Author Topic: Great works of the 1920s  (Read 2618 times)

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Offline Todd

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2020, 05:59:54 AM »
Sibelius - Symphonies 6 & 7

Berg - Wozzeck, Lyric Suite, Kammerkonzert

Janacek - From the House of the Dead, The Makropulos Affair, The Cunning Little Vixen, Káťa Kabanová, Glagolitic Mass, Sinfonietta, String Quartets

Bartok - Piano Concerto No. 1, String Quartets 3 & 4, Out of Doors, Piano Sonata, Violin Sonatas 1 & 2

Faure - Barcarolle 13, Nocturne 13, Cello Sonata 2, String Quartet, Piano Trio

Stravinsky - Pulcinella, Trois mouvements de Petrouchka, Oedipus rex

Webern - Symphony

Schoenberg - Variations for Orchestra, String Quartet No. 3

Prokofiev - Piano Concerto 2, Piano Sonata 5, Symphonies 2 & 3 (greatness questionable)

Ravel - Tzigane, Cello Sonata, Violin Sonata, La Valse, Bolero (greatness questionable)

Vaughan Williams - Symphony 3

Schulhoff - String Quartets 1 & 2, Flammen (greatness questionable)
« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 06:25:52 AM by Todd »
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Offline ritter

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2020, 06:12:18 AM »
Great list...but Petrouchka is from 1911.
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Offline Todd

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2020, 06:26:17 AM »
Great list...but Petrouchka is from 1911.


Meant Trois mouvements de Petrouchka.  Revised original.
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Offline ritter

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2020, 06:34:12 AM »

Meant Trois mouvements de Petrouchka.  Revised original.
Excellent. Great choice!
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2020, 06:59:08 AM »
Hindemith: Kammermusik.  Sorry to mention Hindemith again, but it was a good decade for him.

It was, indeed!

So I'll mention his shock-opera triptych: Das Nusch-Nuschi, Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen & Sancta Susanna.
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Offline pjme

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2020, 08:07:33 AM »
It was, indeed!

So I'll mention his shock-opera triptych: Das Nusch-Nuschi, Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen & Sancta Susanna.

Excellent choice! Sancta Susanna packs a punch !

Online vandermolen

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2020, 12:58:52 PM »
Miaskovsky: Symphony No.6
Vaughan Williams: Sancta Civitas/A Pastoral Symphony
Walton: Viola Concerto
Bax: Symphony No.3 and Symphony No.2
Prokofiev: Symphony No.3
Sibelius: Tapiola
Bliss: A Colour Symphony
« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 01:04:39 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2020, 01:37:31 PM »
Miaskovsky: Symphony No.6
Vaughan Williams: Sancta Civitas/A Pastoral Symphony
Walton: Viola Concerto
Bax: Symphony No.3 and Symphony No.2
Prokofiev: Symphony No.3
Sibelius: Tapiola
Bliss: A Colour Symphony

A fine selection, like a lot of the already mentioned too.

Also:

Foulds: Dynamic Triptych
Szymanowski: Stabat Mater, King Roger
Poulenc: Aubade, Concert Champetre
Harty: Piano Concerto


« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 01:49:09 PM by MusicTurner »

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2020, 02:17:59 AM »
Villa-Lobos wrote all of his Choros cycle in the 1920s.

Offline ritter

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2020, 02:34:28 AM »
And let’s not forget Ferrucio Busoni’s magnum (even if incomplete) opus Doktor Faust (1925)
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Offline pjme

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2020, 02:57:02 AM »
"I wanted to make a thread to discuss major works written between 1920 and 1930, to discuss trends and themes shared by composers of this decade, and good performances of said works." - dixit Vers la flamme.

Making lists isn't difficult, "discuss trends and themes" is harder....

