Author Topic: Contemporary composers  (Read 11245 times)

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Henk

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Contemporary composers
« on: June 07, 2008, 11:12:25 AM »
Which contemporary composers do you think are interesting and still write music? Without doing some research on internet, I only can mention Glass.

lukeottevanger

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2008, 11:18:19 AM »
Well, that's a pretty broad question - there are dozens of names who deserve to be here!

But, as I am in one of my approximately yearly phases of deep infatuation with this composer, and as it would be nice to get his name here right at the start of the thread, before all the more obvious big guns get mentioned, I'm going to say the name Michael Finnissy.

gomro

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2008, 11:47:21 AM »
Which contemporary composers do you think are interesting and still write music? Without doing some research on internet, I only can mention Glass.

Sheesh! Well, I'll start my list with Glass and just go from there, no fair Internet peeking, natch:

Glass
Reich
Riley
Nyman
Milesi
Lentz
Balada
Penderecki
Wuorinen
Maslanka
Ewazen
Rautavaara
Krieger
Perle
Peck
Lansky
Davidovsky (I think he's still with us and active...)
Saariaho
Aho
Samuel Jones

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2008, 12:43:35 PM »
How much you wanna bet that by the time this thread is over there won't be single contemporary composer who is going to remain unmentioned?

greg

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2008, 12:46:39 PM »
How much you wanna bet that by the time this thread is over there won't be single contemporary composer who is going to remain unmentioned?
Luke
Karl
Me
Saul


okay...... i think we're about done here.

Offline Varg

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2008, 12:50:47 PM »
My two favorites are Arvo Pärt and Valentin Silvestrov. I dont care about other contemporary composers i've heard (Penderecki and Glass are among them).

Offline some guy

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2008, 01:34:26 PM »
How much you wanna bet that by the time this thread is over there won't be single contemporary composer who is going to remain unmentioned?

Yes, it's true.

And Henk is going to find out a certain amount (not much) about the posters, and if I were a betting man (that is, if I allowed myself to bet), I'd put my money on Henk not finding out too terribly much, if anything, about contemporary music.

Which is too bad, as there's a lot of it. But I must say, I'm stymied by the word "interesting." What I find interesting, Henk may not. I have a lot of experience with contemporary music, so might be in a good position to say whether something's any good or not. But that's as may be.

In instrumental music, Helmut Lachenmann, Chaya Czernowin, and Gerald Eckert are all doing intriguing explorations of what acoustic instruments can be made to do.

In electroacoustic music, Natasha Barrett, Beatriz Ferreyra, and Michele Bokanowski are each writing new and interesting things--quite different from each other, too. Add in Christine Groult to that. (It's difficult to stop for me with electroacoustic music as it's what I know best. I could fulfil Josquin's prophecy all on my own, with this type of music, anyway.

In live electronics, Zbigniew Karkowski and Francisco Lopez are two very interesting and different composers, Zbigniew being the louder and more abrasive of the two. Lionel Marchetti and Jerome Noetinger, if they still do gigs together (I don't know), are not to be missed. It's the best improv I know.

In minimalism, Eliane Radigue has done many wonderful, long, electroacoustic pieces--and is currently working with a cellist, writing instructions instead of notes (which are only a kind of shorthand instruction: play this pitch for this long at this volume), and so may qualify as experimental, too. Bronius Kutavicius also does a very different kind of minimalism, the repetitious kind. But it won't be like any other you've ever heard, as his roots are in Lithuanian folk music.

In live theater, Miguel Azguime has done some of the more interesting things I've seen, using voice and video and projection and costume in ways I've never seen anyone else do. The group Interface does both theater and improv. They have a DVD with Pauline Oliveros (one of the early electroacoustic/minimalist/improv people, and still one of the best) playing accordion. And one of the other cuts is a thing called Pika Pika, which has Tomie Hahn of Interface wearing motion sensing equipment doing stylized dancing that the equipment responds to and converts into really lovely noisy stuff. Lyn Goeringer has made gloves that do much the same, and she makes gestures with her hands that the gloves convert to sounds. Her "dancing" is not quite as stylized as Pika Pika is, but is as much a treat to watch as to listen to, as is only appropriate for theater, after all.

Well, that's a little taste, hardly even a taste it's so little, of a very few people alive and working today.

Henk

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2008, 12:40:36 AM »
Yes, it's true.

And Henk is going to find out a certain amount (not much) about the posters, and if I were a betting man (that is, if I allowed myself to bet), I'd put my money on Henk not finding out too terribly much, if anything, about contemporary music.


I'm specially interested in European (German and Scandinavian excluded, but Sweden included) music. Who are active nowadays and who do interesting things? When I get some names and information about them I can investigate further myself.

Henk
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 12:42:31 AM by Henk »

Offline Varg

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2008, 01:50:32 AM »
I'm specially interested in European (German and Scandinavian excluded, but Sweden included) music. Who are active nowadays and who do interesting things? When I get some names and information about them I can investigate further myself.

Henk

Why excluding Germany and Scandinavia?

