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Thread: A Contemporary Music Repertoire (a work in progress)

  1. #16
    Senior Member shirime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trout View Post
    See my post above for major composers that I haven't had time to get to yet. Aho and Sallinen would definitely follow.

    My rough cutoff is any composer that has a substantial or important body of work post circa-1975.
    Most of the music I listened to over the last six months were by composers whose average date of birth is somewhere in the early 70s....I could have a look at them all again when I get back home from my holiday and add some more.

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    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    Its going to develop into a great work! I wonder how you are handling the evaluative and categorising decisions? How do you decide where to place the bar for who to include and who not to? If it is open to all suggestions it will grow so big that it will be only good to refer to (looking up composers you already know) but if it is more discerning it might also function as a guide that takes you to composers who you don't know yet. Also, how did you decide which works are *** and **?

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    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Excellant list

    Quote Originally Posted by Trout View Post
    I appreciate your understanding and your advocacy. You are right though, band music has been almost entirely absent from my radar and from most of my sources, as if the "contemporary classical" and "concert band" worlds were entirely insular and distinct. I will certainly spend some more time researching, but for now I find that Wikipedia has a pretty good list of contemporary concert band composers, that I'll use as a starting basis. Are there others that you would personally add?
    Excellent list.

    What freaked me out is that Jerry Brubaker, who is on the list, was a friend of mine. After he retired from the U S Navy Band he became a member of the City of Fairfax Band. Jerry is a horn player and a graduate of Eastman. He used to be the chief arranger for the Navy Band and he used to do many arrangements for us. The band is doing several of his arrangements at our annual Christmas concert tonight.

    The bassoon section used to tease him that he never wrote interesting bassoon parts. He got his revenge on us and we never complained again. A few years ago he moved to Colorado.

    He is an outstanding arranger. A few years ago he did an arrangement of the Overture for Sea Hawk by Korngold. He listened to the classic RCA recording with Charles Gerhardt conducting the National Philharmonic Orchestra. It was fantastic and he did by ear listening to the recording.
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

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    Senior Member Becca's Avatar
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    Rodion Shchedrin?

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    Senior Member senza sordino's Avatar
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    Thanks for this list, I look forward to exploring more of it. I recently picked up a cd of Mark Anthony Turnage, Your Rockaby. It's a Saxophone Concerto. I've heard some more of his music a year ago, but I don't remember what exactly. Sorry, not much help here. But yet another composer to listen to in your excellent but mammoth project.

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    Senior Member Andolink's Avatar
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    In my earlier listing of female composers to consider I neglected to include the extremely talented and innovative Liza Lim from Australia, currently based at the University of Huddersfield as Professor of Composition.
    PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player>>PS Audio DirectStream DAC >>Dynaudio 9S subwoofer>>Merrill Audio Thor Mono Blocks>>Dynaudio Confidence C1 II's
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    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    Its going to develop into a great work! I wonder how you are handling the evaluative and categorising decisions? How do you decide where to place the bar for who to include and who not to? If it is open to all suggestions it will grow so big that it will be only good to refer to (looking up composers you already know) but if it is more discerning it might also function as a guide that takes you to composers who you don't know yet.
    Good question! I honestly haven't thought too much about that ultimate cutoff. It might depend moreso on my motivation than anything else. It will probably take several more months before I finish up all the remaining primary composers. After that point, who knows. I am still in the "passion project" phase right now, but it's possible that will change with time.

    In an ideal world, I would probably include as many composers as are deemed significant to at least some niche of listeners. In more specific terms, that would be any composer on which I can find a good amount of articles, guestbook threads, etc. to learn and explore from. My guess is that would make a gigantic list though with hundreds of composers from all across the globe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    Also, how did you decide which works are *** and **?
    These tier distinctions were made admittedly somewhat arbitrarily but, I think, pretty consistently.

    • 2 stars are any works that I found at least 10 (net) positive recommendations across multiple sources with preferably at least 1 "professional" opinion, like a book author or newspaper columnist.
    • 3 stars are works with around 20 such recommendations, although I made this cutoff a bit more subjective. What I noticed in my research is that composer popularity seems to be a bit exponential. By this, I mean that the most popular composers would have several times more recommendations than others (for a quick comparison, Adams, Boulez, Cage, and Carter each have around 500 total work recommendations while at the other end Abrahamsen and Furrer have only about 70). So, I loosened this criteria just a bit for some of the less-popular composers by dropping the number to around 15 to 17.


    As I said in my preface, this is not really a scientific process, but I think the results so far seem to align pretty well with the typical consensuses.

