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.Continue reading
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.”Continue reading
. . . my own involvement in the art world has helped me find connections with music, not so much in content as in a preparatory attitude.
Having encountered our remarkable host here in an online music course and continuing some very interesting conversations thereafter at the Great Composers Appreciation Society, it was inevitable that I’d become a regular visitor to her blog. When she asked if I’d be interested in contributing something here, I said yes, without thinking exactly what. As a professional artist I’ve had a longstanding interest in music but no expertise in the subject whatever; I can’t read it or play any sort of instrument, just love listening. It occurred to me that my own involvement in the art world has helped me find connections with music, not so much in content as in a preparatory attitude. A familiarity with music history is indispensable, certainly, but sometimes even more important is working through irrelevant assumptions and fostering an elasticity of mind to access the new and often difficult. Here, then, are some thoughts on how to approach new music. Maybe some of you will make additions to the list in the comments, or critique what I provide. I’ve numbered the items to give the illusion of order. Continue reading
This year, I’m even more relieved than last year that I’m not a professional critic assigned to assemble a “top ten” music list for 2013. Instead, here is a year-end offering of highlights from my personal musical journey throughout the year.
I also want to recognize the composer and musicians who participated in This Life in Music profiles during 2013: Maxwell J McKee, Sabrina Tabby, Dávid Adam Nagy, Lucy Dhegrae, and Amy Garapic, as well as composer Dylan Mattingly, for his guest post on his new work, The Bakkhai (a report on the premiere of The Bakkhai is included in this post). It was a pleasure and privilege to present each of them on Prufrock’s Dilemma. Thanks to all! Continue reading