Author Topic: The other minimalists  (Read 17575 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 58441
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, D. Scarlattii, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Martinů, Haydn, Henning
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2011, 11:18:00 AM »
Not exactly what you asked for, but try Ravel's tiny 15 bar Frontispice for piano 5 hands (!). It's a weird marvel of a piece, and actually protominimalist in some ways. It builds up an incredibly complex web of cross-rhythms by the accretion of ostinati in standard minimliast fashion, although obviously before-the-fact. It is really Ravel's most intricate, mindboggling piece, in some ways.

Did you link to a score once on a time, or did I imagine it? . . .
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.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 Luke

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2436
  • Tuplet Nester (Fourth Degree)
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2011, 11:23:47 AM »
Karl's cough (or what it links to) reminds me of Ligeti's Musica Ricercata (which slowly builds up its account of pitches from the A-only first movement IIRC). Ligeti's music is frequently minimalist in essentials, and most obviously so in the harpsichord pieces and the two piano Monument, Selbstporträt and Bewegung (whose middle movement is described as a self portrait with Reich and Riley, and Chopin too). Hear it eg here http://www.classicalarchives.com/work/140671.html Of the piano etudes, many push minimalist buttons, most explicitly Der Zauberlehrling from Book 2
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 11:25:43 AM by Luke »

Offline lescamil

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 674
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2011, 02:00:13 PM »
Speaking of protominimalism, anyone else fancy Colin McPhee's music? His Tabuh-Tabuhan has been cited by John Adams as a direct inspiration to his minimalist works. It's a great sort of work that reminds me a bit of Steve Reich, of all people. All of the various keyboard percussion instruments coupled with the two pianos is very much like the sorts of ensembles that he utilizes, with the orchestra behind it.
Want to chat about classical music on IRC? Go to:

irc.psigenix.net
#concerthall

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,19772.0.html

-------------------------------------

Check out my YouTube page:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jre58591

snyprrr

  • Guest
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2011, 09:50:44 PM »
Harald Weiss Arche(Wergo)

Offline Dax

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 640
  • Location: London
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2011, 02:39:17 AM »
Not exactly what you asked for, but try Ravel's tiny 15 bar Frontispice for piano 5 hands (!). It's a weird marvel of a piece, and actually protominimalist in some ways. It builds up an incredibly complex web of cross-rhythms by the accretion of ostinati in standard minimliast fashion, although obviously before-the-fact. It is really Ravel's most intricate, mindboggling piece, in some ways.

With respect, it can hardly be viewed as minimalist. Although minimalist seems to be defined very loosely (far too loosely IMO) these days: it seems that just a little bit of repetition is enough to get tarred with the minimalist brush.

Frontispice makes perfect sense if it is remembered that it is piece conceived for pianola - at a time (just after the end of WW1) when many composers accepted the invitation to write a short piece for the instrument. This is not to downgrade the work - it is a little gem. A few years back, an orchestration by Boulez was broadcast: full of unnecessary contrasts it was and as such seemed to miss the point entirely.

Is nobody aware of the wealth of (real) minimalist music composed in the UK in the period from 1966-75? Hobbs, White, Cardew, Parsons et al?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 02:42:16 AM by Dax »

Offline Luke

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2436
  • Tuplet Nester (Fourth Degree)
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2011, 12:03:58 PM »
With respect, it can hardly be viewed as minimalist. Although minimalist seems to be defined very loosely (far too loosely IMO) these days: it seems that just a little bit of repetition is enough to get tarred with the minimalist brush.

Frontispice makes perfect sense if it is remembered that it is piece conceived for pianola - at a time (just after the end of WW1) when many composers accepted the invitation to write a short piece for the instrument. This is not to downgrade the work - it is a little gem. A few years back, an orchestration by Boulez was broadcast: full of unnecessary contrasts it was and as such seemed to miss the point entirely.

Is nobody aware of the wealth of (real) minimalist music composed in the UK in the period from 1966-75? Hobbs, White, Cardew, Parsons et al?

Hmm, I didn't say Frontispice was minimalist, though, I said that the way its ostinati build up (and the web of cross rhythms they create) is a technique the minimalists used also, and that in that sense (and I suppose the fact that the texture is the only real idea, not the background for something else) it could be said to anticipate them. I mentioned it really only because Sara was talking about her interest in multiple-hands-at-the-piano music, and it sprung to mind in both contexts.

BTW, the pianola idea is a theory, and it may well be an accurate theory, but it's not confirmed and probably won't be. See here http://www.maurice-ravel.net/frontisp.htm  Of course if Sara is interested in multiple piano music she needs to head for the pianola or similar - for Nancarrow, of course, and for Gann...exploring the latter one will discover many other minimalists

OF whom, btw, please look out William Duckworth. His Time Curve Preludes are an important and attractive work, and available for free download if one searches around the blogosphere. You can hear them here http://www.archive.org/details/P_DUC_WIL_02

And yes, I know the work of Hobbs, White etc. I treasure my copy of the Obscure LP with the two HObbs pieces, the experimental Bryars 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4 and Adams' American Standard (a piece which he once said had never been played because of the copyright infringement of its Duke Ellington quotation, clearly forgetting this recording!). John White, meanwhile, is a fascinating figure indeed. I' love to have the time to explore those countless piano sonatas more deeply! But thinking of all these guys reminds me of one more...

