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Is classical music dead as a creative activity?
#1
I was going through the Obituaries in the old T4T Forum (as if you didn't notice), and I found one obituary that started a discussion. I will start with the obituary, essentially a Wikipedia article that may since have been updated. After five and a half years I would expect such.


Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (Polish: [ˈxɛnrɨk mʲiˈkɔwaj ɡuˈrɛtski]; English pronunciation Go-RET-ski;[1] December 6, 1933 – November 12, 2010)[2][3] was a Polish composer of contemporary classical music. According to Alex Ross, no recent classical composer has had as much commercial success as Górecki.[4] Górecki became a leading figure of the Polish avant-garde during the post-Stalin cultural thaw.[5][6] His Webernian-influenced serialist works of the 1950s and 1960s were characterized by adherence to dissonant modernism and drew influence from Luigi Nono, Karlheinz Stockhausen,[7] Krzysztof Penderecki and Kazimierz Serocki.[8] He continued in this direction throughout the 1960s, but by the mid-1970s had changed to a less complex sacred minimalist sound, exemplified by the transitional Symphony No. 2 and the hugely popular Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs). This later style developed through several other distinct phases, from such works as his 1979 Beatus Vir,[9] to the 1981 choral hymn Miserere, the 1993 Kleines Requiem für eine Polka[10] and his requiem Good Night.[11]
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His name remained largely unknown outside Poland until the mid-to late 1980s, and his fame arrived in the 1990s.[url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henryk_G%C3%B3recki#cite_note-12][12]
In 1992, 15 years after it was composed, a recording of his Third Symphony, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs—recorded with soprano Dawn Upshaw and released to commemorate the memory of those lost during the Holocaust—became a worldwide commercial and critical success, selling more than a million copies and vastly exceeding the typical lifetime sales of a recording of symphonic music by a 20th-century composer. As surprised as anyone at its popularity, Górecki said, "Perhaps people find something they need in this piece of music [...] somehow I hit the right note, something they were missing. Something somewhere had been lost to them. I feel that I instinctively knew what they needed."[13] This popular acclaim did not generate wide interest in Górecki's other works,[14] and he pointedly resisted the temptation to repeat earlier success, or compose for commercial reward.

Apart from two brief periods studying in Paris and a short time living in Berlin, Górecki spent most of his life in southern Poland.

Górecki's music covers a variety of styles, but tends towards relative harmonic and rhythmical simplicity. He is considered to be a founder of the so-called New Polish School.[30][31] Described by Terry Teachout, he said Górecki has "more conventional array of compositional techniques includes both elaborate counterpoint and the ritualistic repetition of melodic fragments and harmonic patterns."[32]
His first works, dating from the last half of the 1950s, were in the avant-garde style of Webern and other serialists of that time. Some of these twelve-tone and serial pieces include Epitaph (1958), First Symphony (1959), and Scontri (1960) (Mirka 2004, p. 305). At that time, Górecki's reputation was not lagging behind that of his near-exact contemporary and his status was confirmed in 1960s when "Monologhi" won first prize. Even until 1962, he was firmly ensconced in the minds of the Warsaw Autumn public as a leader of the Polish Modern School, alongside Penderecki.[33]

Danuta Mirka has shown that Górecki's compositional techniques in the 1960s were often based on geometry, including axes, figures, one- and two-dimensional patterns, and especially symmetry. Thus, she proposes the term "geometrical period" to refer to Górecki's works between 1962 and 1970. Building on Krzysztof Droba's classifications, she further divides this period into two phases: (1962–63) "the phase of sonoristic means"; and (1964-70) "the phase of reductive constructicism" (Mirka 2004, p. 329).

During the middle 1960s and early 1970s, Górecki progressively moved away from his early career as radical modernist, and began to compose with a more traditional, romantic mode of expression. His change of style was viewed as an affront to the then avant-garde establishment, and though he continued to receive commissions from various Polish agencies, by the mid-1970s Górecki was no longer regarded as a composer that mattered. In the words of one critic, his "new material was no longer cerebral and sparse; rather, it was intensely expressive, persistently rhythmic and often richly colored in the darkest of orchestral hues".[34]

