Sunday, February 11, 2018
Classical music of the past 100 years  1928-1937
1928 Nielsen - Clarinet concerto
1929 Bax - Symphony 3
1930 Ravel - Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D major
1931 Avshalomov - Hutongs of Peking
1932 Bliss - Clarinet quintet
1933 Schmidt - Symphony 4 in C major
1934 Hindemith - Mathis der Maler Symphony
1935 Berg - Violin concerto
1936 Ireland - London overture
1937 Bartok - Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion
In this second helping, we find a mix of famous names, and almost unknowns. Ravel and Bartok are the most prominent composers here, with Hindemith, Nielsen and Berg not far behind. The selected works for this quintet of composers are among the acknowledged masterpieces of the century: three of the most stunning concertos, a beautiful symphony based on the opera of the same name, and a chamber music piece unlike any other. With respect to the other five: the reputation of Bax is not as solid as it should be. For me, he is one of the best composers of the 20th century - his third symphony is as good a starting point to explore his work as any. Bliss and Ireland are two British composers worth hearing as well. The selected works may not be their most famous (that would probably be the Colour symphony and the Piano concerto, respectively), but they make a good introduction. Schmidt was a late romantic Austrian composer, especially noted for his four symphonies. Finally we have Avshalomov, a Russian composer who lived a large part of his life in China, and it shows in his unique music.
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