What about Howard Skempton?

The British minimalist tradition is full of fine, original, thoughtful and eccentic figures!

Offline Lethevich

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9748
  • I spilled my drink!
  • Currently Listening to:
    Rihm, Bialas, Ballif, Schumann, Schubert
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2011, 12:12:33 PM »
It's interesting you mention Nancarrow - I haven't commented on Fitkin because I haven't really come to any opinion on the music other than I like it - but once or twice it made me think of Nancarrow at a less manic pace. It's probably an insane figment of my imagination from being unable to pin down the music in any way ;D

Skempton I found a bit light on content when played in one programme (the Well, Well, Cornelius CD), but it tends to sound better when contrasted with others (Schleiermacher's British! CD).
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline Luke

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2436
  • Tuplet Nester (Fourth Degree)
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2011, 12:23:07 PM »
It's interesting you mention Nancarrow - I haven't commented on Fitkin because I haven't really come to any opinion on the music other than I like it - but once or twice it made me think of Nancarrow at a less manic pace. It's probably an insane figment of my imagination from being unable to pin down the music in any way ;D

Skempton I found a bit light on content when played in one programme (the Well, Well, Cornelius CD), but it tends to sound better when contrasted with others (Schleiermacher's British! CD).

There was a sweetly inept attempt to hype Skempton's Lento when it was released as a CD single on NMC - along the lines of 'if this thing takes off, it could get itself a cult following'. Way to sell it! (Well, TBH it worked on me...) This was the time of the first widespread popularity of Part, Gorecki, Tavener etc. It's certainly an attractive and very pure piece which I think would appeal to those who are interested in music that is in that line - it is an explicit attempt to reproduce the glowing sound of Wagner's Parsifal orchestraion, but in a slow, soft series of heiratic, solemn chords.

And re the Fitkin-Nancarrow - not at all, it's a clear point of comparison. That nexus also includes Ligeti (as mentioned before - he was deeply influenced by Nancarrow of course). And something like Adams' Hallalujah Junction fits right in there too. Odd how such disparate composers can find these point of connection.

Offline PaulSC

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 475
  • Location: California
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2011, 02:41:19 PM »
Big +1 for Duckworth's Time Curve Preludes.

An important early (ish) figure is David Borden (and his Mother Mallard ensemble). And another name that comes to mind is Mikel Rouse, although I haven't followed his own recent work and can't say it is earlier stuff would hold up for me if I heard it today.
Musik ist ein unerschöpfliches Meer. — Joseph Riepel

Offline Dax

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 640
  • Location: London
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2012, 02:29:26 AM »
John White, meanwhile, is a fascinating figure indeed. I'd love to have the time to explore those countless piano sonatas more deeply!

In which case, forgive me this utterly shameless (and recently released) plug




http://www.uhrecordings.co.uk/_shop/albums/UHR/WhiteSonatas.aspx

Offline Lethevich

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9748
  • I spilled my drink!
  • Currently Listening to:
    Rihm, Bialas, Ballif, Schumann, Schubert
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2012, 03:24:22 AM »


The samples sound super. The style reminds me a bit of Glass's etudes, but there is much more of a sense of restless invention with these works (the overly simple, comfortable qualities of the work I compare them to don't bring me back for more).

Edit: the more they go on, the more it sounds like some of Kapustinov's wheezes too - this is really fun!
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 03:30:26 AM by Lethevich Dmitriyevna Pettersonova »
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline jowcol

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1229
  • The Sound of one hand clapping
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2012, 03:26:50 AM »
Speaking of protominimalism, anyone else fancy Colin McPhee's music? His Tabuh-Tabuhan has been cited by John Adams as a direct inspiration to his minimalist works. It's a great sort of work that reminds me a bit of Steve Reich, of all people. All of the various keyboard percussion instruments coupled with the two pianos is very much like the sorts of ensembles that he utilizes, with the orchestra behind it.

I ADORE McPhee.  I must admit the Tabuh-Tabuhan conducted by Hanson (Who I admire) was sort of lame compared to the Canandian disk about a decade ago which has some other great works on them.   His 2nd Symphony and Transitions are also very good.   And yes, I get the Reich vibe.
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington

Offline jowcol

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1229
  • The Sound of one hand clapping
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2012, 03:28:32 AM »
Since he's vaguely like John Adams, I'd check out Kamran Ince.  The disc with Arches and his 2nd Symphony (Fall of Constantinople) are very good.  The latter is almost like a minimalist take on Hanson's Lament for Beowulf, minus the chorus. 
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington

snyprrr

  • Guest
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2012, 09:29:39 AM »
Lukas Foss?