Offline Grazioso

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2008, 03:14:46 AM »
Rautavaara's earlier work is often quite striking, though some of his more recent stuff strikes me as rather mediocre and New Age-y. Pärt, despite (because of?) the self-imposed limitations of his current style, has really found his way to something deep and moving in music. For introductions to these composers, I'd recommend



and



You'll get some of their best pieces in excellent performances.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 03:16:27 AM by Grazioso »
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

karlhenning

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2008, 04:17:02 AM »
How much you wanna bet that by the time this thread is over there won't be single contemporary composer who is going to remain unmentioned?

You should make a point of avoiding sour grapes at least once a week  8)

To address the point of your post, though; I can think immediately of three active, published composers whom no one here would (nor ought to) nominate as his favorite.  I won't mention them, (a) because they are unworthy of our attentions, and (b) that would defeat the purpose of my reply here, wouldn't it?  ;D

karlhenning

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2008, 04:18:42 AM »
Why excluding Germany and Scandinavia?

I'll guess that what he has heard already by living German and Scandinavian-other-than-Swedish composers, leaves him cold.

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2008, 06:31:13 AM »
All right, here's a concise list of contemporary composers which i actually enjoyed: 

György Ligeti

Krzysztof Penderecki

Alfred Schnittke

Nikolai Kapustin

Charles Wuorinen

And to a lesser extend:

Henri Dutilleux

Wolfgang Rihm

Still determining whether any of the above was actually a genius, but i think a couple of them could easily be considered great.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 06:34:39 AM by Josquin des Prez »

rockerreds

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2008, 09:02:34 AM »
Jennifer Higdon

pjme

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2008, 12:42:23 PM »
Henk, many countries have "Donemus" -like organisations where you can get plenty of information on living composers.
In Belgium it is Cebedem . Even a small country like Belgium has quite a few very interesting and "serious" composers who write in very different styles : Luc Brewaeys, Luc Van Hove, Piet Swerts, Annelies Van Parys,Benoit Mernier, Pierre Bartholomée....
In Italy ( http://www.cidim.it/ )Giorgio Battistelli, Marco Stroppa,Franco Donatoni ...
In France Thierry Escaich, Bruno Mantovani, Vincent Paulet, Tristan Murail,Marc-André Dalbavie, Jean Louis Agobet,Thierry Pécou,Thierry Lancino (beautiful violinconcerto...),Phillippe Hersant,Edith Canat - de Chizy....http://www.cdmc.asso.fr/

Stylistically however, the differences are huge : Stroppa uses lots of the most advanced electronics and studied with Boulez, Swerts is basically a tonal composer à la Prokovief. Fortunately, many composers have their own website and it is possible to listen to fragments. You can decide yourself.

Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland (read what Maciek sent us!) - from Brazil to Iceland and Canada....composers are hard at work. Check the programs of the Holland Festival,Het festival van Vlaanderen en het Festival de Wallonie, Ars musica in Brussels, in Straatsburg Musica,...Agora Paris, Archipel Genève, ,  Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Wien Modern... Donaueschinger Musiktage...

the websites of concerthalls and orchestras ( Cité de la Musique in Paris, ensemble Intercontemporain, Klangforum Wien..), artists like Steffen Schleiermacher, Heinz Holliger, Frances Marie Uitti,les percussions de Strasbourg,etc etc ....

And, whatever you think of German composers and their music : have a look at http://www.komponistenlexikon.de/....Helmut Lachenmann is not alone!

Sure, it is not "always easy" to find music one "likes"....Good luck!

P.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 12:30:10 PM by pjme »

Offline John Copeland

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2008, 04:02:26 AM »
Josquin des Prez said:

1. György Ligeti
2. Krzysztof Penderecki
3. Alfred Schnittke

Hear, hear!   ;D ;D For anyone that hasn't heard them, I would recommend the following for starters:

1. György Ligeti  -   "Amen" from the album "Miserere".  The longest and most divinely uttered "Amen" you'll ever hear.  If you say your prayers and end it with an amen like this, God will probably give you anything you want.
2. Krzysztof Penderecki   -  "Threnody for the victims of Horishima."  To scare you rigid and envision the hell.
3. Alfred Schnittke  -  Anything - he was a completely inventive forward thinking composer.

I'd add Sallinen and Arvo Part  0:) too.

« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 04:30:22 AM by mahler10th »

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2008, 08:53:59 AM »
No one has yet mentioned Henryk Gorecki... :D

Someone I discovered recently is Michael Daugherty, via a recording of his "UFO" with percussionist Evelyn Glennie.  While I'm not sure how "great" he is, he's definitely got a unique voice and a fine sense of orchestration.

