Author Topic: The five myths about contemporary classical music  (Read 6748 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline starrynight

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 495
  • Location: Britain
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #100 on: May 01, 2012, 12:37:57 PM »
I'm not sure that's how you meant to express it.  Certainly there were (as there have always been) dominant musical figures in the 20th century. Claiming that there were not, would be blinkered. : )

Probably less in the second half of the 20th century, which is what we are talking about here I guess.  Nobody probably as dominant as say Beethoven was in his time.
non-cliquey member of every music forum I participate on

Offline jlaurson

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5956
    • ionarts
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #101 on: May 01, 2012, 12:46:52 PM »
... Nobody probably as dominant as say Beethoven was in his time.

you mean: Beethoven was in our time.  ;)

Philoctetes

  • Guest
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #102 on: May 01, 2012, 12:51:24 PM »
you mean: Beethoven was in our time.  ;)

I was about to point this out. Some historical revisionism going on in this topic.

Offline karlhenning

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 20990
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #103 on: May 01, 2012, 12:55:44 PM »
Probably less in the second half of the 20th century, which is what we are talking about here I guess.  Nobody probably as dominant as say Beethoven was in his time.

Of course, there are still dominant figures in music; but, as you suggest, there has probably not been a single dominant figure in music since, oh let us say, Wagner.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline James

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8138
  • Currently Listening to:
    from JS Bach to Stockhausen
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #104 on: May 01, 2012, 01:12:35 PM »
I think there are 20th century composers (1st-half & 2nd) who will be remembered as Beethoven is remembered.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein

Offline Scion7

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 499
  • Location: Küçükmenderes Nehir
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #105 on: May 01, 2012, 02:00:35 PM »
You mean, along with Bach, probably the greatest composer of all time?

I doubt it.
Samuel Barber-the violin concerto-Isaac Stern, Bernstein, New York Philharmonic. 1965

Offline Scion7

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 499
  • Location: Küçükmenderes Nehir
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #106 on: May 01, 2012, 03:37:22 PM »
I was about to point this out. Some historical revisionism going on in this topic.

Well, in Vienna, his reputation was pretty much set at the time of the Ninth - but I would say from at least Schumann's time (and his writings in his musical newspaper), Beethoven was more or less regarded the same as now.  Look at how he was worshipped by both the sides of the Romantic composers.
Samuel Barber-the violin concerto-Isaac Stern, Bernstein, New York Philharmonic. 1965

Offline James

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8138
  • Currently Listening to:
    from JS Bach to Stockhausen
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #107 on: May 01, 2012, 04:50:03 PM »
Lets get back on topic, contemporary music of our time.

Tom has now started this, the first installment is in  ..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/series/a-guide-to-contemporary-classical-music

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein

Online Jeffrey Smith

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 6258
  • Location: Florida
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #108 on: May 01, 2012, 05:19:27 PM »
I think there are 20th century composers (1st-half & 2nd) who will be remembered as Beethoven is remembered.

Inevitably so, if you mean that they represent major influences and what might be called flex points in the development of musical style,  as Beethoven was in the era which started as Classical and ended up Romantic.
Every kind of music is good, except the boring kind.
---Rossini

Online Jeffrey Smith

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 6258
  • Location: Florida
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #109 on: May 01, 2012, 05:35:38 PM »
I should draw the distinction (and I think, Jeffrey, you would be apt to agree . . . I think it's an accident of phrasing here) that the judgement of barren may fall upon a branch of music from that era, but that there is music from that time which will endure.

Well, I did say "much", and in another post I tried to be clear that my not-liking is focused on the sort of compositions associated with serialism, Darmstadt, and that sort of approach to music (in a general way) --and even then, there are pockets I actually like (Ligeti's chamber music and solo piano works,  Carter's string quartets.  But Shostakovich, after all, deserves the appellation of modern/contemporary as much as Stockhausen.  His last works, like SQ 15, were written less than forty years ago; he died the year I graduated high school.

And I picked on the date 1980 because I think in the last few decades there's been a positive development,  in that what is good in serialism/Darmstadt/etc.  has been taken up and worked sort of in tandem with more tonal oriented  methods--the excesses tamed and the sometimes cultish approach (in which some composers thought that the public liking their work was a bad thing) tossed aside.  I gave (not quite random, but chosen because it's a recent listening experience) Corigliano's Symphony No. 1 a first listen the other day, and found it to be an outstanding work--but it couldn't really have been written without the lessons learned from Boulez and company.

Which is of course a long winded way of saying,  you're right!
Every kind of music is good, except the boring kind.
---Rossini

Offline CRCulver

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 380
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #110 on: May 02, 2012, 08:40:51 AM »
In what ways has Pärt gone beyond Darmstadt?

Pärt’s Passio manages to sound like ancient music, but it is one of the most strictly serialized pieces I’ve ever heard (and I listen to a lot of Darmstadt). It’s a work of synthesis that combines earlier styles to make something new. I think it’s fair to consider it progress from some perspective.

