May 30, 2010

This is easily one of the most important and greatest pieces written for winds. Stravinsky's Octet, written in 1923 and widely regarded as his first truly neoclassical pieces, is written for an odd instrumentation (Fl, Clar, 2 Bsn, 2 Tpt, 2 Tbn) that, according to Stravinsky, appeared to him in a dream. This is a dubious claim at best, but interesting nonetheless. You can find some mor...

May 27, 2010

Featured on the November concert is Dutilleux's Timbres, espace, mouvement, ou la nuit étoilée. This is a good recording by Lyon with Baudo conducting. The descriptive text is in French, but the piece is inspired by space--think van Gogh "Starry Night".

Henri Dutilleux, Timbres, espace, mouvement, ou la nuit étoilée (part I)

Orchestre National de Lyon, Serge Baudo, conductor

Henri Dutille...

May 16, 2010

The Symphonies of Wind Instruments, composed in 1920--seven years after The Rite of Spring--is one of Igor Stravinsky's most original and influential compositions. A poor premiere performance (Stravinsky later referred to it as the "execution of my Symphonies in the literal, firing-squad sense") and the work's austere effect meant that it was not greeted with the rioting of The Rite of...

March 3, 2010

Greg Sandow, who is an Artist-in-Residence working with the University of Maryland, has a blog that you might find of interest. More specifically, you can find the blog entry he wrote about working with UMSO/UMWO here. Take the time to look through the whole site--there is some pretty fantastic stuff on there.

February 21, 2010

I can tell you, dearest friend, that if it were known how much friendship, love and a world of human and spiritual references I have smuggled into these three movements, the adherents of program music—should there be any left—would go mad with joy.

—“Open Letter” from Alban Berg to Arnold Schoenberg, February 9, 1925

The Vienna of Schoenberg and his students was also the Vienna of Sigmun...

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