The Modern mixtape #005

Notes on update #005 of The Modern mixtape.

Regarding Le Déluge d’après Poussin by Hugues Dufourt. It’s like a spectral variant of Morton Feldman. Brian Eno compares ambient music with a river that is floating by. It is always evolving and moving but from your point of view, as a observer, it is standing still. I find these qualities in both Morton Feldman and John Cage music. Le Déluge d’après Poussin is constantly changing, with new harmonies and timbres but standing still at the same time. Very beautiful.

The pianist Sabine Liebner has a atmospheric and dreamy way of playing the piano. She have done very nice recordings of both of Feldman’s late piano pieces and Cage number pieces for solo piano. Here is Tilbury by Christian Wolff.

In the second movement of Voyage into the Golden Screen Per Nørgård uses his infinity series melody for the first time. It is a fractal way that constructs a never ending infinite melody. In the second symphony it is explored even more with a tone row that consists of over 4000 notes. The result is a strange and beautiful piece of music.

Neptuni Åkrar is an orchestra piece by the Swedish composer Henrik Strindberg. The basic idea is arpeggios of natural harmonics played on string instruments. You can read a detailed description about the structure and techniques used in the piece in Swedish here. It won the Christ Johnson prize in 2007.

the-modern-mixtape
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Composer Weekly: Henri Dutilleux

This weeks Composer Weekly is the French composer Henri Dutilleux that would have been 100 years last week.

One can say that he is the natural successor to Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. He won numerous prices for his works and his pieces are often performed.

One of his most performed pieces is Métaboles from 1965. It is a orchestra piece in 5 movements. In four movements he highlights different parts of the orchestra and then brings the different parts together in the fifth.

The cello concerto Tout un monde lointain from 1970 written for Mstislav Rostropovich is considered one of the most important cello concertos in the 20th century. The piece is inspired by the work of Baudelaire and each movement begins with a quote from his Les fleurs du mal.

Correspondances is a late piece, premiered in 2003. It is a song-cycle for soprano and orchestra. The texts is based on letters written different persons, for instance Vincent van Gogh and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Each part highlight a different family of instruments.

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Mirare on Spotify

A while ago the French label Mirare got available on Spotify with their full catalog. This is particularly great if you like baroque music. You can search for Mirare recordings with label:”Mirare”.

The most notable recording now available is probably the French harpsichordist Pierre Hantaï’s excellent recording of Bach Goldberg variations.

Also the Chinese pianist Zhu Xiau-Mei’s recording of Goldberg variations is available.

My personal favorite is probably the Belgian baroque ensemble Ricercar Consort recording of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.