The Classical mixtape #005

Notes on update #005 of The Classical mixtape.

Ernst Krenek is one of the twelve tone composers that followed and was inspired by Schoenberg and the second Vienna School. Originally from Austria but later moved to America. I really like the lyric qualities and almost romantic tone of his music. One very nice work is the Lamentatio Jeremiae prophetae which combines twelve tone techniques and Renaissance style counterpoint.

Tapiola was Sibelius last orchestral work. It is a truly astonishing work. The general feeling is that the music doesn’t move forward. One reason is the beautiful harmony and orchestration. It is quite impressionistic. Like a darker variant of Debussy with the forest instead of the sea. Another reason is the form. The music is rolling back and forth with a few outbursts that really doesn’t lead forward.

The seventh part of Schumann’s Waldszenen, Vogel als Prophet, is really a fantastic piece. Thoughtful and almost Jazzy. Reminds me a bit of Prélude by Ravel.

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The Modern mixtape #004

Notes about update #004 of The Modern mixtape.

Polymorphia by Krzysztof Penderecki is a modernist classic from 1961. It is scored for 48 strings and Penderecki uses a lot graphical notation to build clusters of sounds. The result is brutal and harsh. The ending C major chord is quite surreal. It was used in the soundtrack of both The Exorcist and The Shining.

Another modern classic is Gruppen by Stockhausen. It is scored for three orchestras and each orchestra is conducted by a separate conductor. The idea is that Stockhausen had is that you have groups of notes that have characteristics in common. It can be the timbre or if all notes have high pitch. In Gruppen each group also share the same tempi. Thats why there are three orchestras with individual conductors. Another reason is the spatial possibilities that you can explore when you place the orchestras at different places. Stockhausen made a lecture serie in England 1972 where he among other things explains the theories around groups and point. It is available on youtube here.

The flutist Clair Chase is one the great champions for contemporary music. Both as a solist and as the founders of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).

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The Jazz mixtape #003

Notes about update #003 of The Jazz mixtape.

Emptiness by Trio Elf is currently my favourite Jazz piece. Those drums are really something.

Niculin Janett does not have a band with a piano, or any other chord instruments, on No Parking Any Time. It really gives a special feel to the music and it requires the musicians to be more melodic and harmonically aware when they play.

For Jazz musicians to cover classical pieces is something that is really hard to get right. I think Nicolas Kummert Satie cover “Gnossienne” really works.

I really like the epic Agartha album with Oddarrang, especially Central Sun.

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