The first public performances of Górecki's music in Katowice in February 1958 programmed works clearly displaying the influence of Szymanowski and Bartók. The Silesian State Philharmonic in Katowice held a concert devoted entirely to the 24-year-old Górecki's music. The event led to a commission to write for the Warsaw Autumn Festival. The Epitafium ("Epitaph") he submitted marked a new phase in his development as a composer,[13] and was described as representing "the most colourful and vibrant expression of the new Polish wave".[35] The Festival announced the composer's arrival on the international scene, and he quickly became a favorite of the West's avant-garde musical elite.[34] Writing in 1991, the music critic James Wierzbicki described how that at this time "Górecki was seen as a Polish heir to the new aesthetic of post-Webernian serialism; with his taut structures, lean orchestrations and painstaking concern for the logical ordering of pitches".[34]

Górecki wrote his First Symphony in 1959, and graduated with honours from the Academy the following year.[24] At the 1960 Warsaw Autumn Festival, his Scontri, written for orchestra, caused a sensation among critics due to its use of sharp contrasts and harsh articulations.[24][36] By 1961, Górecki was at the forefront of the Polish avant-garde, having absorbed the modernism of Anton Webern, Iannis Xenakis and Pierre Boulez, and his Symphony No. 1 gained international acclaim at the Paris Biennial Festival of Youth. Górecki moved to Paris to continue his studies, and while there was influenced by contemporaries including Olivier Messiaen, Roman Palester, and Karlheinz Stockhausen.[7]

He began to lecture at the Academy of Music in Katowice in 1968, where he taught score-reading, orchestration and composition. In 1972, he was promoted to assistant professor,[24] and developed a fearsome reputation among his students for his often blunt personality. According to the Polish composer Rafał Augustyn, "When I began to study under Górecki it felt as if someone had dumped a pail of ice-cold water over my head. He could be ruthless in his opinions. The weak fell by the wayside but those who graduated under him became, without exception, respected composers".[25] Górecki admits, "For quite a few years, I was a pedagogue, a teacher in the music academy, and my students would ask me many, many things, including how to write and what to write. I always answered this way: If you can live without music for 2 or 3 days, then don't write...It might be better to spend time with a girl or with a beer...If you cannot live without music, then write.”[37] Due to his commitments as a teacher and also because of bouts of ill health, he composed only intermittently during this period.[38]

By the early 1970s, Górecki had begun to move away from his earlier radical modernism, and was working towards a more traditional, romantic mode of expression that was dominated by the human voice. His change of style affronted the avant-garde establishment, and although various Polish agencies continued to commission works from him, Górecki ceased to be viewed as an important composer. One critic later wrote that "Górecki's new material was no longer cerebral and sparse; rather, it was intensely expressive, persistently rhythmic and often richly colored in the darkest of orchestral hues".[34] Górecki progressively rejected the dissonance, serialism and sonorism that had brought him early recognition, and pared and simplified his work. He began to favor large slow gestures and the repetition of small motifs.[39]
Main article: Symphony No. 2 (Górecki)
[Image: 200px-Gorecki_cropped.png]

A performance of Górecki's Beatus Vir conducted by Włodzimierz Siedlik. The piece was composed to celebrate Karol Wojtyła's appointment as Pope
The "Symphony No. 2, 'Copernican', Op. 31" (II Symfonia Kopernikowska) was written in 1972 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. Written in a monumental style for solo soprano, baritone, choir and orchestra, it features text from Psalms no. 145, 6 and 135 as well as an excerpt from Copernicus' book De revolutionibus orbium coelestium.[40] It was composed in two movements, and a typical performance lasts 35 minutes. The symphony was commissioned by the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York, and presented an early opportunity for Górecki to reach an audience outside of his native Poland. As was usual, he undertook extensive research on the subject, and was in particular concerned with the philosophical implications of Copernicus's discovery, not all of which he viewed as positive.[41] As the historian Norman Davies commented, "His discovery of the earth's motion round the sun caused the most fundamental revolutions possible in the prevailing concepts of the human predicament".[42]
By the mid-1980s, his work began to attract a more international audience, and in 1989 the London Sinfonietta held a weekend of concerts in which his work was played alongside that of the Russian composer Alfred Schnittke.[43] In 1990, the American Kronos Quartet commissioned and recorded his First String Quartet, Already It Is Dusk, Op. 62, an occasion that marked the beginning of a long relationship between the quartet and composer.[44]
Main article: Symphony No. 3 (Górecki)
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Symphony No. 3, 2nd movement
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Sample from the 2nd movement

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Górecki's most popular piece is his "Third Symphony", also known as the "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs" (Symfonia pieśni żałosnych). The work is slow and contemplative, and each of the three movements is composed for orchestra and solo soprano. The libretto for the first movement is taken from a 15th-century lament, while the second movement uses the words of a teenage girl, Helena Błażusiak, which she wrote on the wall of a Gestapo prison cell in Zakopane to invoke the protection of the Virgin Mary.[45]
The third uses the text of a Silesian folk song which describes the pain of a mother searching for a son killed in the Silesian uprisings.[46] The dominant themes of the symphony are motherhood and separation through war. While the first and third movements are written from the perspective of a parent who has lost a child, the second movement is from that of a child separated from a parent.

