kancheli and famous German-Russian Alfred Schnittke. As always, I hope you explore these and find something you like.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Pastel

I don't particularly like taking photographs of flowers, but I found this recent soft-focus floral abstract rather pleasing - even though it tanked completely on Flickr.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170, 20 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/4.0
Focal Length: 6.1 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Copyright statement: image created by myself. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

A turn of breath

The music on this Ian William Craig album from 2014 has been described as experimental art, using tape machines and analog synthesizers, with techniques common to underground noise and experimental music, incorporating his own operatically trained vocals into the compositions. It sounds fascinating, and the cover is great as well, a Rothko-esque abstract. No information about the designer.

Copyright statement: lower resolution album covers considered fair use.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Innerviews: Security Project

Tribute bands are ten a penny, but few (if any) come with such a pedigree as the Peter Gabriel tribute band Security Project. In the linked art-icle, from the excellent Anil Prasad site Innerviews, band members are interviewed about their careers, experiences and choices. Of particular interest is drummer Jerry Marotta, who actually played with Gabriel from 1977 to 1986. I loved the background stories about the recording sessions of Gabriel's landmark solo albums from that era, including the anecdote about Kate Bush' contribution to the PG4 album: she did a perfect take the first time, but Peter kept asking her to do it over and over again so they could watch her sing. A very interesting read.

Copyright statement: image created via the Photofunia site, who explicitly state that their images have no copyright issues. The original poster included in the image is thumbnail size and therefore considered fair use.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Exhibition: Summertime blues

Tomorrow we will open the first themed solo exhibition by my wife in our own gallery. To quote Facebook: feeling excited!

Copyright statement: image created by myself from an image by Lu Schaper. Copyright Lu & Hennie Schaper.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Rijksstudio

Rijksstudio is a site run by the famous Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. A large number of art works are shared in astonishing resolution, allowing zooming in on all details. In addition, all works included are free of copyright. As an illustration, the image above is part of the famous Milkmaid by Vermeer.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The dinner-hour

Here is an artist I had never heard of, but I came across this particular work and it intrigued me. It is a 1914 painting by Danish artist Anna Ancher (1859 - 1935). More about Ancher in the linked Wikipedia article.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Biscuits Lefèvre Utile

This one of many beautiful posters made around 1900 for the French cookies producer Lefèvre Utile, which is still going strong, but nowadays better known as LU. The creator was none other than the star of Art Nouveau Alphonse Mucha.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Cherry lips

The Scottish-American Indie band Garbage have made a number of interesting albums, often using great images on the cover as well. Not surprisingly, that is echoed in the covers of their singles as well, such as in the 2002 release Cherry lips. More about Garbage in the linked Wikipedia article.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of single covers considered fair use.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Love of my life

Today it is exactly 19 years ago that my wife and I decided to go through life together henceforth. And what song could be more suited for the occasion than the Queen ballad Love of my life? Here is a beautiful live rendition of this masterpiece. Art Rock score: 10/10 (brilliant masterpiece, one of 200 best songs of all time).

Copyright statement: image screenshot from the video, considered fair use.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Memories

Another fairly recent painting by my wife, made late last year or early this year. One of my favourites as well. I love how her oriental background still shines through in the choice of the shape of the bridge.

Copyright statement: image created by Lu Schaper. Copyright Lu Schaper.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Operation finale

The upcoming Weitz movie Operation finale, about the efforts that led to the capture of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, comes with a poster that conceals and reveals the theme quite cleverly: the swastika shaped crack in the glasses, and the Eichmann silhouette in the blood stain.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of movie posters considered fair use.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Ripped in June

A selected overview of culture stars relevant to my own tastes who passed away this month. Rest in peace.

8
Danny Kirwan (68), British guitarist and member of Fleetwood Mac in the period that they created one of the most beautiful instrumentals of all time (Albatross).
16
Gennady Rozhdestvensky (87), Russian conductor. One of the best of his generation; we have over a dozen of CD's of his work, in particular Russian symphonies by the likes of Glazunov and Shostakovich.
27
Harlan Ellison (84), American writer. I enjoyed his SF work such as "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" and "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman"

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Water Art: A flipped sprinkler puddle reflection

In the 10+ years I've been a member of Flickr, the photographs of children that I faved can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand. This may be the best of them all. My Flickr friend Peggy Reimchen (peggyhr) took this gem, capturing her granddaughter's reflection as she ran through a puddle of water on a sunny, blue-sky day at their Canadian Bluebird Estates.

Copyright statement: posted with explicit permission of the creator who retains all rights.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

In dream

The UK band The Editors have become one of my favourites of this century, and their album covers are as intriguing as their music. Here is the cover of their 2015 album In dream. Unfortunately, the AllMusic site does not include information on design and photography.

Copyright statement: lower resolution album covers considered fair use.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Richteresque

I wanted to take a close-up of the colourful plumage of a chicken, as an abstract shot. Of course, it moved just at the wrong moment. Still, I like the colours, and the blur reminds me of art works by Gerhard Richter. Moreover, it received high praise from one of my favourite photographers on Flickr, Lorraine Kerr : "absolutely gorgeous result".

Camera: Canon IXUS 170, 20 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.02 sec (1/50)
Aperture: f/7.0
Focal Length: 54 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Copyright statement: image created by myself. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Hellraiser

Almost to the day, it is 45 years ago that I really got interested in pop/rock, at first mainly via the Dutch charts. This glam rock hit by the Sweet from those days was one of the first I loved, and I still play it in the car with fond memories. Art Rock score: 8/10 (great song, I'd put it on my MP3 player).

Copyright statement: screenshot from the video - deemed fair use.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Masterful compositions in iconic film scenes

The linked art-icle in MyModernMet examines a series of iconic movie scenes (such as Jack Nicholson in Kubrick's The Shining, depicted above), and demonstrates how composition rules applied in photography and visual art work in these scenes as well. Especially the use of diagonals (as above) is a recurrent theme. An interesting read.

Copyright statement: low resolution image from movie considered fair use.