Artists, musicians and composers introduce fifty key pieces of classical music composed between 1950 and 2000. As featured in the BBC Radio 3 programme, Hear & Now.
Witold Lutoslawski's Jeux Venitiens
Conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen celebrates the music of Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski and his landmark work from the early 1960s, Jeux Venitiens. Writer Paul Griffiths explains how the composer used chance within the score to create rhythmic complexity; and we hear from Lutoslawski himself, in conversation with Thea Musgrave in 1973.
Bernhard Lang's Differenz/Wiederholung 2
Composer Matthew Shlomowitz makes the case for Austrian composer Bernhard Lang’s Differenz/Wiederholung 2, a setting of texts by Gilles Deleuze, William Burroughs and Christian Loidl. Commentator Graham McKenzie highlights the jagged soundworld of this music, and the composer’s use of repetition.
Eliane Radigue's Songs of Milarepa
Author and journalist Rob Young nominates French composer Eliane Radigue's Songs of Milarepa, which combines drone-like electronics with the voices of Lama Kunga Rinpoche and Robert Ashley singing and reading the words of the 11th-century Tibetan Buddhist poet Jetsun Milarepa. With commentary from Richard Whitelaw, Head of Programmes at Sound and Music.
Heiner Goebbels's Surrogate Cities
Hear and Now presenter Sara Mohr-Pietsch celebrates the music of German composer Heiner Goebbels, focusing on the Suite for Sampler and Orchestra from his 1994 cycle Surrogate Cities. Commentary comes from Graham McKenzie of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and we also hear the voice of the composer himself.
Gerard Grisey's Partiels
Composer Julian Anderson singles out Partiels for orchestra, from French spectralist Gerard Grisey’s cycle of works Les Espaces Acoustiques. With commentary from writer Paul Griffiths.
Igor Stravinsky's Requiem Canticles
Composer John Woolrich nominates Stravinsky's last completed work with orchestra, Requiem Canticles. Commentator Paul Griffiths explains how this sparsely scored "pocket requiem", written in 1966 in a modern serial style, contains many of the hallmarks of his very earliest pieces.
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Since I discovered these podcasts, they have been listened to repeatedly. A great summation of the modern classics, intelligently devised in every respect.