Despite the success of the Third Symphony, Górecki resisted the temptation to compose again in that style, and, according to AllMusic, continued to work, not to further his career or reputation, but largely "in response to inner creative dictates".[47]
In February 1994, the Kronos Quartet performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music four concerts honoring postmodern revival of interest in new music. The first three concerts featured string quartets and the works of three living composers: two American (Philip Glass and George Crumb) and one Pole (Górecki).[32]

His later work includes a 1992 commission for the Kronos Quartet entitled "Songs are Sung", "Concerto-Cantata" (written in 1992 for flute and orchestra) and "Kleines Requiem für eine Polka". "Concerto-Cantata" and "Kleines Requiem für eine Polka" (1993 for piano and 13 instruments) have been recorded by the London Sinfonietta and the Schönberg Ensemble respectively.[48] "Songs are Sung" is his third string quartet, inspired by a poem by Velimir Khlebnikov. When asked why it took almost thirteen years to finish, he replied, "I continued to hold back from releasing it to the world. I don’t know why."[49] His music has been used by the New Jersey-based Lydia Johnson Dance company during one of their performances.[50]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henryk_G%C3%B3recki
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#2
Originally Posted by Roadbldr '59 [Image: viewpost-right.png]

Quote:Am I the only one who believes the term "contemporary classical music" is an oxymoron???


Maybe. It could be that the sonata form that dominated classical music since the time of Joseph Haydn isn't so dominant as it used to be. It could be that cleaving to classical forms is a poor way to get quick recognition and fame as a composer. Most of the serious composition seems dedicated now to background for movie and TV efforts; form is now subordinate to "action" and scripts. Likewise, rock and its variants seem to have been drawing the mass attention for nearly 60 years.

Structured music for its own sake, a reality from the time of at least Henry Purcell, looks like a dying activity. John Williams doesn't write his film scores to exist outside the cinema; Mozart's operas obliged the stage activity to fit the music. I can say this of John Williams; sometimes I hear snippets of Sergei Prokofiev and some times I hear snippets of Carl Nielsen (Williams' film scores are highly derivative), but I never find structure suitable for a performance without cinema.

It could be that we just don't know what is out there. There are far more music schools and far more music lovers than there used to be. It could be that while writing and performing a popular hit is good for fame and fortune, writing a piano sonata or a cello concerto isn't. The standards are as high as ever, and there is still Schubert. I suspect that much of the activity of composition for its own sake has gone to East and South Asia, and anything really good coming from China, India, Korea, or Japan will take its time to get recognition in countries in which musical norms are very different. Western ears accustomed to the Austrian miracle that began with Haydn and ended with Schoenberg will need to make adjustments.
Quote:Last edited by pbrower2a; 11-13-2010 at 01:52 PM.

Addendum:

I am tempted to use the term "structured music" for music that uses formal structure. This of course includes music from Monteverdi to at least Górecki. People are still composing in the ritornello form of the baroque and the sonata form that has dominated long works other than opera since Haydn. People will still find sophisticated counterpoint enjoyable because such is the character of many people.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#3
The Grey Badger 

Quote:For over 100 years we've been in an era when the popular forms of the arts - any of the arts - are actually superior to the 'classical' forms. "Classical" being a term my Music Appreciation prof said should not be applied to what she prefers to call modern 'art music'.

That is - show tunes and movie music fill the niche that opera did in the 19th Century; genre fiction, well done, is actually better and more readable literature than the plotless, pointless stuff the lit-critters like, etc.

By saying this I am stamping myself irredeemably as not only middlebrow, but lower-middle-brow. Nuts to it - that sort of terminology wasn't even in use before the Third Great Awakening (a.k.a. the End of Western Civilization as people had known it since the Renaissance) as far as I can tell. It's an artifact of the post-modern mega-Saeculum.

From a certain huge, flawed, but still readable alternate-universe novel from 1958:
(The intellectual community is sounding off in the living room of a minor villainess)

"Plot is a primitive vulgarity in literature"
"Melody is a primitive vulgarity in music"
.....

