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

  1. #91
    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    A few miscellaneous promotions:

    - Andriessen: De Volharding (now listed)
    - Andriessen: La Commedia (now listed)
    - Andriessen: Trilogie van de Laatste Dag (now listed)
    - Cage: Roaratorio (now 3-star)
    - Henze: Requiem (now 3-star)
    - Kagel: Aus Deutschland (now listed)
    - Lachenmann: Allegro sostenuto (now 2-star)
    - Lachenmann: Concertini (now 2-star)
    - Lachenmann: Consolations I & II (now listed)
    - Lachenmann: Dal niente (now listed)
    - Lachenmann: Mouvement (now 3-star)
    - Lachenmann: NUN (now listed)
    - Lachenmann: Pression (now 2-star)
    - Schnittke: Cello Sonata No. 1 (now 3-star)
    Last edited by Trout; Mar-27-2019 at 20:29.

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  3. #92
    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    And just a few other changes:

    - Babbitt: Occasional Variations (now listed)
    - Rautavaara: Isle of Bliss (now 2-star)
    - Reich: The Three Movements (removed, upon seeing it repeatedly cited as one of his weakest works despite some enthusiasm from casual listeners)


    And the Wolfgang Rihm entry is now complete! One of the most prolific composers of our time, so it's not a big surprise that his entry is among the largest ones. I did a lot of catching up on some of his most important works and I have to say that he has risen quite a bit in my estimation. Two of his operas Die Eroberung von Mexico and Jakob Lenz are pretty impressive and I really enjoyed his dark and powerful contribution to the Passion 2000 project, Deus Passus. His recent IN-SCHRIFT 2, which won the Grawemeyer Award in 2014, seems to distill some of his best compositional qualities in a fairly short package. I still need to hear more of his chamber work (especially the quartets), but his hauntingly beautiful Et Lux has been among my favorites of the past decade.

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  5. #93
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    I realize that it's 'a work in progress' (& applaud your efforts), but couldn't help notice that the following composers aren't (yet?) included on your list:

    Magnus Lindberg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqOg-uDSER4
    John Tavener: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-6UNcwumE4
    Paavo Heininen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SORo...4mrneZ&index=5
    Oliver Knussen:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCP_...GMg6b7y-VRtbHy
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnol0WRWt6A
    Poul Ruders
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc-BvPJyp5Q
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrE119tkk2Y
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mb3WdTxGwRU
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ope5TzDYoq4

    Ib Nørholm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGza86Ck4WY
    Arne Nordheim:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIDn...okak2k&index=5
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJYRzgG9MUg
    Harri Vuori:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kUbeoaKv9k
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0aUoRDZOkk
    Bent Sørensen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-le0bGKWZo
    Friedrich Cerha: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2YbXKs91Rc
    Wolfgang Rihm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buKlFwc1zmE (Edit: I see Rihm has now been included).
    John Harbison: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aptw...dTm5wYTmBe9kfc
    George Rochberg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Qc7s2fqiWs
    Robin Holloway: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxIwW82ozJw
    Peteris Vasks:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q_9-rHqTzM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxHenj22GvI
    Christopher Rouse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKp9NaKlCU8
    Ned Rorem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkiOVrA0L5U
    Peter Lieberson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmR3VkAiT6E
    Esa-Pekka Salonen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n0kZc3Utpc
    Joseph Schwantner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8i6JRUSTAto
    Tobias Picker
    Andrzej Panufnik
    Kalevi Aho
    Erkki-Sven Tüür
    Anders Hillborg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oNmoc4Zpfs
    Gavin Bryars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ISGjzD02Ng
    Ivan Moody: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=350w...TJE7elpJR0No9W
    James McMillan
    Gabriel Jackson
    Tarek O'Regan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu0f3fWQ-fo
    Simon Holt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsyCohO8G1w
    Colin Matthews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T5BM_BE8iQ
    David Matthews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8z8uYEGAbI
    Nicholas Maw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvYnVjY5Xu0
    Aullis Sallinen
    Alan Stout
    Einar Englund: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETZXx8P9t80

    I suppose that when we're talking about composers of recent decades, especially those still working today, it's more difficult to be certain about who exactly is a major or minor composer, since all that has yet to be worked out (although I expect it will be over time, as we see the direction that music progresses in the coming decades).

