Posts Tagged ‘Igor Stravinsky’
Posted by Sam Reising » Add Comment »
Corigliano 7.5: The Birthday Concert
The music of John Corigliano is performed to celebrate his 75th birthday.
Monday, April 29 at 7:30 PM
Tickets $10 standing room, $25 table seating
(le) poisson rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, New York, NY
NYFOS Next: Mohammed Fairouz & Friends
Now in its third season, NYFOS Next spotlights a new generation of song composers and interpreters in concerts paralleling New York Festival of Song’s ongoing subscription series. This concert features the music of Mohammed Fairouz.
Tuesday, April 30 at 7 PM
Mary Flagler Cary Hall at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, 450 West 37th Street, New York, NY
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Posted by Caitlin Smith » Add Comment »
“What is important for the lucid ordering of the work – for its crystallization,” Igor Stravinsky tells us in Poetics of Music, “is that all the Dionysian elements which set the imagination of the artist in motion and make the life-sap rise must be properly subjugated before they intoxicate us, and must finally be made to submit to the law: Apollo demands it.” Unfortunately, there was too much Dionysian abandon and insufficient Apollonian discipline in the performance of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex (1926/27) by the the BBC Philharmonic with soloists Ian Bostridge and Angelika Kirchschlager, led by composer/conductor HK Gruber, in Vienna on March 18, 2013. Though there were many truly beautiful moments, the music overall did not crystallize due to Gruber’s general intoxication with the bombastic potential of the score. The performance was consistently a few dynamic levels too loud.
Composer/conductor HK Gruber (photo credit: Georg Anderhub)
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Posted by Brian Mark » Add Comment »
On October 18, 2012 I stumbled upon City of London Sinfonia’s performance of works by two of the most influential twentieth-century composers: Igor Stravinsky and John Adams. Stravinksy’s Octet, Music for solo clarinet and Music for string quartet, shared the programme with two of Adams earlier compositions, Gnarly Buttons and Grand Pianola Music. Michael Collins, conducted the performance at Cadogan Hall. In addition to being presented as a clarinetist on this occasion, Collins happened to be the soloist who commissioned Adams to write Gnarly Buttons for the London Sinfonietta back in 1996.
Although an interesting combination of solo pieces, string quartet repertoire and chamber ensemble works, what tied these composers together on this programme was the concept of dreams shaping the work. Shortly after becoming a naturalized United States citizen in 1945, Stravinsky’s neo-classical Octet was inspired from his dream of a small room with instrumentalists playing attractive music. Just over 10 years after moving to the San Francisco Bay area from the East Coast, Adams Grand Pianola Music is a subconscious recollection of a drive on the California Interstate 5, passing two gigantic Steinway pianos sitting on Bb and Eb arpeggios.
John Adams – Photo by Margaretta Mitchell
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Posted by Richard Barnard » 1 Comment »
As the Rite of Spring approaches 100 years of public life, interest in Stravinsky’s masterpiece is set to increase, along with new ways of engaging with this infamous ballet score. There have been at least two Jazz-ifications of the Rite of Spring in recent months. The Bad Plus have been touring a live Jazz Trio version and Darryl Brenzel with the Mobtown Modern Big Band have released this ‘Rewrite of Spring’ on the Innova label.
First off, there is some stunning playing here, as well as very accomplished arranging by someone with a fine ear and knowledge of the score. Brenzel knows how to write for Big Band. The live recording is crisp and the balance is great. For me, the key issue here is the relationship between the two traditions of Big Band and the Classical Avant-Garde. What does the original piece gain from this treatment, and how do Stravinsky’s ideas influence this genre?
I have often thought that Jazz has suffered from failing to match astonishing achievements in harmonic and rhythmic innovation with structural imagination, i.e. breaking away from the ‘Head – Solos – Head’ format. In their version The Bad Plus keep pretty faithfully to the through-composed structures of Stravinsky and use their restricted palette to heighten the brutal intensity of the original. Brenzel approaches the task in the opposite way. His Rewrite embraces the varieties of colour afforded by a large ensemble. He also rethinks the structure as a more traditional Big Band format: A series of separate numbers showcasing soloists and allowing applause after each piece. While the applause reminds us of the live nature of this recording, it unfortunately sounds like the audience is small and far away. Brenzel chooses to keep to the ‘Theme (i.e. a block of the score) – Solo – Solo plus Backings – Theme’ structure for many of the tracks, homing in on suitable riffs, backings and underlying chord progressions. This has both advantages and disadvantages.
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Posted by Adrianne Koteen » Add Comment »
Igor Stravinsky once said that “A good composer does not imitate; he steals.” In Histories, a new piece by Brooklyn-based composer collective Sleeping Giant and commissioned by the Deviant Septet ensemble, they do just that, stealing from the bad boy of music himself in what becomes a revisionist and exhilarating look at history, artistic influence, remix culture, and the process of creation.
On May 24, Deviant Septet and Sleeping Giant joined to present Histories at Brooklyn’s Issue Project Room. Deviant Septet is an ensemble of musicians that came together to fulfill Stravinsky’s unique vision of instruments needed for his L’histoire du Soldat ensemble. L’histoire du soldat, or The Soldier’s Tale, was a theatrical work based on a Russian folk tale composed by Stravinsky and initially performed in 1918. Scored for a septet of double bass, clarinet, bassoon, cornet or trumpet, trombone and percussion, Stravinsky had imagined that this combination of instruments would grow in influence and scope. Deviant Septet’s mission is to not only realize Stravinsky’s unfulfilled dream, but to extend his vision, commissioning avant-garde and unique works to add a spark of the unusual to modern chamber music. Sleeping Giant consists of six emerging composers (all Yale School of Music Graduates: Timo Andres, Ted Hearne, Jacob Cooper, Christopher Cerrone, Andrew Norman, and Robert Honstein) who, similarly to Deviant Septet, are unafraid to shake things up a bit in the contemporary classical world, and are drawn to one another based upon mutual respect of their unique compositional voices.
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Posted by Tai Livingston » 4 Comments »
Discussing aesthetic principles and ideals is always a subjective topic, with the totality of what is “beautiful” or “sublime” being unique to each individual. Where one may find the music of Webern beautiful and deep, it may have others fleeing for the exits. As such, any conversation on “what is beautiful” usually ends in disagreement on at least one or two points. This post will not likely present any music that is new to regular readers and contributors. Rather, I’m asking you to listen to the selections with a different set of ears, and to try find the beauty in the ugliness.
I have a very unusual and quirky aesthetic. I revel in jarring dissonance and unusual rhythms. I enjoy unstable tonal schemes and uneven forms. I truly am blessed to be alive in the climate of eccentricitythat dominates the contemporary music scene today. However, this climate is so far removed from the music of Bach and Handel, one does question how we arrived at this place.
Art is, and always has been a direct reflection of the society that created it. The music of the Baroque was the result of shaking the chains of an oppressive European theocracy, the ending of superstitious mysticism, and the beginning of rationalism. The music of the Classical masters is, to my ear, an exact musical interpretation of Enlightenment Era philosophy. The music of the Romantics conjures up the same fantastic images as the writers of the same time period do in their books. So why did Debussy feel the need to begin using unresolved sonorities? Why did Stravinsky assault his listeners with jarring uneven rhythms? Why did Schoenberg feel the necessity to ‘emancipate the dissonance’?
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