Prayers of Method and Fruits of Silence: the 2021 Vale of Glamorgan Festival, Wales

The Vale of Glamorgan Festival, the mission of which is to celebrate and perform music by living composers, is in its 52nd year, under the helm of its founder and artistic director, composer John Metcalf. This year, many of the festival’s programs may be found online here.

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Three for the Road

Sofia Gubaidulina July1981 Sortavala ©DSmirnov.jpg

David Nice’s course on Russian Music—a total of forty sessions, each 2-3 hours in length—completed last week. The music, however, lives on. Here are three works, one each by Sofia Gubaidulina, Alfred Schnittke, and Lepo Sumera, featured in the final installment of Nice’s Russian Music tour de force.

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In Praise of Public Librarians: Carol Spaziani, One of a Kind

I suspect public libraries helped get a lot of us through this past year. I’ve certainly been grateful to my local public libraries, both this year and going back to my first trips to my local public library aeons ago. I was delighted, therefore, to run across this interview with Carol Spaziani, who throughout her life has not only been the best sort of public librarian, but also the best sort of public citizen in every respect.

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Farewell to Dodecaphony

In the June 10 edition of his Russian Music class, David Nice explored “End of the Thaw and musical life after Khrushchev.” Nice wrote:

“Khrushchev’s sudden rages against jazz and abstract art signalled a closing-down of hard-won freedoms. Shostakovich’s Thirteenth Symphony, setting a range of poems by the young iconoclast Yevgeny Yevtushenko, was a surprise casualty. Meanwhile, dodecaphony was having its impact on a younger generation of composers, but not for long: we see how with Alfred Schnittke and the Estonian Arvo Pärt.”

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