    Even so, I was a bit surprised to see Witold Lutoslawski included on your list, and not certain other important mid to late 20th century composers, such as Allan Pettersson, Vincent Persichetti, William Schuman, Olivier Messiaen, Vagn Holmboe, Einar Englund, Robert Simpson, Sir Michael Tippett, and Joonas Kokkonen. But perhaps Persichetti, Messiaen, and Schuman didn't compose enough major works in the 1970s & 80s to meet your requirements--I'll have to check (although I see that you've already done so in regards to Messiaen). However, surely Pettersson, Holmboe, Englund, Simpson, Tippett, and Kokkonen composed enough significant works in the 1970s & 80s to be counted as 'contemporary' composers? (And perhaps Malcolm Arnold & Edmund Rubbra, too?)

    Then again, I tend to think that any important composer working within my lifetime, whose music I saw or heard premiered in the late 1970s, 80s & 90s should be considered a 'contemporary' composer, whether they're living or not--especially those that were hugely influential as teachers, such as Holmboe, Persichetti, Rochberg, & Schuman.

    Finally, there's also the question of what to make of Leif Segerstam's several hundred symphonies? (most of which I've not heard myself)... & Alan Hovhaness' 67 symphonies, too...
    Last edited by Josquin13; Mar-28-2019 at 18:02.

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    That is a great list of composers which I'm sure will be addressed in due time. Trout's definition of contemporary (see #12) is "any composer that has a substantial or important body of work post circa-1975." Of the potentially borderline cases you list, I would argue for Englund, Rochberg, Simpson, Tippett, and (maybe) Kokkonen. Most of Holmboe's post-1975 output is obscure (although the late string quartets are some of his best) and Arnold, Pettersson, and Rubbra's inclusions all rest on their late symphonies. I don't think any of Segerstam's symphonies are popular enough to make the list; Hovhaness' certainly are, and #50 (1982), #60 (1985), and #66 (1992) would warrant his inclusion in my books.
    Last edited by Portamento; Mar-28-2019 at 19:06.

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  9. #95
    marc bollansee
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    dear trout, yr post jan 06,
    i do apologize but i had not read your post until today march 28 th; my file has grown immensely since jan; i consider the performers to be vitally important, because they often play different versions of the same piece and on top of that i find the quality of the performers to be of paramount importance; i only give one asterisk and it means that i like the piece and the performance; as i read a lot i am sometimes influenced by the opinion of my peers; my list is in fact my collection; i own all the records of my list, because i only listen with headphones; although i focus on contemporary i am equally interested by other periods; my kick is to listen to new pieces every day; i have complete files on 200 contemporary composers, which i consider to be the best ones, so if you need help with any of them i can produce your list in one hour (i just need to check the dates of the pieces); i have noticed that you focus on orchestral, instrumental, vocal and tend to neglect chamber and piano pieces and i suppose you do that on purpose in order not to end up with too many entries; i looked at your lists today and some are extremely good (ligeti for example); others are weaker (ades, denisov, norgard); denisov has written concertos for all important instruments, yet i think your list only mentions one; norgard's piano music is only represented by one piece whereas his production is abundant and of extraordinary quality; rome was not built in one day but there are ways to speed up your process; you will find my updated list of contemporary composers on my thread : best contemporary composers; i will post it tonight; some of our members sometimes get carried away by their enthusiasm and do not really try to evaluate the importance of the composers; personally i try to do that, but am also interested by young promising composers who do not yet have a large body of work recorded; all the best marc

  10. #96
    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    Hi Josquin,

    Thanks for that list. A number of those composers are certainly in the immediate pipeline already, namely:

    Quote Originally Posted by Josquin13 View Post
    Magnus Lindberg
    John Tavener
    Friedrich Cerha
    George Rochberg
    Peteris Vasks
    Kalevi Aho
    Erkki-Sven Tüür
    Gavin Bryars
    James MacMillan
    I hope to get to each of these composers as soon as I finish all of the "biggest names" shown here (minus Partch and Sessions).
    The following group of composers, I would consider to be mid-priority as they are all fairly well-known and well-regarded but not essential (in my opinion of course):

    Quote Originally Posted by Josquin13 View Post
    Oliver Knussen
    Poul Ruders
    Bent Sørensen
    John Harbison
    Christopher Rouse
    Ned Rorem
    Peter Lieberson
    Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Joseph Schwantner
    Andrzej Panufnik
    Anders Hillborg
    Nicholas Maw
    Aullis Sallinen
    Einar Englund
    Their inclusion may hinge upon my future motivation for this project after hopefully finishing the prior lists.
    This last group are composers that are not on my radar at all for whatever reason. These may just be personal blindspots, but I would need to be really persuaded to include them (through independent research, posts here, or otherwise).