For all her many and manifold flaws, there are times Rand called it on the nose, and those times are true gems.
Quote:Last edited by The Grey Badger; 11-13-2010 at 02:50 PM.


Odin

    For all her many and manifold flaws, there are times Rand called it on the nose, and those times are true gems.
   I agree with you completely. I find much of "post-modern" art music and high lit to be really dreadful, a giant clusterf*** of "only us cultural elites can appreciate this" garbage. A good example is that "poetry" read during Obama's inauguration.


KaiserD2 Wrote:   
   I agree with a caveat.

   If I were going to prison and you gave me the choice between taking all the rock/pop songs on my ipod with me, or taking "classical" music written since 1955 with me, I would take the former without hesitation.

   But if I had to choose between the rock/pop songs and the Beethoven/Mozart/Haydn/Chopin/etc., I would have to take the latter.
Chas'88
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Quote:I say that the blame has to go to Stravinsky and his Rite of Spring. That and the movement towards "Primativism" in art is what was the death knell of Western Civilization.

~Chas'88
Stravinsky himself, Prokofiev, Bartok, Elgar, Vaughan-Williams, Messiaen, and Shostakovich all wrote some very "classical" works after that. Need I suggest Robert Simpson and Vagn Holmboe? 
Chas\88 Wrote:Nah, the rise of Atonalism and Serialism is really the marker, I was just going for the revolt over what happened in the theatre at the presentation of it.
 
Schoenberg and Webern.
 
~Chas'88

When I start hearing people whistle or hum twelve-tone music, I will be convinced in its victory. Until then...
...Musicians are prone to the same vice of making themselves the focus of the audience instead of the music. Of course, composers are often not the performers. The extreme in performance may have been Liberace, who raised his hands pointlessly high above the keyboard. 
I am tempted to believe that folk heritage will fertilize the sonata form wherever someone tries to compose in it. I have more faith in the power of folk culture than I do in atonalism and serialism.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#4
Classical music as professional "craft art", like in movies and video games, is still very much alive, but as "high" art? I think it is pretty much dead, it is either just recycling old forms (Neo-Classical, Neo-Baroque, Neo-Romantic), or is pretentious stuff that I find no enjoyment in listening to (like atonal music). As Spengler predicted, Western Classical music, much like Western "high" art, has congealed into a fixed stock of conventional forms, just like in the other surviving mature civilizations (Magian, Indian, and Chinese).
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#5
Genuinely great art is still getting made today, regardless of the medium. It just tends to be more difficult to find, since there no longer seems to be a centralized cultural discourse that allows for the anointing and "canonizing" of 'great artists'. You have exceptions of course like Anselm Kiefer or Michael Haneke, but they're also of an older generation.
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#6
One possibility, is that what is called classical or art music differs from pop might be the format of the broadcast medium it uses to reach the public. This "classical" format has been declining, and now is usually non-profit. Otherwise, I'm not sure there's a difference anymore. "Art" music frequently is made by a credentialed member of academia, but that doesn't have to be the case. Nor is there any longer a strictly-prescribed set of instruments that are used in art music as opposed to pop, although of course there are orchestras as opposed to bands, singers, songwriters and commercial studios. But no one can dictate that a pop song can't be orchestral, or that an "art" work of music can't have lyrics or use synthesizers or guitars and drums, keyboards, sitars, etc.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#7
(06-29-2016, 12:08 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: One possibility, is that what is called classical or art music differs from pop might be the format of the broadcast medium it uses to reach the public. This "classical" format has been declining, and now is usually non-profit. Otherwise, I'm not sure there's a difference anymore. "Art" music frequently is made by a credentialed member of academia, but that doesn't have to be the case. Nor is there any longer a strictly-prescribed set of instruments that are used in art music as opposed to pop, although of course there are orchestras as opposed to bands, singers, songwriters and commercial studios. But no one can dictate that a pop song can't be orchestral, or that an "art" work of music can't have lyrics or use synthesizers or guitars and drums, keyboards, sitars, etc.

Nothing says that music written in sonata or ritornello form cannot be written for musical ensembles native to Japan, Indonesia, or Peru.

Popular music, especially folk music (and the return to folk is on way to keep structured music human), will influence structured music. I am surprised that such attractive instruments as banjos and zithers are not used in classical music.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#8
(sigh) this just reminds me i wish i could play the piano and violin.
1984 Apollonian Civic
ISFP - The Artist.






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#9
(06-30-2016, 12:32 AM)taramarie Wrote: (sigh) this just reminds me  i wish i could play the piano and violin.

I tried playing the French Horn in elementary school but I wasn't very good because of motor control issues stemming from my Asperger's. Sad
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#10
Much of the activity is not so much creation of new music as it is musicology. So instead of creating new concerti grossi the musicians are seeking  'lost' works or refining the performance of existing ones. It is assumed that trying to compose in the manner of any previous master fro0m Monteverdi to Shostakovich is an act of consummate arrogance.

Tastes get conservative.

Meanwhile, music education of all kinds is being cut as a luxury or as fluff to save education budgets. The irony? Kids who study music do better in math and science than others -- even if they only play in a school band, and most of the music that they play is not classical. The effect of some other activity, like drama, is not as strong.

People can find much delight in great music. It can have a calming effect -- better than tranquilizers.

As we enter the post-scarcity world, we will need to find good uses for the time that we get. Great music, whether as a performer or listener, is a good use of such time.


....It may be that one of the great needs in education is to show people how to use time. We have gotten very good at wasting effort and adding costs to what we get, which is exploitation.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#11
From 1951 -- Dmitri Shostakovich.



The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#12
I like some of Christopher Tin's stuff, particularly Baba Yetu which is a song in which the words are the Lord's Prayer in Swahili.  Although Tin doesn't really belong in any musical category, I find I respond to my favorites of his music in similar ways to how I respond to my favorites in classical music (I sometimes get goosebumps or a thrilling warming sensation along my spine at certain points in the piece) which I don't get from my favorites in popular music.  A modern piece that I would stack up against the greats of the 18th and 19th century is Barber's Adagio for Strings, which is simply glorious.  I also love Morricone's On Earth as it is in Heaven, Gabriel's Oboe and other pieces the film The Mission, one of my favorite films, in large part because of the glorious score.

Having said that the Choral from the 4th movement of Beethoven's mighty Ninth tops the list for me with strong runner up several of the pieces from Handel's incomparable oratorio The Messiah.
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#13
I think movie music and broadway music often qualifies as "modern classical". Think Webber and Williams.
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#14
(04-02-2017, 06:17 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I think movie music and Broadway music often qualifies as "modern classical".  Think Webber and Williams.

Webber is watered down. Williams writes interesting music, including the appropriate new national anthem for the USA should it become the Evil Empire (the Imperial March motif from Star Wars). But when I hear Williams -- I typically hear what someone else wrote -- Prokofiev here, Nielsen there. If you hear The King and I, I hear Grieg more than I hear Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Of course we need to remember what a treasure of great music that we have. Monteverdi, Telemann, Vivaldi, Scarlatti, J S Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt, Wagner, Brahms, Dvorak... these fellows were incredibly prolific. Nobody could compete with them in their styles.  In 35 years of his life, Mozart may have used more paper for writing than any novelist ever used -- and he wasted little paper when he wrote music. That's before I mention medieval counterpoint. Reputedly the Vatican has some house composers whose works are never played elsewhere. OK, Shostakovich string quartets seem like sequels to those of Beethoven and wrote some preludes and fugues for piano, and in a way I find them even more interesting than those of Bach -- but he has been dead for forty years. Mahler wrote some symphonies, some on operatic scale, but published little else.

It takes time to recognize the artistic geniuses in our midst. Just think of painting: Impressionist painting used to be a great bargain. Except for the great Renaissance masters, the Impressionist masters draw the highest prices at auction of any paintings today. How do we know that there is no great composer in Slovakia or Slovenia who will one day be spoken of in the same sentence as some other great?

I'm guessing that some of the greatest creativity is now in jazz.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#15
It has changed into new genres. Which to some degree is good as that means it will not completely die and may even create interest in real classical music as it may be a gateway for it.
1984 Apollonian Civic
ISFP - The Artist.






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#16
(04-02-2017, 06:59 PM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(04-02-2017, 06:17 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I think movie music and Broadway music often qualifies as "modern classical".  Think Webber and Williams.

Webber is watered down. Williams writes interesting music, including the appropriate new national anthem for the USA should it become the Evil Empire (the Imperial March motif from Star Wars). But when I hear Williams -- I typically hear what someone else wrote -- Prokofiev here, Nielsen there. If you hear The King and I, I hear Grieg more than I hear Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Of course we need to remember what a treasure of great music that we have. Monteverdi, Telemann, Vivaldi, Scarlatti, J S Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt, Wagner, Brahms, Dvorak... these fellows were incredibly prolific. Nobody could compete with them in their styles.  In 35 years of his life, Mozart may have used more paper for writing than any novelist ever used -- and he wasted little paper when he wrote music. That's before I mention medieval counterpoint. Reputedly the Vatican has some house composers whose works are never played elsewhere. OK, Shostakovich string quartets seem like sequels to those of Beethoven and wrote some preludes and fugues for piano, and in a way I find them even more interesting than those of Bach -- but he has been dead for forty years. Mahler wrote some symphonies, some on operatic scale, but published little else.

