Samuel Barber: Symphony no. 2, op. 19

performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Marin Alsop Marin Alsop is a woman. I assumed the info in iTunes had a typo and it was “Martin” or something. Anyway, that’s cool! Maybe the first female music director I can recall hearing of.  This American symphony by an American composer is very different than the “New World” American symphony by the Czech composer from last week. That’s sort of the reason I picked it. Let’s contrast a bit.  How is this piece American? Well, it’s obviously by an American composer, one of the most famous composers of the 20th … Continue reading Samuel Barber: Symphony no. 2, op. 19

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

Bela Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 166

This article has been marked as in need of a revisit. That’s where I feel like I didn’t do the piece justice or have more to say (usually because I didn’t know it nearly well enough or didn’t have the right perspective). I’ll keep the original article for posterity, but publish a new version that will eventually be linked here for my new take on it. performed by the Cleveland Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnányi AND NOW for something completely different. I was thinking of listening to the Grieg piano concerto, which I will be hearing Ms. Valentina Lisitsa her … Continue reading Bela Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra, Sz. 166