Thursday, August 09, 2018

Classical music of the past 100 years [9] 1998-2007

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.
  • 1998 Bryars - String quartet 3
  • 1999 Auerbach - Preludes for violin and piano
  • 2000 Sheng - Nanjing! Nanjing!
  • 2001 Magle - The hope
  • 2002 Saariaho - Orion
  • 2003 Adams - Electric violin concerto 'Dharma at Big Sur' 
  • 2004 Golijov - Ayre
  • 2005 Nørgård - String quartet 10 
  • 2006 Pavlova - Symphony No. 5
  • 2007 Corigliano - Percussion concerto 'Conjurer'
The ninth helping takes us into the current century, once more with a wide diversity. Two concertos for unusual instruments by veteran American composers John Adams and John Corigliano, and two string quartets by Britain's Gavin Bryars and Denmark's Per Nørgård. Also from Denmark is Frederik Magle with his work for work for brass band, percussion, choir, and organ. From Argentina, we have Osvaldo Golijov's beautiful song cycle Ayre, while China is represented by Bright Sheng, reflecting on the massacre of Nanjing. Finally, the increasing presence of female composers in classical music is highlighted by three of the best: Alla Pavlova from Russia, Soviet-Russian-born American Lera auerbach, and best of the three, Finland's Kaija Saariaho. As always, I hope you explore these and find something you like.

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