It takes time to recognize the artistic geniuses in our midst. Just think of painting: Impressionist painting used to be a great bargain. Except for the great Renaissance masters, the Impressionist masters draw the highest prices at auction of any paintings today. How do we know that there is no great composer in Slovakia or Slovenia who will one day be spoken of in the same sentence as some other great?

I'm guessing that some of the greatest creativity is now in jazz.

Yes, we have a treasure trove of great art from all peoples from all history, and we are the first generations to be able to be fully aware of our heritage, because of acrheology, libraries, recordings, the internet, etc. And yet, we are unable to be inspired enough to add to this heritage, even despite the awakening of sensibility in the sixties that had the potential to enable us to do so.

I'm guessing rather than the greatest creativity is now in ambient, and not in jazz.
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"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#17
(04-02-2017, 06:17 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I think movie music and broadway music often qualifies as "modern classical".  Think Webber and Williams.

I agree.  Formal classical music fell into an academic track mid 20th century with becoming increasingly technical (e.g. Schoenberg).  Movie music was one of the few ways a classical composer could write stuff that people would hear and could come to love.

We talked a bit about it at fish fry last Friday (my wife plays in a community orchestra and we met a couple of orchestra members for dinner).  And Dave the timpanist remarked how after sixty years writing music no one wants to listen to (or play), modern composers are starting to write stuff that's listenable again.  I then mentioned Barber and how we was a 20th century guy who wrote a great piece I really like.  And Dave replied--Barber, here's a guy who when everyone else was writing atonal stuff, continued to write in a Romantic-sounding style, but with clearly modern elements.
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#18
(04-04-2017, 11:54 AM)Mikebert Wrote:
(04-02-2017, 06:17 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I think movie music and broadway music often qualifies as "modern classical".  Think Webber and Williams.

I agree.  Formal classical music fell into an academic track mid 20th century with becoming increasingly technical (e.g. Schoenberg).  Movie music was one of the few ways a classical composer could write stuff that people would hear and could come to love.

We talked a bit about it at fish fry last Friday (my wife plays in a community orchestra and we met a couple of orchestra members for dinner).  And Dave the timpanist remarked how after sixty years writing music no one wants to listen to (or play), modern composers are starting to write stuff that's listenable again.  I then mentioned Barber and how we was a 20th century guy who wrote a great piece I really like.  And Dave replied--Barber, here's a guy who when everyone else was writing atonal stuff, continued to write in a Romantic-sounding style, but with clearly modern elements.

Correct. And there's a few to add, such as Alan Hovhannes.

And now in our 4T era, rock'n'roll and pop had entered a similar period where it was not making much romantic-sounding listenable stuff, and along comes Justin Bieber! (and others). Smile

click click ....
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#19
There are other movie composers of note. James Horner, and horror master Bernard Herrmann come to mind.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#20
(04-04-2017, 11:54 AM)Mikebert Wrote:
(04-02-2017, 06:17 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: I think movie music and broadway music often qualifies as "modern classical".  Think Webber and Williams.

I agree.  Formal classical music fell into an academic track mid 20th century with becoming increasingly technical (e.g. Schoenberg).  Movie music was one of the few ways a classical composer could write stuff that people would hear and could come to love.

We talked a bit about it at fish fry last Friday (my wife plays in a community orchestra and we met a couple of orchestra members for dinner).  And Dave the timpanist remarked how after sixty years writing music no one wants to listen to (or play), modern composers are starting to write stuff that's listenable again.  I then mentioned Barber and how we was a 20th century guy who wrote a great piece I really like.  And Dave replied--Barber, here's a guy who when everyone else was writing atonal stuff, continued to write in a Romantic-sounding style, but with clearly modern elements.

But classical musicians can turn to folk traditions to regain melodic coherence. The folk traditions typically do not lack melodic coherence. They may lack the sophisticated counterpoint and may not have enough variation in expression for creating a work of considerable length (an opera, a Romantic symphony, or something like Bach's Goldberg Variations or Beethoven's Hammerklavier sonata), but they have the needed turn of phrase.

As I say, I will start believing in twelve-tone music when I start to hear people sing it on the street.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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