Friday, April 17, 2009

Post-Rachmaninoff "American" Classical Music: Still Seeking The Contemporary Classical Music Middle Path After All Of These Years

The classical music premiere showdown in the Nation's Capital, this evening, is between the National Symphony Orchestra performing Daniel Kellogg's 'Western Skys', and the Library of Congress hosting Peter Serkin and the Brentano String Quartet in Charles Wuorinen's new 'Piano Quintet' (as well as Arnold Schoenberg's "Ode to Napoleon", op. 41 for speaker, string quartet and piano, with Thomas Meglioranza; and Beethoven's proto-modern Grosse Fuga).

Here is the link to the NSO program note, by Dr. Richard E. Rodda, for Daniel Kellogg Western Skys world premiere. [Linking has been preapproved by the Office of the General Counsel of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.]

Here is also the link to the Brentano String Quartet's extensive and beautifully organized library of program notes. It doesn't yet have the note to the Wourinen premiere, but one can prepare by reading notes to string quartets by Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Ligeti, and many others including arrangements of Gesualdo, Monteverdi, and Bach.

Sergei Rachmaninoff

Arnold Schoenberg

Igor Stravinsky

Lou Harrison


A History of the Farallon Islands

... "The Farallones were first discovered by the Native Americans who called them the "Islands of the Dead" and refused to set foot on them for spiritual reasons. The first known person to set foot on the Farallones was the explorer Sir Francis Drake who made a stop at the islands on a journey westward into the unknown. Drake coined the rocky outcroppings the "Islands of St. James", but in 1769 the Explorer Juan Francisco de Bodega renamed them "Los Farallones de los Frailes." For hundreds of years, the islands remained unaffected by human interference until 1810 when New England sealing boats spent two years at the Farallones slaughtering more than 150,000 Northern Fur Seals. Following in the New Englander's footsteps, Russian fur traders set up camp at Fort Ross, and spent several years continuing the massacre of the Northern Fur Seal. Finally, when there was no longer a profit to be had, the Russians left in 1841." ...

Header photo and text credit: © 2005-2006 Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association. Copyright controlled. All Rights Reserved. With thanks.


Post a Comment

<< Home