Maybe this quote from Abigail Pogson, MD of Sage Gateshead , can inspire us to elaborate a bit?
....Last month at Sage Gateshead we had a series of events called The Roaring Twenties. It was a look back at what was happening musically a century ago – that time when musical forms were blasting out of their long-standing moulds and recording stepped up alongside live music to put us on a trajectory to where we are now – when pretty much every single person on the planet hears music every single day.
In the 1920s, music roared like a lion. But it was not alone – an incredible creative explosion defines our recollection of the decade. At the same time the world was going through rapid economic, social and political change – the plates were shifting. The arts and artists were fuelled by and responded to this with bold, ambitious and often unsettling work. It was as if the arts and culture were crucial to making sense of and reflecting the rollercoaster pace of change. Will the arts and culture do the same in the 2020s?


Milhaud’s Création du monde was the work that came first to my mind. It isn't a work I listen to often, but after almost 100 years it still manages to intrigue and delight me.
On a trip to the United States in 1922, Milhaud heard "authentic" jazz for the first time, on the streets of Harlem, which left a great impact on his musical outlook.
“It was in 1919, immediately after the war, that the first jazz band was heard in Paris. To us it was a musical event of genuine importance. Music had long been under the domination of the impressionist school. Poetry was the predominating element. Jazz came to us as a good shock—like a cold shower when you have been half asleep with ennui.”


Orchestration: 2 flutes, oboe, 2 clarinets, alto saxophone, bassoon, horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, timpani (3 normal, 2 small), bass drum with cymbal, metal block, wood block, cymbals, snare drum, tabor (tambourin), tenor drum, tambourine (tambour de basque), piano, and strings

And yes, I made it easy for myself and searched the internet for information.

Darius Milhaud's infatuation with jazz began in 1920, at a concert given in London by an American band. Two years later he was in New York, haunting the dance halls and theaters of Harlem. As the composer would recall, "In some shows the singers were accompanied by flute, clarinet, trumpets, trombone, a complicated percussion section played by one man, piano, and string quartet." Among the shows was Liza (by Maceo Pinkard, immortalized as the composer of "Sweet Georgia Brown" and, for Al Jolson, the infamous "Mammy"), whose instrumentation Milhaud adapted for La création du monde, which was written for and first performed by the Ballet Suédois in 1923 in Paris, to a scenario by the Swiss poet and novelist Blaise Cendrars on an African creation myth. The ballet began with three African gods of creation on the stage conjuring trees and animals into being with rituals and spells. Male and female dancers emerged as the deities created humankind; the ballet ended with a solitary couple left on the stage after group dances representing desire and mating. The French cubist painter Fernand Léger - himself interested in primitive African art - designed the sets.

The saxophone theme of the introduction and the following section - led by the double-bass - are among the most original uses to which Baroque form has been put, a jazz prelude and fugue, reaching a spectacularly chaotic climax: Dixieland run amok. The two preceding themes are quietly restated, giving way to a meditative oboe melody that suggests at once the blues and the shepherds' music of the composer's native Provence; then another brisk dance launched by strings and piano; a cheeky clarinet concertino; then a rackety recollection of the fugue, and a lyrical coda which brings this brightly inventive, prototypical work of "classical jazz" to a quiet close.

-- Herbert Glass, a former critic-columnist for the Los Angeles Times, is English-language annotator and editor for the Salzburg Festival. He contributes to numerous periodicals in the U.S. and Europe.

I love this 1959 (mono) recording : Milhaud conducting the Orchestre du Théâtre des Champs Elysées.
https://youtu.be/LfHjKfHefbk


« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 01:38:52 PM by pjme »

Offline Todd

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2020, 04:45:19 AM »
Making lists isn't difficult, "discuss trends and themes" is harder....


Because trends and themes among widely divergent works and styles don't really exist.  Trends and themes are artificial intellectual constructions tacked on after the fact.
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Offline some guy

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2020, 05:15:36 PM »
...trends and themes among widely divergent works and styles don't really exist.  Trends and themes are artificial intellectual constructions tacked on after the fact.
So trends and themes among similar works and styles do really exist, then?

One could argue from this point that discussing trends and themes means looking at things that are similar and possibly also at things that differ from them. Perhaps the twenties were a time of widely divergent works and styles, that being a theme of the 1920s....

As for artificial intellectual constructions, I would note two things, one, that intellectual constructions are all of them artificial, that is they come into being by acts of will among thinking beings. (It's natural for humans to make things, houses, dams, works of art, intellectual constructions.) And two, that a list is, a natura, an intellectual construct.