Offline Lethevich

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9748
  • I spilled my drink!
  • Currently Listening to:
    Rihm, Bialas, Ballif, Schumann, Schubert
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2012, 03:18:26 AM »
Lukas Foss?

I'd like to know a bit about him too. As so often, I've seen the name around a lot - enough for me to consider him a noted composer - but I've somehow never read any opinions on him, nor stumbled across his music in any couplings that have passed through my hands.
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline Henk

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2214
  • Location: Europe, The Netherlands
  • Currently Listening to:
    Jazz, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Handel, Rossini, Chopin, Metal, Pop
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2012, 05:39:08 AM »
I like Verbey very much. Padding and Vleggaar also sound interesting to me, but they don't have developed a mature sound yet, and I wonder if they will get to this. All Dutch.

Verbey's music is great imo. A very good example of post-minimalism, better than minimalism.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 05:56:22 AM by Henk »
'Become who you want to be.' (Greg)

Offline Lethevich

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9748
  • I spilled my drink!
  • Currently Listening to:
    Rihm, Bialas, Ballif, Schumann, Schubert
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2012, 06:32:00 AM »
I like Verbey very much.

This sounds neat, thanks! Each Amazon clip sounds very direct and unfussy in its language.

EDIT: btw, this is exactly the kind of composer that I keep tripping over:



Adams, Glass, Reich and... Heath ???

I got a good compression of "Dave Heath" from this disc, although it is of course impossible to properly assess from one piece. The work on the disc sounds surprisingly Baltic, using the string orchestra to produce all sorts of concerto grosso-style interplay from the sections colliding against each other, shimmering, penetrating the work in typical, almost chaste minimalistic delivery of constant little waymarks, ratcheting the tension up and down as the music itself sways the other direction. Familiar shifts between nagging little pseudo marches, contrasted with "cantabile" parts. I really like this style coming from composers like Tüür (speaking of post-minimalism, I should've mentioned him earlier), and it works well here too, although feels less diffuse than that composer goes for.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 03:36:34 PM by Lethevich Dmitriyevna Pettersonova »
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline Dax

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 640
  • Location: London
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2012, 04:37:51 AM »
A small load of U.S. Experimemtal/Minimalist stuff can be found at

http://incessantnoise.blogspot.com/

of which I've found that the work of Loren Rush is certainly of interest.

Music by Julius Eastman can be found at

http://justmalaise.blogspot.com/2012/02/julius-eastman-unjust-malaise-new-world.html

There is, of course, quite a lot of drone-laden stuff which is fairly underwhelming and tiresome: I've never been a fan of, for instance,  Phill Niblock - who is rated by some. Loren Rush's Hard music appears to consist (merely) of 3 pianists hammereing out a D 2 octaves below middle C. Be that as it may, it certainly works.

For purposes of comparison (and greater sophistication) one could do worse than try (an acolyte of La Monte Young) Catherine Christer Hennix's The Electric Harpsichord- there's an excerpt on youtube at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqCgsN3_4Hc

and the 25 minute work (is that all?) can be found at http://knowyourconjurer.blogspot.com/2011/06/catherine-christer-hennix-electric.html

I mentioned earlier that the word minimalist seems open to misinterpretation these days. As far as the English variety is concerned (quite different from the American), I would hardly think that either Nyman or Bryars would describe anything much they've composed in the last 30 years as minimalist.

But here's an example: John White's Purple passage for 2 percussionists. The recording is from a concert in 1974.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/s537cj

snyprrr

  • Guest
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2012, 09:35:06 PM »

There is, of course, quite a lot of drone-laden stuff which is fairly underwhelming and tiresome: I've never been a fan of,



and the 25 minute work (is that all?)



I mentioned earlier that the word minimalist seems open to misinterpretation these days.

A great point, that all that crappy '60s 'American Experimentalism' drone stuff falls under the... and surely there is sooo much of this corner of the musical universe that newbies would love not to have to navigate.

Personally, when I think the M word, I think Glass, end of story,... and Bryars and Nyman, and Volans, end of story.

I need some really good, minor key, stuff to help me fall asleep, like the opening of Tubular Bells going on forever, without the changes, something groovy and '70s sounding.

I found this by Costin Miereanu:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxwgeRROx-0

MORE OF THIS PLEASE!!


Offline starrynight

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 580
  • Location: Britain
Re: The other minimalists
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2012, 12:47:06 PM »
I can definitely like some minimalism.  But I think that some of the more famous composers in this area can put people off at times when it sounds too cold and mechanical.  I like it with more feeling and an interesting characterful idea with which it is based off, alongside some subtle development through a piece.  Rhythm when used as a very dominating factor over these other elements is hard to convince me with.