    Quote Originally Posted by Josquin13 View Post
    Paavo Heininen
    Ib Nørholm
    Arne Nordheim
    Harri Vuori
    Robin Holloway
    Tobias Picker
    Ivan Moody
    Gabriel Jackson
    Tarek O'Regan
    Simon Holt
    Colin Matthews
    David Matthews
    Alan Stout

    As for those borderline cases, I think I agree with Portamento's assessments. I don't have a super strict policy for this list quite yet, but I'm reluctant to include too many "mid-century" composers that may have only a few post-70s works. Boulez and Lutoslawski among others may have been each arguable, but I would argue they each produced several late masterpieces in addition to their 50s output. Messiaen (one of my all-time favorite composers) was a difficult cut, but I still think his oeuvre's "center of gravity" clearly lies in the 1940s despite his late output. That's just a bit too early for me to consider him a contemporary composer.

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  12. #97
    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    Hi Marc,

    Quote Originally Posted by marc bollansee View Post
    i have complete files on 200 contemporary composers, which i consider to be the best ones, so if you need help with any of them i can produce your list in one hour (i just need to check the dates of the pieces)
    If you have any recommendations on particular pieces, I'd certainly be interested in seeing them and factoring them in.

    ; i have noticed that you focus on orchestral, instrumental, vocal and tend to neglect chamber and piano pieces and i suppose you do that on purpose in order not to end up with too many entries; i looked at your lists today and some are extremely good (ligeti for example); others are weaker (ades, denisov, norgard); denisov has written concertos for all important instruments, yet i think your list only mentions one; norgard's piano music is only represented by one piece whereas his production is abundant and of extraordinary quality
    I appreciate the feedback. I would agree that orchestral works are definitely favored in general but I'm not entirely sure how to correct for this. I try to make this as "objective" a process as possible and not impose any separate criteria/thresholds for different genres.

    I included 5 Denisov concertos and 2 Norgard piano pieces, but I take your point. I did just add a piano work for Adès (Traced Overhead), but his entry could be longer. If you see any specific glaring omissions, again I'd be glad to hear.
    Last edited by Trout; Mar-29-2019 at 00:51.

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    I understand you have a list of composers that you want to work your way through, but please consider Nancarrow next. Here's what I've scrounged together from forums, blogs, and books (primarily Kyle Gann's The Music of Conlon Nancarrow):

    - String Quartet No. 1 (1945)
    - Study No. 2a [player piano] (late 1940s)
    - Study No. 3 "Boogie-Woogie Suite" [player piano] (1948) ⋆⋆⋆
    - Study No. 6 [player piano] (between 1948 and 1960) ⋆⋆
    - Study No. 7 [player piano] (between 1948 and 1960)
    - Study No. 24 [canon for player piano] (between 1948 and 1960)
    - Study No. 25 [player piano] (between 1948 and 1960)
    - Study No. 21 [canon for player piano] (1961) ⋆⋆⋆
    - Study No. 20 "Cloud" [player piano] (probably ca. 1965) ⋆⋆
    - Study No. 33 [canon for player piano] (ca. 1968)
    - Study No. 36 [canon for player piano] (ca. 1970) ⋆⋆⋆
    - Study No. 37 [canon for player piano] (1969) ⋆⋆
    - Study No. 40 "Transcendental" [2 canons for player piano; combined for 2 synchronized player pianos] (ca. 1975) ⋆⋆
    - Study No. 41 [2 canons for player piano; combined for 2 synchronized player pianos] (completed between 1969 and 1977)
    - Study No. 48 [2 pieces for player piano; combined for 2 player pianos] (1975-77) ⋆⋆⋆
    - Study No. 45 "Betty Freeman Suite (Boogie-Woogie Suite No. 2)" [player piano] (1982-83) ⋆⋆
    - Study No. 47 [canon for player piano] (prior to 1984)
    - String Quartet No. 3 (1987) ⋆⋆

    I strongly recommend the studies stay separate as they were published individually and were not intended to be played as a cycle.

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  15. #99
    marc bollansee
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    Hi Trout, Thks for your kind message. I will get back to you with some proposals at the end of next week. Marc

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    Let's enter the groovy, hypnotic world of Terry Riley. For as famous as he is in the classical world for In C and A Rainbow in Curved Air, his other work goes largely unmentioned despite it being right up there in terms of quality. Of all the composers I've looked at, I think Terry Riley has the most crossover appeal with fans of other music genres, namely jazz, world/folk, ambient, and even rock. This may be due to the fact that a good portion of his music lies at some unique intersection of all those. I trust that all the pieces listed can be considered "classical" in some sense of the word as I removed a couple that I thought strayed a bit too far: his collaborative album Church of Anthrax with John Cale and his jazzy, Indian-inspired Atlantis Nath.

