I'm listening to the Other Minds disc Lexical Music, containing some of Charles Amirkhanian's classic text-sound compositions of the seventies. Church Car is not included, but the video above is a delightful extension of the tradition.
New and recent publications of interest.
Bill Alves and Brett Campbell, Lou Harrison: American Musical Maverick (Indiana UP) [available March 2017]
Marian Wilson Kimber, The Elocutionists: Women, Music, and the Spoken Word (University of Illinois Press)
Pauline Fairclough, Classics for the Masses: Shaping Soviet Musical Identity under Lenin and Stalin (Yale UP)
Tim Rutherford-Johnson, Music After the Fall: Modern Composition and Culture since 1989 (University of California Press)
Seth Brodsky, From 1989, or European Music and the Modernist Unconscious (University of California Press)
Erling E. Guldbrandsen and Julian Johnson, eds., Transformations of Musical Modernism (Cambridge UP)
Kenneth Marcus, Schoenberg and Hollywood Modernism (Cambridge UP)
Karol Berger, Beyond Reason: Wagner contra Nietzsche (University of California Press)
Theodore Ziolkowski, Music into Fiction: Composers Writing, Compositions Imitated (Camden House)
Huib Schippers and Catherine Grant, eds., Sustainable Futures for Music Cultures: An Ecological Perspective (Oxford UP)
February 16, 2017 | Permalink
DRUM MAJOR: Shall I pull your tongue out of your throat and wrap it round your neck?
— Wozzeck, Act II
Previously: An Alban Berg Valentine, Another Alban Berg Valentine, Yet Another Alban Berg Valentine, Return of Alban Berg Valentine, Nothing says forever like an Alban Berg valentine, Alban Berg Valentine (10th anniversary edition).
February 14, 2017 | Permalink
In memory of the fallen heroes of Kellyanne Conway's febrile imagination, I have composed a Threnody to the Victims of Bowling Green, for six independent orchestral groups. Above is the first section, Exordium Lamentationis. The second section, Consummatum Non Est, is as yet unfinished. Scores and parts are available for rental from various publishers, although my name may not necessarily appear on them.
Previously: Fanfare for the Royal Wedding.
February 04, 2017 | Permalink
One mark of the dishonor that has fallen on this country in the wake of Donald Trump's morally repugnant, profoundly un-American actions as President is that the brilliant Syrian-born clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh does not know whether he will be able to return to his Brooklyn home. I wrote about him in 2013, when he appeared in conjunction with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.
January 30, 2017 | Permalink
"Are we really here? Is all this happening? Don't be surprised. What we're seeing now is frankly everything we should have expected. If there's one thing we can say in Donald Trump's favor, there was no bait and switch. They told us they would do all of this and more. Not everyone believed them. But everyone had fair warning. And here we are." — Josh Marshall
January 29, 2017 | Permalink
New and recent releases of interest.
— Sibelius, In the Stream of Life and other songs with orchestra; Gerald Finley, Edward Gardner conducting the Bergen Philharmonic (Chandos)
— Weinberg, Chamber Symphonies Nos. 1-4, Piano Quintet (arr. Pushkarev and Kremer); Gidon Kremer, Kremerata Baltica (ECM)
— Divine Theatre: works of Giaches de Wert; Stile Antico (Harmonia Mundi)
— David Smooke, Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death and other works; Michael Parker Harley, Karl Larson, loadbang, Lunar Ensemble, Peabody Wind Ensemble (New Focus)
— Steven Stucky, American Muse, Rhapsodies, Concerto for Orchestra; Gil Rose conducting the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, with Sanford Sylvan (BMOP)
— Clara Iannotta, A Failed Entertainment and other works; Ensemble Intercontemporain, Ensemble Recherche, Talea Ensemble, Orchestre des Élèves du Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, Quatuor Diotima, Ensemble Garage, Trio Catch (Edition RZ)
— Ginastera, Piano Concerto No. 2, Panambí; Juanjo Mena conducting the BBC Philharmonic and Manchester Chamber Choir, with Xiayin Wang, piano (Chandos)
— Wadada Leo Smith, America's National Parks (Cuneiform)
January 25, 2017 | Permalink
Parakeet at Chand Baori.
The first American performance of Kaikhosru Sorabji's gigantic Organ Symphony No. 2 — or, indeed, of any of Sorabji's organ music — will take place at the University of Iowa School of Music on Feb. 10. Kevin Bowyer, Soraji's chief organ champion, will undertake the eight-hour marathon. The event helps to inaugurate Iowa's new Voxman Music Building, and serves to introduce the hall's concert organ.... Michael Pisaro will be the featured artist at the Co-incidence Residency in Somerville MA, a week-long gathering of experimental artists, from Jan. 24 to Jan. 30.... My New Yorker colleague Russell Platt has written a string quartet entitled Mountain Interval.... As I noted in my Julius Eastman column, Monday Evening Concerts will present an all-Eastman evening on Monday, Jan. 23. Note also an Eastman tribute at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, NY, on Feb. 10.... Kate Soper's latest theatre piece, Ipsa Dixit, will be performed at Dixon Place in NYC on Feb. 3 and 4, having been seen at EMPAC in December.
January 22, 2017 | Permalink
"A blizzard is raging outside the windows as 1944 approaches. It will be a year of happiness, of joy, of victory, a year that will bring us all much joy. The freedom-loving Peoples will at last throw off the yoke of Hitlerism, peace will reign over the whole world, and we shall live once more in peace under the sun of Stalin’s Constitution. Of this I am convinced, and consequently experience feelings of unalloyed joy."
— Shostakovich, letter to Isaak Glikman, 12/31/43
December 31, 2016 | Permalink