Online edward

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3433
  • Hello, little man. I will destroy you.
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #111 on: May 02, 2012, 09:29:44 AM »
Pärt’s Passio manages to sound like ancient music, but it is one of the most strictly serialized pieces I’ve ever heard (and I listen to a lot of Darmstadt). It’s a work of synthesis that combines earlier styles to make something new. I think it’s fair to consider it progress from some perspective.
This is probably more an extension of procedures learnt through thorough study of early music, though (something that could be said of some of the Darmstadt composers--Ligeti perhaps being the most glaring example, but others as well).
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

Offline mszczuj

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 939
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #112 on: May 03, 2012, 02:42:16 AM »
Most of the criticism concerning contemporary classical music I've come across, is from those who really haven't spent much time with this era.

As my experience shows most of the criticism concerning any classical music I've come across, is from those who really haven't spent much time with this very music. Well, in fact I suppose that just all the criticism.

Offline jlaurson

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5956
    • ionarts
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #113 on: May 03, 2012, 03:20:40 AM »
Pärt’s Passio manages to sound like ancient music, but it is one of the most strictly serialized pieces I’ve ever heard (and I listen to a lot of Darmstadt). It’s a work of synthesis that combines earlier styles to make something new. I think it’s fair to consider it progress from some perspective.

That's decidedly not how Pärt’s development was considered by the 'Darmstadt-ians. Interpret into it what you will, and add the fact that the lessons Pärt learned were obviously not 'unlearned', but his is a key-moment in the development away from 'Darmstadt' -- one of the first prominent cases of turning their back on the avant-garde aesthetic that ruled at the time. There's a clear trend that can be traced, and re-occurring themes are religiosity (!), minority status within one's culture, and not-being-French-or-German.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/08/1930s-club-of-defiance-soviet-harmonies.html
Quote
Silvestrov was considered a leading representative of the „Kiev avant-garde," completely at odds with the prevalent Soviet musical aesthetic and therefore the officials. Successful performances in the West – and honorable mention in Ulrich Dibelius’ German standard on modern music “Moderne Musik Nach 1945”– didn’t help to endear the young composer to the apparatchiks.

When Silvestrov gradually yet radically switched styles—from conventional dodecaphony via avant-gardism to his ‘metaphorical style’ with a strong mystic bent, also dubbed “new traditionalism” or “neo-romantic”—that too didn’t sit well with the official guardians of musical style. Said Dibelius, in a later revision of his book, slagged Silvestrov off as a “regressive ‘mystical’ poet” when only a few years earlier he had still been a promising “serial-progressive”. (It is not known, but reasonable to assume, that Dibelius got ekzema at the mere thought of C Major or B Minor.) In the Western musicological world his turn from avant-gardism was considered a turn from art to tosh.

Silvestrov started composing in a style saturated with musical reminiscence. One of his foremost tools is simplicity but not (though the accusation has been made,) banality. The style certainly resonated with audiences. Sofia Gubaidulina wrote about Silvestrov: “People will say his musical language is too simple. But this simplicity is deceiving. It contains a wonderful depth. And this simplicity is truly new – it is a new musical language.” The record company ECM (again) thought so too, and recordings of Silvestrov’s music have done the label well and spread Silvestrov’s music near and far… perhaps nearly as much as did Gidon Kremer. Also not a Russian but a Latvian and also forced to seek exile in Germany (like Pärt, Schnittke, Gubaidulina)—his importance for all these composers cannot be overstated. Many of Silvestrov’s works are dedicated to Kremer and/or were premiered, recorded, and continuously championed by him.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 01:12:10 PM by jlaurson »

Offline some guy

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1350
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #114 on: May 03, 2012, 03:47:04 AM »
one of the first prominent cases of turning their back on the avant-garde aesthetic that ruled at the time. There's a clear trend that can be traced
Six myths.

Offline James

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8138
  • Currently Listening to:
    from JS Bach to Stockhausen
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein

Offline sanantonio

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1378
  • Adolph Gottlieb ~ Blues
    • Musica Kaleidoskopea
  • Location: USA
  • Currently Listening to:
    20th & 21st centuries
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #116 on: February 18, 2014, 06:00:59 AM »
Bump.

Good thread, but I cannot help but feel that Tom Service adds nothing to the discussion and while alluding to it, does not confront the 800 pound gorilla in the room that makes his article and ones like it irrelevant:  there is no one kind of contemporary music.  Contemporary music cannot be defined as one thing, the spectrum is too wide, the differences too great.  The only thing, I think, one can say is that during the 20th, and now the 21st century, stylistic freedom is common practice.  And I would go on to say that there is something for everyone.

Offline karlhenning

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 20990
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, Frescobaldi, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Chopin, Haydn, Henning
Re: The five myths about contemporary classical music
« Reply #117 on: February 18, 2014, 07:04:52 AM »
Bump.

Good thread, but I cannot help but feel that Tom Service adds nothing to the discussion and while alluding to it, does not confront the 800 pound gorilla in the room that makes his article and ones like it irrelevant:  there is no one kind of contemporary music.  Contemporary music cannot be defined as one thing, the spectrum is too wide, the differences too great.  The only thing, I think, one can say is that during the 20th, and now the 21st century, stylistic freedom is common practice.  And I would go on to say that there is something for everyone.

+ 1
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK