Saturday, September 1, 2007


Today I want to talk about the Second Viennese School and about how serialism ruined modern music. Just kidding, I'm going to talk about something completely different ... but if iTunes decides to play any more Wuorinen this evening, I might just change my mind.

In the vein of twelve-tone music, before I fully get off the subject, stands Alberto Ginastera and his diabolical piano concertos, which upon hearing, I immediately ordered. My university has a really nice subscription to the Naxos Music Library: essentially, any student can log in through the e-resources page, search the Naxos library (which includes Marco Polo, BIS, and a few other really nice labels), and, quite literally, stream whatever music you want. This was the first CD I've ever ordered for a piano concerto; all those in my library (and there are few) were companions to pieces I wanted. I'm not sure exactly what it is I hear in Ginastera's music that sets him apart from Schönberg, late Stravinski, and especially Dallapiccola—perhaps he uses just enough non-dodecaphonic material (for me) to give the serialism an emotional grounding—but I like him more.

In other news, I just located a CD which had escaped its case some years ago, and had eluded me despite periodic exertions of effort. Immediately I ripped it (lossless format) to my hard drive and am now backing up my iTunes library. I forget the circumstances behind how I originally obtained this CD, but I'm glad to have it, since I can't seem to find it easily online. It appears to be an obscure CD under the label Urania: a set of digitally-remastered re-releases of early Rostropovich recordings: including Rachmaninoff's Vocalise, Faure's Après un reve, and a completely nuts recording of Popper's Elfentanz. This should be pretty helpful for this January's Rostropovich Orgy.

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