Henze Symphony no. 2

performed by the Berlin Philharmonic under the composer’s baton, or below by the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin under Marek Janowski …music for a winter’s day, utterly grey and gloomy. Henze, of his second symphony (cover image by Cesare Burei) What would your struggle … Continue reading Henze Symphony no. 2

Gustav Allan Pettersson: Violin Concerto no. 1 for violin and string quartet

performed by Yamei Yu and the Leipziger Streichquartett, available here or in iTunes Gustav Allan Pettersson was born on 19 September 1911, “the youngest of four children of a violent, alcoholic blacksmith… at the manor of Granhammar in Västra Ryd parish in … Continue reading Gustav Allan Pettersson: Violin Concerto no. 1 for violin and string quartet

Aaron Copland: Clarinet Concerto

performed by Martin Frost and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra So here we are in our final installment of a brief but surprisingly enjoyable miniseries on the clarinet.  What’s left? Well, we haven’t had a concerto yet, and this week’s piece brings us solidly into the modern era, with a piece written within the lifetimes of some people still around today.  Copland’s clarinet concerto was written shortly after his third symphony. I feel like this shouldn’t be the piece we use to first represent Copland on the blog, as he has lots of other stuff worth talking about, but in the … Continue reading Aaron Copland: Clarinet Concerto

Olivier Messiaen: Turangalîla-Symphonie

This piece has been revisited, and an updated article has been written. Please read it here.  I’ll keep the original article (below) for posterity, but I would suggest reading the new article instead. performed by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Riccardo Chailly Piano- Jean-Yves Thibaudet Ondes Martenot- Takashi Harada recorded at the Grotezaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam in 1992 This “symphony” (referred to by Wikipedia as a “large-scale piece of orchestral music”), was written from 1946-1948, and, like the other not-actually-a-symphony 20th century work I listened to recently, this piece is ALSO a commission from Serge Koussevitsky (thru an organization). Koussevitsky commissioned Turangalîla … Continue reading Olivier Messiaen: Turangalîla-Symphonie