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Thread: 21st Century Chamber Music

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Default 21st Century Chamber Music



    Peter Kramer — Pietà
    performed by Longleash Trio
    Pietà, for piano trio, by Peter Kramer (2017)

    Peter Kramer was born in Portland, Oregon (b.1989) where he studied composition, piano and violin with Dr. Marshall Tuttle at Mount Hood Community College. He graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory (2014) with a double major in Composition and Harpsichord Performance, and is currently pursuing his PhD in Composition at the CUNY Graduate Center, studying with Jason Eckardt and Suzanne Farrin. His principal teachers also include Lewis Nielson and Webb William Wiggins. Peter’s music focuses on “musical parasites” residual and musical anomalies/artifacts resulting from performance paired with the resonant sound world of 16th and 17th century music, particularly keyboard and choral repertoires, as well as the sound world of American folk and blues traditions.
    Pietà was written during the Spring and Summer of 2017 for Pala Garcia, John Popham and Renate Rohlfing for the Loretto Festival 2017.

    Our father who art in heaven,
    Hallowed be thy name.
    Thy kingdom come.
    Thy will be done
    On earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread,


    Pour the unhappiness out
    From your too bitter heart,
    Which grieving will not sweeten.

    Poison grows in this dark.
    It is in the water of tears
    Its black blooms rise.


    “…I’m tired now.
    Sometimes I talk too much. That’s happiness.”


    Give us this day our daily bread…

    (Fragments from: Lord’s Prayer – English vernacular version, Another Weeping Woman – Wallace Stevens, Three Views of a Mother – John Ciardi)

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    Senior Member Kjetil Heggelund's Avatar
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    Played by the fantastic Arditti Quartet!
    BITÁCORA CAPILAR by Hilda Paredes. Paredes has written several works for the Ardittis, including three quartets, beginning with Uy u T’an (Listen how they talk, 1998) and Cuerdas del destino (Strings of destiny 2007-8). This new piece follows on from the latter as a single sweep through several kinds of music, a journey that visits different musical territories, their differences provoking crisis and unexpected resolution.
    Last edited by Kjetil Heggelund; Sep-29-2020 at 18:32.

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    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    I was delighted by Gyorgy Kurtag’s 6 Moments Musicaux for String Quartet (2005) which was featured in the Weekly Quartet thread a while back.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art is an attempt to transport into a limited quantity of matter, modeled by man, an image of the infinite beauty of the entire universe." - Simone Weil

    "Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." - Johann Sebastian Bach

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post
    I was delighted by Gyorgy Kurtag’s 6 Moments Musicaux for String Quartet (2005) which was featured in the Weekly Quartet thread a while back.
    Nice. If it's not too much to ask, I would like contributors to post YouTube links when available. Thanks for posting.



    György Kurtág - Six Moments Musicaux, Op. 44

    0:00 1. Invocatio (un fragment)
    1:28 2. Footfalls
    4:17 3. Capriccio
    5:39 4. In memoriam György Sebok
    9:22 5. Rappel des oiseaux (etude pour les harmoniques)
    12:09 6. Les Adieux (in Janáček's manner)

    Movses Pogossian, violin
    Andrew McIntosh, violin
    Che-Yen Chen, viola
    Coleman Itzkoff, cello

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    The other issue is where to draw the line for defining chamber music.

    I'd like to say any ensemble of 11 or fewer instruments, and also to include solo instrumental works. If y'all have a different idea, I'm open to suggestions.

    The good news is there is already a lot of works that have been written and on YouTube.

    Here's a very helpful post by calvinpv from the Contemporary Listening thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by calvinpv View Post
    Contemporary Music Youtube Channels

    So I just compiled a list of contemporary music youtube channels for all of you to bookmark. Some of these channels -- especially the first few and most especially the channel "grinblat" -- are literal goldmines that are worth exploring. I didn't include any channels that had just a couple of contemporary pieces, only those where contemporary music made up at least a sizable part of their videos. I also focused on channels dedicated to more recent contemporary music, not music from the post-war period (though there's a lot of that too).

    Enjoy.

    grinblat
    gɹinblat

    belanna000
    belanna111
    belanna999

    Score Follower
    incipitsify
    Mediated Scores

    Live New Music Channel

    Contemporary Classical

    Philip Mckelvey

    Victor Alexander

    hu

    Sebastian Ars Acoustica

    Pour ce que le langage a désertés

    Silicua hibrido

    OMaclac

    Raúl

    pelodelperro

    art&music

    Boris Sitnikoff (just Stockhausen's Klang)

    Wellesz Theatre
    TheWelleszCompany
    Wellesz Modern
    Wellesz Opus
    Wellesz Rhapsody

    George N Gianopoulos

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    This evening I've been listening to Linda Catlin Smith, this.

    Last edited by Mandryka; Sep-29-2020 at 19:49.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    The other issue is where to draw the line for defining chamber music.

    I'd like to say any ensemble of 11 or fewer instruments, and also to include solo instrumental works. If y'all have a different idea, I'm open to suggestions.

    The good news is there is already a lot of works that have been written and on YouTube.

    Here's a very helpful post by calvinpv from the Contemporary Listening thread.
    I kinda just made it on a whim, really to help myself by putting all the links in a central location. But I'm glad some of you are getting some use out of that list.

    You forgot the ones by Lisztian. I only looked through them briefly, but they're just as good:

    Alinéa Ensemble
    Ensemble Contrechamps
    Ensemble Linea
    ensembleprotonbern
    elisionensemble
    Thorsten Gubatz

    And then a couple more from me:

    SWR Classic (see the playlists "SWR Experimentalstudio" and "SWR Donaueschinger Musiktage")
    WDR Klassik
    Splendid
    Last edited by calvinpv; Sep-29-2020 at 20:22.

