Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The End

And so this blog comes to an end. I need more time for other things in my life, and for blogging, my two original blogs get preference. In addition, statistics show not much response on this blog and the parallel one on seventies music. So be it. Bye.

Friday, 26 June 2015

James Horner - Willow's Elora Danan

Horner (1953-2015), who died in a plain crash earlier this week, was one of Hollywood's most important movie composers. Whether or not film music for orchestra is part of classical music is a long standing debate, but for me it counts at least in some cases. One of my favourite scores from his work is Willow from 1988, from which I have selected the opening track Elora Danan. Relevant links below.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Kalevi Aho - Symphony 7

Aho (1949) is a Finnish composer, who is widely regarded as one of the most important contemporary composers. He excels in chamber music and especially orchestral works, with so far 16 symphonies and 24 concertos. I have selected his postmodern masterpiece Symphony No. 7 ("Insect Symphony") from 1988. Relevant links below.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Paul Gilson - La mer

Gilson (1865-1942) was one of a handful of Belgian composers whose works have been recorded in the past decades. Perhaps his most important work is La Mer (the sea), symphonic sketches for orchestra (with male choir ad libitum), from 1892. Intriguingly it was composed more than 10 years before the famous Debussy work of the same title and almost identical subtitle. Relevant links below.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Karlheinz Stockhausen - Stimmung

Stockhausen (1928-2007) was a German avant-garde composer, who had a far reaching influence on modern classical music. Much revered by some, much maligned by others. I have selected his beautiful vocal composition Stimmung from 1968. Relevant links below.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Aaron Avshalomov - Hutongs of Peking

Avshalomov (1894-1965) was a Russian-born Jewish composer, who spent most of his life in China. His music is a fascinating amalgamation of Western classical music and Chinese influences. I have selected a representative work, the symphonic poem Hutongs of Peking (based on Chinese Street Sounds and Cries) from 1931. Relevant links below.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Edward Elgar - Piano quintet

Elgar (1857-1934) was a late romantic British composer, who wrote many pieces that have become popular classics, such as the two symphonies, the cello concerto, the violin concerto, the Enigma variations, and the Pomp and circumstance marches (including "Land of hope and glory"). I have selected his Quintet for piano and strings in A minor, Op. 84, from 1918 - one of the pieces in which he comes to terms with the events of the Great War. Relevant links below.

Monday, 1 June 2015

John Williams - Cello concerto

Williams (1932) is best known for numerous and highly successful movie scores, including Jaws, ET. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman, and Schindler's List. His oeuvre in more traditional classical music is interesting as well, and I quite like his cello concerto from 1994. Relevant links below (YouTube in four parts, 1, 2, 3, 4).