31 July 2010
24 July 2010
This week I was puttering with a passage in Fair Warning, a non-retrogradeable rhythm which does not round out to an even beat, thus repetition of the pattern provides fresh relations against the underlying meter. Not that this rhythmic game is The Thing (though it is, I think, playfully cool). It’s one element which serves as a ‘binding’. Both structural, and yet generating surface interest as well.
So, the non-ret. rhythm will ‘round out’ to the even crotchet after the fourth iteration. Decided to set a contrapuntal voice in the bass augmented by a factor of 3 (16th-note = dotted-eighth), and entering some eleven-ish bars in. So we’ve got (drumroll, please) . . . contrast (the two voices moving at different paces); unity (the two voices adhere to the same pattern); & convergence upon the same goal.
I’ve been listening to a ton of Martinů lately. This morning, though, it’s William Schuman’s Symphony № 3 played by the Seattle Symphony, coducted by Gerard Schwarz.
15 July 2010
08 July 2010
06 July 2010
05 July 2010
Now, if I had waited a short-ish time, I probably could have fetched all (or, most of) these recordings as Naxos re-issues. I haven't done the math — I might or might not have saved a smallish bit of money by waiting. But (what I could not necessarily have foreseen) I benefited from the Koch reel-in, because (and the same fact applies to the Craft/Stravinsky Koch remainders which similarly I fetched from BRO) Craft’s liner notes are extensive, to a degree which tests the physical capacity of the jewel-cases: Vol III of The Music of Arnold Schoenberg (released in 1999) has a booklet which is 36 pages, not including cover.
Before discussion of the pieces on Vol III themselves, Craft writes a preface, Remembering Schoenberg. I reproduce just two paragraphs from this:
To this day I wonder why I did not attempt to arrange a meeting between the two titans of modern music, but it can only be that I realized that Stravinsky was not ready for it. With the exception of Verklärte Nacht, in its ballet form as Pillar of Fire [! ~kh], he began to learn Schoenberg’s music only after the older man's death. How different the situation would have been a year and a half later, when Stravinsky would have gone to him, addressed him as “Meister,” reminisced with him about Berlin in 1912, and thanked him for presenting the original instrumental versions of Pribaoutki and Berceuses du Chat, and the 4-hand and string quartet pieces, in his Vienna Society For Private Performances in 1919.
In truth, the thought that a meeting could have been effected between the two men, who had lived only a few miles for eleven years but never communicated, still disturbs me. Schoenberg’s biographer, H. H. Stuckenschmidt, describes Stravinsky during a visit to him in April 1949 “warmly” asking about “the great old man,” and it was known then that Schoenberg had protested against the abuse of Stravinsky by René Leibowitz and Theodor Adorno. In the autumn of 1949 Stravinsky was in the Los Angeles audience that heard Schoenberg deliver an ironic acceptance speech to the Austrian Consul-General for bestowing the “Freedom of the City of Vienna” on him. I was in New York at the time, and when I returned Stravinsky sympathetically described the occasion to me, of Schoenberg, whose eyesight had begun to fail, reading from a clutch of papers, each containing only a few words written in large letters.
03 July 2010
1. Zappa, “Satumaa (Finnish Tango)” from You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore, vol. II (The Helsinki Concert) [868/1029]
2. Prokofiev, Romeo & Juliet, Opus 64, Act III Scene vi, № 40 The Nurse, Andante assai (BSO, Ozawa) [76/1172]
3. Prokofiev, Sarcasms, Opus 17, № 4 Smanioso (Eteri Andjaparidze) [684/1172]
4. Beethoven, Symphony № 8, Opus 93, iii. Tempo di menuetto (Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Masur) [912/1172]
5. Ginastera, Variaciones concertantes, Opus 23, Variazone in modo di moto perpetuo (Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, Josep Pons) [1072/1172]
6. Ravel, Sonata for Violin and Cello, iii. Lent (members of the Nash Ensemble) [400/1172]
7. Shostakovich, Symphony № 6 in b minor, Opus 54, ii. Allegro (Prague Symphony, Maksim Dmitriyevich) [739/1172]
8. Shostakovich, String Quartet № 2 in A Major, Opus 68, iii. Waltz. Allegro (Emerson String Quartet) [761/1172]
9. Bartók, String Quartet № 4, Sz. 91, iv. Allegro pizzicato (Emerson String Quartet) [839/1029]
10. Shostakovich, Prelude & fugue in A Major from the Opus 87 (Tatiana Nikolayeva) [1088/1029]
11. Shostakovich, Prelude & fugue in B-flat Major from the Opus 87 (Tatiana Nikolayeva) [1165/1029]
12. Shostakovich, Symphony № 4 in c minor, Opus 43, movement ii. (Prague Symphony, Maksim Dmitriyevich) [938/1172] [185/1172]
13. Debussy, Images pour piano, livre 1, iii. Mouvement (Zoltán Kocsis) [13/1172]
14. Stravinsky, Canticum sacrum ad honorem Sancti Marci nominis, i. Dedicatio (Westminster Cathedral Choir, City of London Sinfonia, James O’Donnell) [184/1172]
15. Robert Fripp & Peter Gabriel, “Here Comes the Flood” from Exposure [340/1172]