Offline Todd

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2020, 05:24:18 PM »
So trends and themes among similar works and styles do really exist, then?

One could argue from this point that discussing trends and themes means looking at things that are similar and possibly also at things that differ from them. Perhaps the twenties were a time of widely divergent works and styles, that being a theme of the 1920s....

As for artificial intellectual constructions, I would note two things, one, that intellectual constructions are all of them artificial, that is they come into being by acts of will among thinking beings. (It's natural for humans to make things, houses, dams, works of art, intellectual constructions.) And two, that a list is, a natura, an intellectual construct.


People are obviously perfectly free to write pages and pages about trends and themes.  Have at it. 
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Everything dies - Alien Bounty Hunter, The X-Files

Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Online vandermolen

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2020, 11:47:18 PM »
A fine selection, like a lot of the already mentioned too.

Also:

Foulds: Dynamic Triptych
Szymanowski: Stabat Mater, King Roger
Poulenc: Aubade, Concert Champetre
Harty: Piano Concerto

Thank you!
+1 for the Foulds - a great work and for Symanowski and Harty. I don't know Poulenc so well but I love the Organ Concerto but that, of course, is not relevant to this thread. I do like the Concert Champetre though.

Let me add: Gershwin 'An American in Paris' (1928) - my favourite of his compositions.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 11:50:42 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2020, 12:18:10 AM »
This is a slightly diffuse(!) addition to this thread (because the music is from the Weimar Republic so it runs on into the 30's) - but in case people have missed it I strongly recommend these sets from CPO - the "spirit" of this experimental music very much springs from the 1920's;



Online vandermolen

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #36 on: October 26, 2020, 01:37:13 AM »
This is a slightly diffuse(!) addition to this thread (because the music is from the Weimar Republic so it runs on into the 30's) - but in case people have missed it I strongly recommend these sets from CPO - the "spirit" of this experimental music very much springs from the 1920's;



What an interesting looking series.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline DaveF

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2020, 02:24:03 AM »
All right, stop, enough, enough!  We were all born 100 years too late  :'( :'( :'( I can't believe that anyone, apart from the few incorrigible (and admirable) optimists among us (Some Guy), will predict similar riches from the 2020s.

I don't know if this is a "trend", and it's a feeling I've yet to back up with much research, but was the UK having a decade off in the 1920s?  Elgar had fallen silent, VW seemed to spend most of the decade on operas which are now largely unknown, Britten, Tippett and Walton were too young (although Britten's Hymn to the Virgin, written at the age of 14, is a little gem), Brian was probably scratching a living from proofreading and journalism...  Perhaps we had heard what was going on across the Channel and had all retreated to our cottages with roses round the doors and stuffed wool in our ears.  Bridge, perhaps? - I'm sure his last 2 quartets must date from the '20s.
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Offline pjme

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2020, 03:39:02 AM »
This is a slightly diffuse(!) addition to this thread (because the music is from the Weimar Republic so it runs on into the 30's) - but in case people have missed it I strongly recommend these sets from CPO - the "spirit" of this experimental music very much springs from the 1920's.

Thanks, excellent suggestions. Will investigate these recordings.

Makes me think of Jaroslav Jezek : http://orelfoundation.org/composers/article/jaroslav_jezek
Pianoconcerto (1927): https://youtu.be/RRcK3OLEqmw
and Erwin Schulhof's equally riotous Pianoconcerto (1923)
https://youtu.be/zzaYotn9hbQ

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Great works of the 1920s
« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2020, 04:28:07 AM »
Thanks, excellent suggestions. Will investigate these recordings.

Makes me think of Jaroslav Jezek : http://orelfoundation.org/composers/article/jaroslav_jezek
Pianoconcerto (1927): https://youtu.be/RRcK3OLEqmw
and Erwin Schulhoff's equally riotous Pianoconcerto (1923)
https://youtu.be/zzaYotn9hbQ

+1. Most of Jezek's important works seem to be from the 30s though. And I've recently digged more into Schulhoff, there's a lot of good stuff from him.