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Alex Ross Jennifer Walshe

Sublime Chaos. The New Yorker, Oct. 26, 2020.

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Kaija Saariaho (b 1952)

“Music is a study of my own self and of the human spirit”, so says the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. Her passion for music is all consuming, with the inspiration to compose reflecting the breadth of her interests, in poetry, literature, fine arts, and cinematography to name but a few.

One of the foremost composers of our time, Kaija Saariaho was born in 1952 in Helsinki. She studied with the modernist Paavo Heininen, before founding the pioneering “Ears Open” group with fellow composer Magnus Lindberg. Her studies continued in Freiburg with Brian Fernyhough and Klaus Huber at the Darmstadt summer courses, and then at the ground-breaking IRCAM research institute in Paris.

Earlier this year Donald Macleod and Kaija Saariaho met up in Paris, the city where she’s made her home since 1982, to talk about five contrasting aspects of her music.

Music Included:

D’Om le vrai sens (excerpt)
Notes on Light for cello and orchestra (II. Fire & III. Awakening)
Noa Noa for flute and electronics
D’Om le vrai sens, (III. L’Odorat & IV. Le Toucher)
Orion for Orchestra (I. Memento mori)
Nocturne for solo violin
Cloud Trio (IV. Tranquillo ma sempre molto espressivo)
Laterna Magica
Circle Map (excerpt)
Jardin secret II for harpsichord and tape
Lichtbogen for nine musicians and live electronics (excerpt)
Lonh for voice and electronics
Circle Map (V. Dialogue VI. Day and Night)
Quatre Instants (excerpt)
Quatre instants (II. Douleur – Torment & III. Parfum de l’instant)
Nuits, adieux for mixed choir and 4 soloists
True Fire for baritone and orchestra (excerpt)
Leino Songs
L’amour de loin, Act 4 excerpt
La passion de Simone for soprano solo, choir, orchestra and electronics (excerpt)
Only the Sound Remains (excerpt)
L’amour de loin, Act 5

Presented by Donald Macleod

Produced by Johannah Smith for BBC Cymru Wales

For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Kaija Saariaho https://ift.tt/35jya9R

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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Alex Ross Julian Anderson on The Rest Is Noise

I have been reading with much enjoyment Dialogues on Listening, Composing, and Culture, a new book of conversations between Julian Anderson and Christopher Dingle. I was, however, somewhat nonplussed to come across Anderson saying this of my book The Rest Is Noise: “It has its points and it’s lively, though there are huge areas of music, like Sibelius and Nielsen and all sorts of contemporary composers that are either barely mentioned, or neglected.” One of my fifteen chapters is, in fact, devoted almost exclusively to Sibelius. Not only that, in a discussion of Tapiola I quote from Anderson’s excellent article “Sibelius and Contemporary Music.” But so it goes.

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Beethoven Unleashed: Withdrawal

This week, Donald Macleod follows Ludwig van Beethoven through the years of 1816-1821; a period when the composer was groping towards yet another extraordinary and revolutionary flowering of his creativity. However, something was holding him back. Beethoven had resolved to become the legal guardian of his nephew, Karl, and to remove him from the care of his mother, Johanna. The resulting court battles would rumble on for five years, damaging everyone involved, consuming them all, and distracting Beethoven from his music.

Composer of the Week is returning to the story of Beethoven’s life and music throughout 2020. Part of Radio 3’s Beethoven Unleashed season marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Music Featured:

Piano Sonata No.25, Op.79 (II. Andante & III. Vivace)
String Quartet op.95 ‘Serioso’ (III. Allegro assai vivace, ma serioso)
Sehnsucht, WoO.146
Cello Sonata Op.102, No.1
Variations on “Ich bin de Schneider Kakadu” by Wenzel Müller, Op.121a
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.16, Op.31 No.1 (I. Allegro Vivace)
The Creatures of Prometheus (extracts)
Abschiedsgesang WoO.102
Piano Sonata No.30, Op.109
The Miller of Dee WoO.157, No.4
Fugue for Strings Op. 137
Quintet for strings Op.104 (III. Menuetto & IV. Finale)
Piano Sonata No.29, Op.106 “Hammerklavier” (II. Scherzo & III. Adagio Sostenuto)
National Airs with Variations Op.107, No.5
Wolfgang Schulz, flute
Rudolf Buchbinder, piano
Bagatelle in Bb, WoO.60
God Save the King, Woo.157, No.3
Namensfeier Overture Op.115
Piano Sonata No.28, Op.101
So oder so WoO.148
Missa Solemnis: Benedictus
Bester Magistrat, Ihr friert WoO.177
Tremate, empi, tremate Op.116
Bagatelles Op.119, Nos.7-11
Abendlied unterm gestirnten Himmel WoO.150
March for Military Band WoO.24 (extract)
Piano Sonata No.31, Op.110