    I was (and still am) a big fan of In C and its many great performances, but I only really recently came around to hearing Riley's other music. His Persian Surgery Dervishes are just as brilliant as Glass's early electric keyboard works, if not moreso. And I found his tape work You're No Good to be kind of like Steve Reich's early tape experiments but on acid. It starts with trippy phasings of a pop song in snippets until it deconstructs into madness. I cannot wait to see what else I've been missing out on my whole life.
    Last edited by Trout; Mar-30-2019 at 22:48.

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    I've got to explore more Riley. I remember You're No Good from the electronic works project and your description sums it up well.

    How close is Rautavaara's Piano Concerto No. 1 to three stars? I've always considered it his greatest work.
    Last edited by Portamento; Mar-30-2019 at 23:35.

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    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portamento View Post
    I've got to explore more Riley. I remember You're No Good from the electronic works project and your description sums it up well.

    How close is Rautavaara's Piano Concerto No. 1 to three stars? I've always considered it his greatest work.
    It's actually pretty close, the closest of his 2-star pieces along with Symphony No. 3. It might also be his most popular work (citation needed) so it seems pretty bump-able right now. I'll look into it a bit more.

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  21. #103
    marc bollansee
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    hello trout, congrats for the riley list;love it; plse find hereafter my suggestions for additions ; best marc
    Ades, Thomas
    -Polaris for orchestra and screens (2010)
    -Concerto for piano and orchestra (2018)
    -Concerto conciso for piano and chamber ensemble (1997)
    -Lieux retrouvés for cello and piano (2009)
    -The Four Quarters for SQ (2010)
    -Darknesse visible for solo piano (1992)
    -The exterminating Angel, Opera (2016)

    Denisov, Edison
    -Peinture for orchestra (1970)
    -Piano Concerto (1974)
    -Oboe Concerto (1986)
    -Viola Concerto (1986)
    -Clarinet Concerto (1989)
    -Chamber Music for viola, harpsichord and strings (1982)
    -Clarinet Quintet (1987)
    -Quintet for piano and saxophone quartet (1991)

    Furrer, Beat
    -Chiaroscuro for large orchestra (1983/1986)
    -Gaspra for ensemble (1988)
    -Orpheus Bücher for strings, voices and orchestra (2001)
    -Dort ist das Meer for 12 voices and orchestra (1986)

    Haas, Georg Friedrich
    -Descendiendo for large orchestra (1993)
    -Poème for large orchestra (2005)
    -Piano Concerto (2007)
    -Dark Dreams for orchestra (2013)
    -Aus-Weg for 8 instruments (2010)
    -Monodie for 18 instruments (1998/1999)
    -Solstices for 10 instruments (2019)
    -String Quartet no 9 (2016)

    Murail, Tristan
    -Couleur de Mer for 15 instruments (1969)
    -La Barque mystique for 5 instruments (1993)
    -La Mandragore for piano (1993)
    -Les Nuages de Magellan for ondes Martenot (1973)
    Nörgard, Per
    -Fragments I-IV for piano (1959-1961)
    -Nine Studies op 25 B for piano (1959)
    -Four Sketches op 25 A for piano (1959)
    -Nine Friends for piano (1984)

    Rihm, Wolfgang
    -Schattenstück for orchestra (1985)
    -Abkehr for orchestra (1985)
    -Horn Concerto (2013-2014)
    -Seraphin-Sphäre for ensemble (1993-1996/2006)

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  23. #104
    Senior Member Trout's Avatar
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    Thanks Marc for all of your suggestions! I looked at them all and my current tallies and here's what I'm able to add to the list right now:

    Adès: Darknesse Visible
    Adès: The Exterminating Angel
    Adès: The Four Quarters
    Adès: Polaris
    Denisov: Clarinet Concerto
    Denisov: Oboe Concerto
    Denisov: Peinture
    Furrer: Orpheus' Bücher
    Furrer: Gaspra
    Murail: Les Nuages de Magellan

    If there are any that you listed that you really think are big omissions, I would need to see some other sources (preferably professional reviews or articles) recommending them.

    And in other news, I also decided to promote the Rautavaara piano concerto. And Riley's You're No Good too (which probably should have been higher initially).
    Last edited by Trout; Apr-01-2019 at 18:09.

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  25. #105
    marc bollansee
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    hello trout,
    thks for your kind reply. i think the norgard piano pieces i mentioned are seminal and at the core of his infinity series. piano is his instrument and his development of other pieces often starts there. it is peinture for the denisov piece.
    even if you decide not to include the norgard pieces i invite you to listen to them.all the best marc

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