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  14. #23
    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becca View Post
    Rodion Shchedrin?
    Quote Originally Posted by senza sordino View Post
    Thanks for this list, I look forward to exploring more of it. I recently picked up a cd of Mark Anthony Turnage, Your Rockaby. It's a Saxophone Concerto. I've heard some more of his music a year ago, but I don't remember what exactly. Sorry, not much help here. But yet another composer to listen to in your excellent but mammoth project.
    Thanks for the suggestions. I have both Shchedrin and Turnage pegged to be in the next batch of composers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andolink View Post
    In my earlier listing of female composers to consider I neglected to include the extremely talented and innovative Liza Lim from Australia, currently based at the University of Huddersfield as Professor of Composition.
    Thanks, I am slightly familiar with Lim (thanks in part to a pretty enthusiastic fan around these parts...), but I will need to do some more listening and reading!
    Last edited by Trout; Dec-22-2018 at 20:47.

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    This is a great start! My first question would be about the significance of works with no stars. Are they still considered central works? If so, I suggest that single stars are included.

    Looking at Schnittke's entries, there are a few works whose inclusion I would question, namely:

    Symphony #0 (1957)
    Piano Concerto (1960)
    Violin Sonata #1 (1963)
    Labyrinths (1971)

    The majority of these are early works that I don't consider to be essential to any Schnittke collection. Sure, Symphony #0 has the distinction of being recorded in BIS's trailblazing Schnittke Edition, but just because it isn't completely forgotten doesn't make it a central work of its composer.

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    faint.jpg

    I am very impressed.

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    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portamento View Post
    This is a great start! My first question would be about the significance of works with no stars. Are they still considered central works? If so, I suggest that single stars are included.

    Looking at Schnittke's entries, there are a few works whose inclusion I would question, namely:

    Symphony #0 (1957)
    Piano Concerto (1960)
    Violin Sonata #1 (1963)
    Labyrinths (1971)

    The majority of these are early works that I don't consider to be essential to any Schnittke collection. Sure, Symphony #0 has the distinction of being recorded in BIS's trailblazing Schnittke Edition, but just because it isn't completely forgotten doesn't make it a central work of its composer.
    I appreciate the feedback.

    I wouldn't consider the no-stars to be central works necessarily. I would say they are less-popular works that are still recommended. This could mean central works with limited exposure/accessibility but also perhaps less-important works that have some well-known/well-regarded recordings. In the case of big-name composers like Schnittke, un-starred works are typically the latter since the composer's name typically is a big enough spotlight or brand, if you will, to grant most of their works with a proper recording.

    Now in my bookkeeping, I do factor in "anti-recommendations" which decrements a piece's number of recommendations. Shall I count your post as such? In doing so, you may bump 1 or 2 of those pieces off the list...
    Last edited by Trout; Dec-23-2018 at 03:48.

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  20. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trout View Post
    Now in my bookkeeping, I do factor in "anti-recommendations" which decrements a piece's number of recommendations. Shall I count your post as such? In doing so, you may bump 1 or 2 of those pieces off the list...
    No, don't do that!

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    All in all, the list very well researched and has no "glaring omissions." Trying to keep with the standards of previous entries, I've compiled lists for two more composers (subjective and open to change, of course) that can be added if Trout agrees.

    Cardew, Cornelius (1936-81; British)

    - February Pieces [piano] (1959-61)
    - Autumn '60 [orch.] (1960)
    - Octet '61 for Jasper Johns [open instrumentation ensemble] (1961)
    - Treatise [open instrumentation ensemble] (1963–67) ***
    - Memories of You [piano] (1964)
    - Solo with Accompaniment [open instrumentation ensemble] (1964)
    - Bun No. 1 [orch.] (1965)
    - The Great Learning [7 pieces for various ensembles] (1968-70, rev. 1972) ***
    - Unintended Piano Music (1970/71)
    - Piano Album 1973 (1973)
    - Piano Album 1974 (1974)
    - Thälmann Variations [piano] (1974) **
    - We Sing for the Future! [piano] (1979)

    Eastman, Julius (1940-90; American)

    - Stay on It [open instrumentation ensemble including voice, piano, percussion] (1973)
    - Femenine [chamber ensemble] (1974) **
    - If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich? [ensemble] (1977)
    - Evil Nigger [open instrumentation ensemble] (1979) ***
    - Gay Guerilla [open instrumentation ensemble] (ca. 1980) **
    - Crazy Nigger [open instrumentation ensemble] (ca. 1980) **
    - The Holy Presence of Joan d'Arc [10 cellos] (1981) **

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    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    Wow you even got my formatting down and everything!

    I'll tell you what, since you did a lot of my work for me, I'll get to those composers next once I finish Luigi Nono (almost done...). Now, I can't guarantee that the entries I will get will look exactly like those (with the same star ratings and exactly all those pieces) but you mentioning them all will really help their cause. Were those completely subjective tier assignments and selected pieces or did you use any particular sources for them? I'd love to read anything you found!
    Last edited by Trout; Dec-23-2018 at 06:42.

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    The tier assignments were a blend of my personal preferences and what I found to be the composers' most popular works. I may have been too inclusive with Cardew, but this article makes a great case for some of his lesser-known experimental works. Eastman has been a favorite for a while (and his discography is pretty small) so it was easier to include what I thought were must-hears.
    Last edited by Portamento; Dec-23-2018 at 07:16.

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