Presented by Donald Macleod

Produced by Sam Phillips for BBC Wales

For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven Unleashed: Withdrawal https://ift.tt/3ltu9pt

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

from Composer of the Week https://ift.tt/3daZjPu
via IFTTT

Beethoven Unleashed: Withdrawal

This week, Donald Macleod follows Ludwig van Beethoven through the years of 1816-1821; a period when the composer was groping towards yet another extraordinary and revolutionary flowering of his creativity. However, something was holding him back. Beethoven had resolved to become the legal guardian of his nephew, Karl, and to remove him from the care of his mother, Johanna. The resulting court battles would rumble on for five years, damaging everyone involved, consuming them all, and distracting Beethoven from his music.

Composer of the Week is returning to the story of Beethoven’s life and music throughout 2020. Part of Radio 3’s Beethoven Unleashed season marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Music Featured:

Piano Sonata No.25, Op.79 (II. Andante & III. Vivace)
String Quartet op.95 ‘Serioso’ (III. Allegro assai vivace, ma serioso)
Sehnsucht, WoO.146
Cello Sonata Op.102, No.1
Variations on “Ich bin de Schneider Kakadu” by Wenzel Müller, Op.121a
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.16, Op.31 No.1 (I. Allegro Vivace)
The Creatures of Prometheus (extracts)
Abschiedsgesang WoO.102
Piano Sonata No.30, Op.109
The Miller of Dee WoO.157, No.4
Fugue for Strings Op. 137
Quintet for strings Op.104 (III. Menuetto & IV. Finale)
Piano Sonata No.29, Op.106 “Hammerklavier” (II. Scherzo & III. Adagio Sostenuto)
National Airs with Variations Op.107, No.5
Wolfgang Schulz, flute
Rudolf Buchbinder, piano
Bagatelle in Bb, WoO.60
God Save the King, Woo.157, No.3
Namensfeier Overture Op.115
Piano Sonata No.28, Op.101
So oder so WoO.148
Missa Solemnis: Benedictus
Bester Magistrat, Ihr friert WoO.177
Tremate, empi, tremate Op.116
Bagatelles Op.119, Nos.7-11
Abendlied unterm gestirnten Himmel WoO.150
March for Military Band WoO.24 (extract)
Piano Sonata No.31, Op.110

Presented by Donald Macleod

Produced by Sam Phillips for BBC Wales

For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Beethoven Unleashed: Withdrawal https://ift.tt/3ltu9pt

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

from Composer of the Week https://ift.tt/3daZjPu
via IFTTT

Alex Ross A Bára Gísladóttir moment

From her new album HĪBER, on dacapo.

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Alex Ross Music as ecological disaster

A comment on the New Yorker website.

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Alex Ross A Rebecca Saunders moment

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Alex Ross Love in the time of COVID

The LA Phil has released the first video in its SOUND/STAGE series, drawing on performances that were filmed at the Hollywood Bowl in early August. I attended a couple of the recording sessions and wrote about them in The New Yorker this week. I’m struck again by the bittersweet atmosphere, the tinge of melancholy, which hangs over the lovely musicmaking. That tinge strikes me as an honest and necessary. To spout clichés about “reimagining” concert formats, to issue boilerplate language about resilience and resourcefulness, ignores the elemental struggles that so many musicians are undergoing, not to mention the grief that has invaded so many lives.
The conjunction of Peter Lieberson’s “Amor mio, si muero y tú no mueres” (“My love, if I die and you don’t”) with the Adagietto from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony brings to mind a personal memory. In college, I took a theory class with Lieberson, and one day he detoured from a close reading of Schubert’s “Erlkönig” into a rhapsody over the Adagietto. I recall him listening along to Bernstein’s DG recording, his eyes closed in bliss, the rigors of harmonic analysis momentarily forgotten.
Previously: Fervor, For Peter Lieberson.

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