And I haven't yet heard that the estimable Elliott Carter has died or ceased writing magnificent music. ;D
Imagination + discipline = creativity

Henk

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2008, 02:51:53 AM »
Henk, many countries have "Donemus" -like organisations where you can get plenty of information on living composers.
In Belgium it is Cebedem . Even a small country like Belgium has quite a few very interesting and "serious" composers who write in very different styles : Luc Brewaeys, Luc Van Hove, Piet Swerts, Annelies Van Parys,Benoit Mernier, Pierre Bartholomée....
In Italy ( http://www.cidim.it/ )Giorgio Battistelli, Marco Stroppa,Franco Donatoni ...
In France Thierry Escaich, Bruno Mantovani, Vincent Paulet, Tristan Murail,Marc-André Dalbavie, Jean Louis Agobet,Thierry Pécou,Thierry Lancino (beautiful violinconcerto...),Phillippe Hersant,Edith Canat - de Chizy....http://www.cdmc.asso.fr/

Stylistically however, the differences are huge : Stroppa uses lots of the most advanced electronics and studied with Boulez, Swerts is basically a tonal composer à la Prokovief. Fortunately, many composers have their own website and it is possible to listen to fragments. You can decide yourself.

Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland (read what Maciek sent us!) - from Brazil to Iceland and Canada....composers are hard at work. Check the programs of the Holland Festival,Het festival van Vlaanderen en het Festival de Wallonie, Ars musica in Brussels, in Straatsburg Musica,...Agora Paris, Archipel Genève, ,  Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Wien Modern... Donaueschinger Musiktage...

the websites of concerthalls and orchestras ( Cité de la Musique in Paris, ensemble Intercontemporain, Klangforum Wien..), artists like Steffen Schleiermacher, Heinz Holliger, Frances Marie Uitti,les percussions de Strasbourg,etc etc ....

And, whatever you think of German composers and their music : have a look at http://www.komponistenlexikon.de/....Helmut Lachenmann is not alone!

Sure, it is not "always easy" to find music one "likes"....Good luck!

P.


Nice post. I haven't heard of the names from France and Italy. Interesting. I'm looking now at what's played at dutch classical radio stations.

I've found an interesting composer: Minas Borboudakis. For ones interested listen to samples at http://www.minasborboudakis.com.

I think the best way to discover new music is to listen to what's is played by well-known ensembles such as Ensemble Intercomporain and Schonberg Ensemble. Are there more ensembles like this??

Henk
« Last Edit: June 16, 2008, 03:30:48 AM by Henk »

Henk

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2008, 05:34:37 AM »
Henk, many countries have "Donemus" -like organisations where you can get plenty of information on living composers.
In Belgium it is Cebedem . Even a small country like Belgium has quite a few very interesting and "serious" composers who write in very different styles : Luc Brewaeys, Luc Van Hove, Piet Swerts, Annelies Van Parys,Benoit Mernier, Pierre Bartholomée....
In Italy ( http://www.cidim.it/ )Giorgio Battistelli, Marco Stroppa,Franco Donatoni ...
In France Thierry Escaich, Bruno Mantovani, Vincent Paulet, Tristan Murail,Marc-André Dalbavie, Jean Louis Agobet,Thierry Pécou,Thierry Lancino (beautiful violinconcerto...),Phillippe Hersant,Edith Canat - de Chizy....http://www.cdmc.asso.fr/


I've listened to some samples. I've found out that the much work of italian composers is available on the Stradivarius label. Looks like a very nice label. The work of french composers is worse available. Ensemble Intercontemporain has some nice cd's for sale, but they are expensive (E. 23 for 1 cd).

Samples of works of the following composers, which I've listened to and liked are: Donatoni, Maresz, Francesconi, Jarrel, Manoury, Mantovani, Fedele.

pjme

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Re: Contemporary composers
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2008, 10:58:47 AM »
Dag Henk,

thanks for the update! That's good news.
I don't know if you can get VRT radio KLARA. Tonight was quite interesting  - the presentation of a new CD and a DVD with works by Marc André Dalbavie (°1961) : a flute concerto ( for Emmanuel Pahud), and orchestral works : Concertate il suono and a double concerto for clarinet, bassethorn & orch. ( commisoned by Sabine Meyer). Very good performances  - I thought - by the French P.O. / Pascal Rophé





I couldn't make up my mind immediately - Dalbavie definitely isn't a "complicated, cerebral" composer - (when compared to, say, Ferneyhough or Birtwistle...) . His music is very colourful, delicately orchestrated and mostly "non-pompous". Boulez has conducted works by Dalbavie .
I witnessed a performance of: Dalbavie: La source d'un regard (opgedragen aan Olivier Messiaen) (opdrachtwerk, wereldpremière)
some time ago in the Concertgebouw - a refined work, not totaly unlike the soundworld of Dutilleux....

Next wednesday you can listen on VRT to a new Jade CD with works by Messiaen ( as chosen by his widow Yvonne Loriod - propably some youthworks or fragments ...?) . http://acatholiclife.blogspot.com/2008/06/olivier-messiaen-never-before-released.html
R Dutch Radio 4 will broadcast, the same evening, a concert from the Holland Festival with Kutavicius "Last pagan rites" and Caminates..Ayacucho" by Nono. Well worth discovering.
P.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 11:07:18 AM by pjme »