Schoenberg: Drei Klavierstücke, op. 11

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 Maurizio Pollini That looks intimidating, those three links, but honestly, these pieces aren’t terribly overwhelming. In total, they come to about 13 or 14 minutes of music. Very delicious, important music. While … Continue reading Schoenberg: Drei Klavierstücke, op. 11

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

Ravel: Bolero

performed by the London Symphony Orchestra under Claudio Abbado MYCU: Part 6  In one swift stroke of genius, I wrote a wonderful post about this piece, and then Blogger ate it. I am livid. Thankfully, I have most of it still in mind. Thanks for nothing, technologies. From Wikipedia: Ida Rubinstein, the inspiration behind Boléro. Portrait by Valentin Serov. I had to check with a friend to make sure this wouldn’t sound weird, but there’s basically two things you need to know about this piece, and they are as follows: It’s a fantastic treatise in orchestration It’s like, the sexiest piece of classical … Continue reading Ravel: Bolero

Alan Hovhaness: Symphony no. 2, op. 132, ‘Mysterious Mountain’

performed by the London Symphony Orchestra under John Williams (A playlist for the recordings of the three movements of this particular performance can be found here) I’m learning that generally speaking, I don’t care much for subtitles of works. ‘Symphony number … Continue reading Alan Hovhaness: Symphony no. 2, op. 132, ‘Mysterious Mountain’

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