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    Mark Andre: ... als ... II for cello, bass clarinet, prepared piano and live electronics (2001)

    I wrote this little blurb elsewhere on TC several months back, when we did a game on 21st century music in the games/polls section.

    I highly recommend listening with headphones for the best experience.

    … als … II, for cello, bass clarinet, prepared piano, and live electronics, takes its cryptic title from a line in the Book of Revelations: “And when [German: als] the lamb had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” The ensuing silence upon the breaking of the seal serves as a metaphor for the guiding principle of the piece. The three instruments are placed in a triangle around the edge of the concert hall. Such a large distance between only three instruments creates too big of an acoustic space for the trio to handle, making resonance – a phenomenon that is necessary to project sound across an auditorium – much less likely. And when resonance fails to occur, the acoustic space breaks down and silence ensues. The failure is not anticipated ahead of time in the score but is rather an ever-present risk that Andre is willing to take on. In any given auditorium, it’s quite possible that everything functions smoothly; it’s also quite possible that nothing goes smoothly.

    The music itself was composed in the same way as the music in … auf … III, a piece we saw earlier. Before the composition process, Andre fiddles around with different sounds and then analyzes their frequency spectra using software technology before arranging them into “scales” based on certain acoustical properties (Andre doesn’t say which properties). From there, he runs the scales through algorithms to get the final music. In the case of … als … II, the chosen sounds seem to possess a limited range of pitch values but much variation in terms of intensity. Such emphasis on intensity at the expense of pitch gives one the paradoxical sensation of an emotional drama mired in stasis and equilibrium, a sense of uneasiness that something catastrophic is about to happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    This evening I've been listening to Linda Catlin Smith, this.

    I second this. She's basically a 2nd-generation Morton Feldman. I wouldn't say she's as good as her teacher because her music isn't nearly as long (I think duration is a core element of late Feldman, so it's a shame she ignores this aspect), but still a fine composer.

    There's another album devoted solely to Smith's work that has "Among the Tarnished Stars". One of the other works, "Memory Forms", is very good.
    Last edited by calvinpv; Sep-29-2020 at 21:08.

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calvinpv View Post
    Mark Andre: ... als ... II for cello, bass clarinet, prepared piano and live electronics (2001)

    I wrote this little blurb elsewhere on TC several months back, when we did a game on 21st century music in the games/polls section.

    I highly recommend listening with headphones for the best experience.



    Interesting work, wasn't what I was expecting. Minimal sonic activity and then around the 14' mark, a little thing started to happen ... and then went away. I can see why headphones might enhance hearing what is going on. I enjoyed it, though, and it kept my interest.

    Last edited by SanAntone; Sep-29-2020 at 21:08.

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    Quote Originally Posted by calvinpv View Post
    I second this. She's basically a 2nd-generation Morton Feldman. I wouldn't say she's as good as her teacher because her music isn't nearly as long (I think duration is a core element of late Feldman, so it's a shame she ignores this aspect), but still a fine composer.
    I like Linda Catlin Smith. Cassandra Miller is another Canadian composer who has written some really interesting music. Here's a Soundcloud link to her trippy Bel canto from 2010: https://soundcloud.com/cassandra-mil...bel-canto-kore.

    Here's what Miller says about Feldman (and herself) in an interview:

    "I often think in terms of protagonists. In romantic music, where the motives go on various adventures, the music (maybe the melody) is the protagonist. You can even find clear layers where the melody is the protagonist, the resonance is the stage setting and the strings doing their swirly bits are the internal fluttery feelings of the protagonist's mind or body. All there. But if you look at Feldman for example, the protagonist is you, the listener. And you slowly go on an adventure as he systematically erases your memory. You get to find out what it's like to exist in that destabilizing space for a long time (which is very different than a short time)."

    [Weeks, James. "Along the Grain: The Music of Cassandra Miller." Tempo 68, no. 269 (2014): 50-63.]

    Part of me is glad that most younger composers aren't trying to emulate Feldman's gargantuan proportions. He wrote long pieces in part to disrupt social norms, and (at least in contemporary music circles) those norms are less prevalent today. There are other ways to make the listener the protagonist than trying to wipe their memory... or at least I think there are.

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    There’s a lot of music by Feldman which isn’t especially long.

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    I was disappointed to discover that only excerpts are available on YouTube of Linda Catlin Smith's work. I agree with the comments made about her link to Feldman. I also agree that it would be hard to express an influence of Feldman without lapsing into imitation.

    Feldman is somewhat like Thelonious Monk in that regard: his style is so distinctive it would be difficult, if not impossible, to emulate his priorities and produce something "yours" and new.
    Last edited by SanAntone; Sep-30-2020 at 10:42.

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    This work I find very interesting. Well for one thing I am a huge early music fan, so there's that. And G.F. Haas is a composer always want to hear what he's up to. This is not a new work, but one I've never heard before now.



    Georg Friedrich Haas - tria ex uno, Sextet after Josquin Desprez (2001)

    Ensemble neuverBand
    Cecilia Castagneto (conductor)
    Last edited by SanAntone; Sep-30-2020 at 10:53.

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    performed by Jack Quartet
    Ostiatim by Leah Reid (2011)

    Starts out disjointed and jagged. But around the 7:00' mark the music changes to placid and sensuous music. Very interesting composer to me, so far.

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